Toms Port Guides


Home 
Port Guides
Travel Tips
About the Author Contact


PORT GUIDES - WHAT'S NEW


Responding to user feedback, all  new or updated guides will include more information for self-guided touring. The new guides have more detail, walking tour maps, web-links to download FREE high resolution maps, coordinates to find “exact” site locations on Google or Bing Maps, and links to the best websites so your internet research will be
more efficient when planning a vacation.
      
June 30, 2014
Major rewrite and update of Quebec City Canada Port Guide
The old port guide was only 9 pages.  The new guide is 49 pages with extensive detail on the six cruise ship dock locations, bus routes, and the popular tourist sites with maps and bus stop locations for self-guided walking tours of the old city.  The new guide also covers the possiblity of renting a car to visit sites outside of the city = Montmorency Falls, Basilica Sainte Anne de Beaupre, ile d' Orleans, and Baie Saint Paul.  See the guide under Canada below.  

May 30, 2014
A NEW guide for Princess Cays, Eleuthera Bahamas Port Guide
It's a breatakingly beautiful beach area owned by Princess Cruise lines.  See the guide under Bahamas below.

2014 - Saint John New Brunswick, Canada Port Guide
 
The guide was updated to show the new Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal and a tour to Hopewell Rocks.  Maps are updated and there are better descriptions of tourist sites.  See the guide under Canada below.

March 28, 2014 
Major Revisions to Corfu Greece & Funchal Madeira Portugal Port Guides
The islands of Corfu Greece and Maderia Portugal are about the same size, located in different parts of the world, and offering uniquely different, wonderful vacation experiences for the traveler.  These islands deserve more than a brief stop on a cruise ship; they're on my vacation "bucket list".  I've revised the guide for Corfu from 15 to 48 pages and Madeira from 19 to 36 pages to better describe these islands as a vacation destinations.
 
2014 - Corfu Greece Port Guide
Corfu is a breatakingly beautiful, diverse island.  I've included amazing photos in the guide from Vangelis, a local photographer.  Self-guided touring options are described in detail, e.g., walking thru Old Town, using public buses, a rental car, private taxi tour, or sailing along the coast.  See the guide under Greece below.
      
2014 - Funchal Madeira Portugal Port Guide
Madeira offers year-round "perfect" temperatures, the largest laurel forest in the world, lush vegetation, and thousands of species of unique plants.  The gardens are spectacular.  This guide has better maps and descriptions of tourist sites in Funchal, the villages, and a review of hiking Levada Trails.  See the guide under Portugal below.
      
February 28, 2014
A NEW guide for Ketchikan Alaska
The tough choice for Ketchikan is which of the many, excellent, tourist sites to visit.  This guide makes extensive use of GPS coordinates with tips on how to use your home computer to study the port and become familiar with it so you will recognize it when you step off your ship.  You can't visit all the sites.  This guide is designed to help you plan ahead to maximize your experience.  See the guide under United States - Alaska, below.
      
January 30, 2014
A NEW guide for Los Angeles (San Pedro) & Long Beach California
If you're flying to Los Angeles a few days before your cruise, you'll need a hotel, a rental car, and ideas on what to see and do in Southern California.  This guide has tips on finding a rental car agency at the airport with drop off locations near the cruise port, why you should book a hotel in Long Beach, how to estimate taxi fares, and a great place to spend a day = visiting Joshua Tree National Park.  See the guide under United States below.

A NEW Scenic Driving Tour Guide for Joshua Tree National Park in California
 
If you have an extra day in the Los Angeles area, visit Joshua Tree National Park.  This guide provides extensive details combining descriptive text, photos, maps, and 69 GPS coordinates to pinpoint key points of interest. See the guide under United States - California next to the port guide for Los Angeles below.  


PORT GUIDES


NOTE: Port Guides are LARGE pdf files requiring a fast internet connection to download
The port guides use high bandwidth to download due to the large size of the files.

A fast internet connection slows down when many users are online.  It's like a "traffic jam" on the internet highway.

I ran a test and downloaded all 49 guides in about an hour at 7 pm EST on Sunday June 29, 2014.  Everything you do on the internet is saved to a "history file" on your computer.  I found that after downloading about 20 guides, the history files slowed the download speed.  Use the command "clear browsing history from the beginning of time" on Google Chrome to erase these temporary files that slow down your computer.

