Cruise ship excursions are a very popular way to see the sights when you arrive at a new port, and most of the time you can expect them to deliver an interesting cultural experience followed by a safe return to your ship, ready to set sail again.
As injury claim firm Slater & Gordon will confirm, there are incidents when you swap an excursion with an emergency room.
Here is a look at what can go wrong and what to do when you have an accident while on a cruise ship excursion.
Exhilarating and educational
There are so many different excursions offered by cruise ship operators, so you should find something to suit your own preferences, whether it is something exhilarating like scuba-diving, or educational like visiting some ancient ruins.
The prospect of scuba-diving for example, is understandably going to be perceived as carrying more risk than a three-hour walking tour of an historic site, but they both come with an element of risk and minor as well as major accidents do happen, regardless of the excursion you have chosen.
Evaluating the risk
One incident involving a cruise ship passenger who died when they fell from a zip wire, is a prime example of how things can go badly wrong, despite the best efforts of the ship and tour operator who is providing the experience.
The whole point about a holiday for many of us, is to do something different to our normal daily routine, and to enjoy some new experiences.
The sensible approach is try and be smart about how you select the activity you want to do and who you do it with, so that you at least improve your odds of being to share the tale of your adventure at the end of your holiday.
Use the cruise line official tours
It can be tempting to try and find your own local excursions to save a bit of money, but there are good reasons to use the official tours organized by the cruise line.
The excursions can seem expensive and they will be making a profit no doubt, but in return, you will be paying for the fact that the cruise line will have vetted the tour operator they are using and carried out background and safety checks, to ensure that their passengers are in capable hands.
Vetted and insured operators who are also subjected to undercover inspections, will help to ensure safety standards are maintained as best as possible. It also gives you a clear chain of command should you have cause to complain or claim as a result of an injury.
If you suffer an injury
If there is an incident while you are on an excursion, you should report your injury to the shore excursion operator and make the cruise line aware as well.
The cruise line operator will have a standard procedure that they follow in the event of an injury to one of their passengers. You must notify the cruise line of your injuries, even if their terms state that they are not liable for injuries sustained while you are on an excursion run by an independent company.
Hopefully you will never have to find out about their claims procedure, especially of you are careful and sensible about which excursions you choose to go on.
Jasmine Myers has extensive experience working within the travel industry. Whilst she loves to read, and occasionally write, travel guides, she mostly writes on the topic of safety whilst travelling, feeling that it is an often overlooked topic amongst travel bloggers.