When you click on a port guide to download it, the first page appears, but it takes a minute or two for the rest of the guide to download.  Don't move the mouse until the file is fully downloaded.  Google chrome shows a segmented wheel as a good visual clue of download status.  When the segmented wheel shows it has downloaded, scroll through the pages to confirm they are all there; then save the guide to your computer.  If pages are missing, repeat the download process.  

Do not print the guide until you have saved it to your computer.
WiFi printing may have difficulty with the large files and generate error messages.  A  hard wired printer is faster, and more reliable with these large files. 

If you have difficulty downloading port guides, the problem is most likely due to:

  • Download speed is slow due to an "internet traffic jam" because all your neighbors are on line. 
  • History files have accumulated on your computer that need to be erased.
  • The security settings for internet connection and/or your firewall software are set to "high" rather than normal.
    Setting my firewall to "high or agressive" security protection dramatically slows the file download speed.
  • You have moved the mouse or tried to view the file on your screen before it has fully downloaded.  This screws up the file and generates error messages about the file.
Every week for the last four years, I have received emails stating, "The X port guide is corrupt and won't download.  I downloaded Y files but cannot download Z files.  There is something wrong with those files."  In every instance, these problems have been traced to one of the issues I have cited above.  

If you have problems downloading port guides, call a neighbor and ask them to go to my website and download the file.  You'll find that it always works on a different computer with a different internet connection.  Keep trying and you'll succeed.  People are downloading my port guides from computers all around the world.  There is nothing wrong with my website or the port guide files other than they are much larger than any file you have downloaded.  

Why are the port guide pdf files so large?
My port guides are graphic intensive with as many as a hundred color maps, illustrations, and photos in a 50-page file.  I reduce the size of the photos ten-fold before I insert them in the word document, then I compress the file as much as 75% to create the pdf file.  This makes my razor-sharp images blurry.  I can't compress the files any more. My only option to include more information in a port guide is to split it into parts and publish it in sections.  I don't want to do that, but I do want to include more information to make my port guides more useful.


PUBLICATION DATE  is part of the name, e.g. 03-22-2012.  It's on every page of the port guide.

LIST OF ALL PORT GUIDES
This was suggested by George Selfridge, Jr.  The idea is to have a file you can read off line, check to see if you have the guides you want, and send the list of port guides to your friends as an email attachment.  I will update the list whenever I publish a new or revised port guide.   Download the list from this link  PortGuideList-06-30-2014.pdf

FORMAT & INFO FOR iPAD USERS
David Shih suggested a cover page for port guides that is legible on iBooks bookshelf.  David helped me create the format.  The first implementation is on guides for Istanbul and Kusadasi Turkey.

David Shih, Peggy Kugel, and Steve Johnson suggested tips on loading port guides onto iPads:

Loading port guides to iPad using iBooks app

1)  Open a new Safari browser window  2)  Type in www.tomsportguides.com/  3) Click on Port Guides on the top menu  4)  Scroll down to find the Port Guide you would like to view e.g.  Rio_de_Janeiro-11-30-2011    5)  Depending on your Safari browser setting, it will open in a new window or in the existing window   6)  To save the port guide for off line viewing, tap near the top of the page on the PDF (right below the address bar and Safari tabs), you should see the file name and two buttons to the right ("Open in iBooks" and "Open in..."   7)  Click on "Open in iBooks", this will switch to the iBooks app and open the same PDF file.  You now have an off line version in your iBook for future viewing    8)  To come back later to view in iBook, go to the iBooks app and it will show up in your library.  If you have purchased books, there is a button at the top called "Collections" in the upper left corner, you'll need to click on it and switch to PDFs

Loading port guides to iPad using Kindle software

If you are using Kindle software, follow steps 1-5 above then: 6)  To save the port guide for off line viewing, tap near the top of the page (right below the address bar and Safari tabs), you should see the file name and two buttons to the right ("Open in Kindle" and "Open in..."    7)  Click on "Open in Kindle", this will switch to the Kindle app and open the same PDF file.  You now have an off line version in your Kindle for future viewing    8)  To come back later to view in Kindle, go to the Kindle app and it will show up in your library.  If you have a large library, it may be easier to find it by clicking on "Docs" at the top right of your Kindle home page.

Loading port guides to Android Tablets (Bill Thaler's Comments)

These instructions work for an Asus Android tablet running Android V4.2.1. Other Android operating systems should be similar. It is also assumed the Kindle app is installed on the tablet.
1) Start the browser on the tablet. I used Chrome that came installed on my Android tablet.  2) Type www.tomsportguides.com in the URL field. 3) Select Port Guides from the top line menu and the guide to download. 4) Choose how to download the file from the window that pops up (Web, Chrome, etc.). I chose Chrome. When the download is complete, the file appears in Settings/Storage/Downloads. You can open the file in the Kindle reader from this location and read it, but the file will not appear or be saved to the Kindle library. 5) An easy way to put the file in the Kindle library is to download a free Android file manager. I used ES File Explorer. The following instructions, apply to this particular app; but I suspect any file manager will operate similarly.  6) Open ES File Explorer on the Android tablet.  7) Select Download from the Fast Access column.  8) Press and hold the icon for the desired port guide pdf file listed to select the file; simply tapping the icon will open the file. You can select multiple files by depressing and holding them in sequence. 9) Select “more” in the bottom right of the display and select “move to”. 10) Select “Kindle” from the list. The file is moved to the Kindle library and now appears when you select the Kindle reader app. The file(s) also appear in ES File Explorer/Library/Books. They must remain there to be displayed in the Kindle library. Removing them from the ES File Explorer library also removes them from Kindle
Note: ES File Explorer includes its own download manager. In Step 4, you could choose ES Downloader from the list that appears when you select the file. When the download completes, ES File Explorer tells you where the file is stored. This was the SD card on my tablet. Choose “open folder” from the option window that appears and continue with Step 8 to move the file to the Kindle reader.
ARUBA
  Aruba Travel Guide & Port Guide
Whether you arrive by cruise ship or plane, this travel guide should be useful in planning your vacation. The guide covers popular tourist sites with detailed maps, GPS coordinates, and links to the best websites for more information to plan your self-guided tour. Cruise ships dock downtown in Oranjestad, a short walk from “shopper's paradise”. The beaches and hotels are only a few miles away, easily reached by public buses. 
        Click here to view, print or "save" the guide  (3.9 MB)   Aruba-02-28-2013 

AZORES  (Ponta Delgada) Port Guide  - Listed under Portugal
BAHAMAS
  Princess Cays, Eleuthera Bahamas Port Guide
It's a gorgeous, spotlessly clean, private beach.  The guide includes detailed maps and photos.          
Click here to view, print or "save" the guide  (2.0 MB)   PrincessCays-05-30-2014  
BELGIUM
  Brugge (Zeebrugge) Port Guide
Zeebrugge is a huge commercial port. You can't walk through the port. Hire a taxi to downtown Brugge or take a bus from the ship to Blankenberge for a 15 minute train ride.  Brugge is a charming, relaxing, exceptionally clean, pedestrian-friendly city with striking architecture, beautiful parks, many museums, churches, and places to shop. Be sure to buy some delicious chocolate. A canal boat ride is a must.
Click here to view, print or "save" the guide  (4.2 MB)   Brugge_Zeebrugge-08-28-2012
BRAZIL
   Rio de Janeiro Port Guide
Rio de Janeiro is synonymous with world famous beaches, iconic images of Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf mountain, breathtaking mountain views, Samba dancers, Maracana Stadium (one of the largest soccer stadiums in the world), jewelery stores with an incredible selection of gemstones, etc. Unfortunately, the crime rate is high. When planning a visit to Rio, it is advisable to read and heed the travel advisories, some of which are included in this port guide.
Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (2.0 MB)  Rio_de_Janeiro-11-30-2011
CANADA
  Charlottetown Port Guide
Charlottetown is a pedestrian friendly, picturesque city with well maintained, historic buildings.  It's a great place to walk around, shop, visit breweries, and enjoy fantastic seafood.  Two popular excursions are 1) Anne of Green Gables and the North seacoast or 2) a leisurely ride through scenic farm country to Confederation Bridge and a fishing village.  
Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.0 MB)  Charlottetown-06-15-2011
 
  Corner Brook, Newfoundland Port Guide
Newfoundland is famous for beautiful scenery of mountains, lakes, waterways, and parks. Corner Brook is strategically located in a valley of gently rolling hills providing access to scenic rides along the shore and to the Captain Cook Monument for panoramic views of the area.  It's only a ten minute walk from the ship to city centre. The area is ideally suited for walking and there's a network of well groomed trails with park benches to relax and enjoy the views.  The port also provides a free shuttle bus with five stops in the city.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.2 MB)
 CornerBrook-NL-01-31-2013
  Halifax Port Guide
There is a brewery, a farmers market, and museum next to the ship.  And the Historic Citadel, Victorian Gardens, and Maritime Museum are within walking distance of the ship.  You'll need transportation to visit the stunning seacoast of Peggy's Cove, the Titanic Cemetery, and Fisherman's Cove.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.2 MB)   Halifax-06-15-2011

  Quebec City Port Guide - 2014 Revision                   
Quebec is a magnificent, beautiful port city.  It's ideal for self-guided walking tours if you use public buses number 1 and 21 between the cruise ship docks and the old city.  This guide includes maps to show all six cruise ship dock locations relative to the tourist sites and suggested walking routes with bus stops.  I've included bus schedules, photos, and descriptions of the tourist sites.  The also guide covers popular tourist sites outside the city; namely, Montmorency Falls, Basilica Sainte Anne de Beaupre, ile d'Orleans island, and Baie Saint Paul.
Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.9 MB)  QuebecCity-06-30-2014

  Saguenay Port Guide
First impressions = the warmest welcome in any port, a modern, full-featured cruise terminal, a wide range of hand made products by master craftsman/artisans, etc.  And that's just at the dock; it gets better!  Saguenay River Fjord is the fourth largest fjord in the world.  It's surrounded by forests, mountains, and parks making it ideal for siteseeing and outdoor activities.  There are Hop-On buses, a car rental, and helicopter rides at the  port.  Summer entertainment includes concerts, theatre, and festivals. It is a must visit port city! We are returning to vacation there next summer.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.6 MB)  Saguenay-QC-12-02-2012
  Saint John, New Brunswick Port Guide - 2014 Revision                   
Cruise ships dock in the uptown area.  It's a short walk to the indoor pedestrian walkway system to explore shops, restaurants, and many tourist sites.  For the few tourist sites too far to walk, share a cab for an economical tour or share a rental car to visit St Martin's Caves.  The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world, over 55 feet.  Your ship will move about 8 feet an hour due to the tides.  Dock workers are constantly changing the gangway to compensate for movement of the ship. 
Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.8 MB)  SaintJohn-NB-05-30-2014
  Sydney, Nova Scotia 
     There are two guides:
              1) Sydney, Nova Scotia Port Guide, and
              2) Sydney- Cape Breton Island Scenic Driving Tour Guide

  Sydney, Nova Scotia Port Guide - 2013 Revision

Sydney is port city for Cape Breton Island, one of the most beautiful islands in the world.  Take a 7.5 to 9 hour excursion to the  rugged Atlantic coastline along the Cabot Trail, or Bras d'Or lakes area, Highland Village, and Alexander Graham Bell museum. Plan excursions to Fortress Louisbourg or Miner's Museum.  Excursions take time; pick a cruise ship that's in port ~ 9 daylight hours.

Click here to view, print or "save" the PORT GUIDE to your computer (4.4 MB)  Sydney-NS-02-05-2013

 
  Sydney- Cape
Breton Island Scenic Driving Tour Guide
This a companion document for the Sydney Port Guide.  It's packed with detailed maps, GPS coordinates, and turn-by-turn driving directions for three routes; namely, 1) Fortress Louisbourg, 2) Around Bras d'Or Lakes to Baddeck and Highland Village, and 3) Cabot Trail North to Ingonish.  Whether or not you plan to rent a car, be sure to review this guide. The maps and photographs will familiarize you with the area and help you select an excursion whether you travel by the ship's bus, a private tour in a van, or drive a rental car.  If you're a photo buff, this guide is for you.

Click here to view or "save" the DRIVING TOUR GUIDE  (5.7 MB)  CapeBretonTours-02-05-2013

COLOMBIA
   Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena is rich in history; it's a UNESCO world heritage site.  The walled city is impressive.  The narrow streets are lined with well-maintained, and very colorful Spanish Colonial buildings.  There are beautiful churches, attractive plazas, and upscale boutique hotels.  The old defensive system includes massive walls, a network of small forts and batteries, and San Felipe Fortress, one of the best forts ever constructed.  The newer section of the city features high-rise buildings, restaurants, hotels, and shopping.  There is a lot to like about Cartagena, but be aware there are some travel safety concerns included in the guide.

       Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.5 MB)
 Cartagena-03-26-2013
COSTA RICA
   Puerto Caldara and Puntarenas Ports on the Pacific Coast
Costa Rica is an incredibly beautiful, “natural” setting with more things to see and do than possible in the short time a ship is in port. There is nothing in the port area; take the ship's excursion or a private tour with a guide. With eight different life zones along the Continental Divide, Costa Rica has many varieties of plant and animal life. There are 100 species of mammals, which include all six species of the cat family. The 400 species of birds include the resplendent quetzal, one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Costa Rica preserves habitat for the birds providing opportunities for bird watchers from around the globe.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.8 MB)  CostaRica-02-24-2013 
CROATIA
   Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik Old Town is one of the world's finest and best preserved medieval cities. Defensive walls, up to 18 feet thick and 75 feet high, protected the city for a thousand years with 5 forts, 16 towers, and bastions. It's old, but it's a lived-in city with homes, shops, cafes, restaurants, and hotels. Bazaars and markets are open in the summer. Red roofed buildings are attractive and there are Baroque churches, museums, palaces, monasteries, etc. It is a MUST VISIT, pedestrian friendly town.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (3.8 MB)  Dubrovnik-01-31-2012
DENMARK
   Copenhagen
Copenhagen is packed with things to see and do.  It's ideally suited for self-guided touring.  Your challenge is to plan how to spend your time.  The guide covers 22 tourist sites.  Four of the must see sites are Amalienborg Palace, Nyhavn waterfront, Trivoli Gardens, and Stroget - the world famous shopping district.  A canal boat ride is also highly recommended.  Copenhagen has been called, "The World's Best Designed City" and "The City of Spires". The airport is recognized as "Europe's Most Efficient Airport"

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.6 MB)  Copenhagen-09-30-2012
FRANCE
  Le Havre Port Guide
Le Havre was the birthplace for Impressionist Art.  The Malraux Museum is excellent.  The city was leveled by bombings in WW II.  It was rebuilt in a modernist style using concrete.  St. Joseph's Church is an architectural masterpiece in concrete.  Ships dock  ~  2.3 km from  center city, take a  shuttle bus or cab.  Popular tourist sites from Le Havre include Honfleur = a beautiful village and harbor,  Rouen = the city of museums with many historic buildings and types of architecture, Paris = a long, long bus ride for a short visit, Bayeux = a world famous tapestry and magnificent cathedral, and Normancy D-Day Beaches and War Memorials.

      Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.1 MB)  LeHavre-11-20=2013
  Marseille Port Guide
Whether you're interested in history, culture, art, gourmet food, beautiful beaches, scenic villages, hilltop historic towns, vineyards, etc., you'll find it all near Marseille.   Ships dock five miles from the city.  I recommend the ship's shuttle bus to Vieux Port.  Many tourist sites are easy to reach by walking.  Use public transit or the HopOn bus to visit other sites.  Aix-en-Provence is ideal for self-guided touring; buses depart every five minutes and drop you near center city.  Cassis can be reached by train, but you'll need a cab to the beach.  We took a private tour to Carrieres de Lumieres; it's amazing!  This guide covers 38 tourist sites.

      Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.1 MB)  Marseille-06-28-2013
THE FRENCH RIVIERA
   Cannes-Nice France Port Guide - an Introduction to the French Riviera
This port guide describes the French train and bus system with tips for self-guided touring.  Includes descriptions of Cannes, Nice, St Paul de Vence, Eze Village, Grasse, and St. Raphael.  READ this guide FIRST, before reading the guides for Monaco and Villefranche-sur-Mer.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.2 MB)   Cannes-Nice-06-20-2012

  Monte Carlo Monaco Port Guide
Located at the eastern end of French Riviera, Monaco is a tiny city-state with an area of 0.79 sq. mi.  It has scenic views,  magnificent architecture, and impressive tourist sites.  There is an excellent bus system for self-guided touring.  I've also provided step-by-step directions to walk from the ship's dock to the top of Old Town without climbing any stairs.  Popular tourist sites include the Oceanographic Museum, Cathedral, Palace, and Casino.  Detailed maps are included.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.2 MB)  Monaco-06-20-2012

  Villefranche-sur-Mer France Port Guide
This guide describes the port and provides information on bus and train travel to other sites along the French Riviera.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide  (1.6 MB)  Villefranche-sur-Mer-06-20-2012
GIBRALTAR, BRITISH CROWN COLONY
   Gibraltar
Despite its small size, Gibraltar could be the envy of many ports.  Shopping is duty free, no VAT, featuring familiar British and international names plus local shops.  The guide includes a list of 113 stores with addresses, maps, and a link to virtual tours of Main Street.  It is less than a mile walk from Casemates Square to the Cable Car ride to the top of the Rock for gorgeous views.  The guide covers St Michael's Cave, the Ape's Den, Great Siege Tunnels, the Lighthouse, and airport.  I have also provided web-links to download the "official" tourist map and to review 21 attractions including whale watching.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.4 MB)  Gibraltar-02-15-2012
GREECE     
   Athens Port Guide
Athens offers visitors a “journey” in its 6,000-year history to see renowned monuments and masterpieces of art.  This guide includes extensive cruise vacation planning resources such as detailed maps, information on public transit for self-guided travel, and OUTSTANDING tourist information from the Ministry of Greece.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer  (6.4 MB)  Athens-08-12-2011
   Corfu Port Guide - 2014 Revision
Corfu, the Capital City, is one of the most elegant and beautiful cities in Greece.  It's ~ 1 mile from the cruise terminal and there are many places to visit on a self-guided walking tour including fortresses, palaces, museums, churches, shops, cafes, etc.  There are over 30 beautiful beaches, many villages, resorts, etc. to explore.  The guide provides details for a walking tour of Corfu Old Town and route maps to visit tourist sites outside of the town.  For sites outside of Corfu Town, take the ship's excursion, a public bus, a private taxi tour, or rent a car.  Plan ahead on how you will use your limited time in port on this beautiful island.
      Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.3 MB)  Corfu-03-25-2014.pdf
  Katakolon (Olympia) Port Guide
Katakolon is a tiny port with a resident population of 612.  The only significant tourist site in the area is the historic site of Olympia, 25 miles from the port.  Olympia was a sacred site for worship of Zeus and the gods. Around 776 BC, the first Olympic games were held there.  The tourist area consists of the archaeological ruins at the site of the games and worship of the gods.  The musuem contains well-preserved masterpieces. This guide includes travel options to Olympia and detailed maps of the site.
      Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (3.7 MB)  Katakolon-Olympia-07-24-2013
 Mykonos Port Guide
Mykonos is a “picture perfect” island town; ideal to explore on your own.  It's pedestrian friendly for a leisurely walk exploring the narrow streets, visiting shops, and taking postcard photos. Visit the windmills and keep an eye out for Petros the famous Pelican.  Relax and enjoy lunch, one of the special Greek coffees, or drinks at a restaurant overlooking the beaches and boats in the harbor.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (3.5 MB)  Mykonos-08-01-2011
Santorini Port Guide - 2013 Revision
This obsoletes and replaces the 2011 Santorini Port Guide. Santorini is a beautiful Greek Island.  Towns are perched on 700 foot high cliffs with spectacular views of the caldera. The tiny size of the island, 10 miles by 3 miles, makes it perfect for self-guided touring. Take a speedboat from the dock and a bus ride to Oia, hire a taxi, or rent a car to explore the island. Sailboat tours are also very popular. This guide includes GPS coordinates to pinpoint locations and detailed travel directions with turn-by-turn walking directions.
      Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.2 MB)  Santorini-07-22-2013
IRELAND
     Dublin Port Guide
Take the ship's shuttle bus or a cab from the port to centre city.  Once you're in the city, it's easy to walk to many of the places of interest.  This guide covers 65 sites including churches, museums, monuments, shops, markets, pubs, parks, gardens, historic buildings, and more.  Plan ahead to choose the sites you wish to visit and the order in which you will visit them.  You'll need to arrive early to buy tickets for Kilmainham Gaol (prison) and in the afternoon to hear music at the pubs.  Ireland is a beautiful country with fantastic people, literary prowess, great pubs, and many things to see and do.  Intense shades of green make the landscape picture-perfect, but require frequent rain. Bring a light rain jacket or umbrella.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide  (5.1 MB)   Dublin-12-20-2013

ITALY 
  Livorno (Florence/Pisa) Port Guide - 2013 Revision
This is a complete rewrite and update of the Livorno guide.  I have added GPS coordinates and extensive travel detail for self-guided touring from the Livorno Port.  Popular tourist sites are Florence (Firenze), Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, Siena and Cinque Terre.  These are some of the most spectacular tourist sites in Italy.  

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.5 MB)  Livorno-09-25-2013
  Naples & Sorrento Port Guide - 2012 Revision
This guide replaces the April 2011 guide for Naples.  It has been extensively rewritten to include much more detail, more maps, aerial photos, and street level photos with turn-by-turn directions and tips for self-guided touring.  I've included web-links to the "best" websites for information and to download FREE, high resolution maps of Naples, Pompeii, and Sorrento.
Cruise ships dock downtown close to transportation by boat, bus, or train to popular tourist sites.  The guide covers Naples, Capri, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast villages of Positano and Amalfi.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.8 MB)  Naples-01-31-2012
  Rome (Civitavecchia) Port Guide - 2012 Revision
This guide replaces the April 2011 guide for Rome.  It has been extensively rewritten to include 97 illustrations of maps, aerial photos, and street level photos with turn-by-turn directions and tips for self-guided touring.  I've included web-links to the "best" websites for information and to download FREE, high resolution maps.  This guide covers ten popular tourist sites in Rome plus Tarquinia, Villa del Marta, Tuscania, Villa Lante, Bolsena, and Orvieto.

      Click here to view, print or "save" the guide (7.5 MB)  Rome_Civitavecchia_08-07-2012
  Venice Port Guide
This is an all new May 2011 revision which obsoletes previous versions of this guide. Major new additions include the OFFICIAL tourist map, the 58-page tourist guide, the route map for vaporetto, 19-pages of timetables for vaporetto, etc, etc.  The guide references many pdf files and has links to my website to view these valuable sources of information for FREE! 

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.1 MB)  Venice-05-06-2011
MADEIRA (Funchal) Port Guide - Listed under Portugal
MONACO (Monte Carlo) Port Guide - Listed under French Riviera


PANAMA CANAL Port Guides - SEE:
ARUBA
COLOMBIA
COSTA RICA
PANAMA
PANAMA 
   PANAMA CITY - PANAMA CANAL Port Guide
Panama City has had three locations.  The original city was destroyed by pirate Henry Morgan in 1671.  The ruins are called Panama Viejo.  The second location of the city was damaged by earthquakes and fires.  Parts of that city have been rebuilt.  The area is called Old Town or Casco Viejo.  The third location is the high-rise city.  It's an international banking and commerce center.  All three locations are popular tourist sites, but unfortunately, they are in, or near, high crime areas.  I've included excerpts from the US Department of State Travel Advisories and the Crime Report in the guide.  The locks are not high crime areas.  Plan ahead on how you will tour the Panama City area.  We took a taxi tour, felt safe, and loved it.  Taxi tours are very reasonably priced.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide (5.6 MB)  Panama-03-26-2013
PRINCESS CAYS Port Guide - Listed under Bahamas

PORTUGAL 
   AZORES (Ponta Delgada) Port Guide
Volcanoes have created uniquely beautiful islands with black beaches, steep cliffs, rolling hills, geysers and hot springs, and lakes set into craters as some of the most beautiful calderas in the world.  The temperate climate and rich volcanic soil promote vigorous plant growth.  About 60 species of plants are unique and can only be found in the Azores.  In the summer, the landscape is filled with flowers. Be sure to check the web-link on page 5 of the guide for STUNNING PHOTOS.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide (3.6 MB)  PontaDelgada-Azores-04-24-2011

  LISBON Port Guide
When your cruise ship docks downtown, you've arrived.  The city is rich in culture and history = a great place to explore.  This guide covers 14 important sites in the city and the 2011 map showing ALL electric tram routes/stops, location of the funicular trams, plus ALL bus and subway stops. Excursions are described for Sintra, Cascais, and Obidos.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.8 MB)  Lisbon-06-29-2011
  MADEIRA (Funchal) Port Guide- 2014 Revision
Madeira is a beautiful, mountainous island with high cliffs overlooking the sea and picturesque villages along the coast. The year-round temperature is 64-75 F with adequate rainfall to support gardens with over 2500 species of plants and the largest laurel forest in the world.  Cruise ships dock in Funchal, 2.6 Km (1.6 miles) from the city. There are HopOn buses and an excellent public bus system to tour the city and the island. Cable cars are available to ascend the mountain.  Private taxi tours are an efficient way to explore the island.  

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.2 MB)  Funchal-Madeira-03-26-2014
SCOTLAND
    Greenock Scotland Port Guide
Cruise ships dock in downtown Greenock. You'll be greeted by the non-profit, Inverclyde Tourist Group who provide free, comprehensive information for self-guided touring and offer a 2-hour bus tour of the area (contributions are accepted to help defray costs). Greenock is the friendliest port I've ever visited. It earned the prestigious award for “Best Shoreside Welcome” in 2011. Explore the Greenock area, or visit Glasgow (~ 45 minutes away), or tour the lochs, mountains, villages, meadows, etc. Scotland is a beautiful country!

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide  (5.5 MB)   Greenock_Scotland-08-28-2012
SPAIN  
  Barcelona Port Guide
Barcelona is a magnificent city with world famous architecture, a mix of ancient and modern buildings, beautiful squares, parks, and great food.  This guide includes a walking map for the Gothic Quarter, details on four famous buildings influenced by Gaudi, and the Montjuic park which overlooks the city/harbor.  There are also maps for the Hop-on bus and metro.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.9 MB)   Barcelona-07-22-2011
   Cartagena Spain Port Guide
Cartagena is on the southern coast of Spain, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.  The main dock is in center city; the alternate dock requires a shuttle bus ride.  Tourist sites are densely packed in a small area.  You can visit most of the popular sites by walking 1.36 miles round trip from the ship.  The pathways are wide, flat, and wheelchair friendly.  There are some stairs and climbing is required to see all of the Roman Ruins and Castillo de la Concepcion, but there are lifts and ramps.  I'm not sure you need to do a lot of planning for your self-guided tour.  Just walk the suggested route and stop at places that seem interesting. 

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.7 MB)   Cartagena-Spain-08-20-2013
TURKEY  
  Istanbul Port Guide
Istanbul is a fascinating city with a rich history, a mix of culture, phenomenally striking architecture, shopping, etc.  Visit the Blue Mosque which rivals the Great Mosque in Mecca. Explore Hagia Sophia, a church turned into a Mosque that is among the greatest houses of worship in Christian and Muslim worlds. Spend time at Topkapi Palace, the power center of the Ottoman Empire for 400 years. Be overwhelmed by the Grand Bazaar which originated as the world trade center for the Ottoman Empire and is very active today. And enjoy the food!  All these sites are close to the cruise ship dock.                                       

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.2 MB)  Istanbul-07-25-2012
  Kusadasi Port Guide
Kusadasi is a small resort town of 65,000. The port provides access to seaside resorts and historic sites.  This guide covers ten tourist sites; namely, Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, Temple of Artemis, St John Basilica, the Museum, Sirince Village, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, and Bafa Lake. Because the ancient ruins do not have street addresses, I've listed coordinates you can plug into Google Maps to find the exact location of the site. I have also created aerial photo maps with descriptive text to illustrate the sites.  The guide covers shopping in the huge shopping center complex inside the port, in the city of Kusadasi, and Sirince Village.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.5 MB)  Kusadasi-07-25-2012
UNITED STATES  
  ALASKA - Ketchikan Alaska Port Guide
There are many excellent tours by land, sea, and air to view the most scenic natural areas and visit popular tourist sites.  For independent travel, Ketchikan is the ideal port.  Most downtown tourist sites are within a 1600 x 1600 foot area next to the ships.  It's an easy walk, and there's a FREE Salmon Run bus that circles between the ships and ALL downtown tourist sites.  For sites outside the city, you can use the public bus from the cruise ships to ALL tourist sites in the Ketchikan Area, take a taxi, or rent a car.   it couldn't be easier.




   
Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (3.5 MB)  Ketchikan-02-26-2014                                                    
  CALIFORNIA - Los Angeles & Long Beach California Port Guide
There are two cruise ports approximately 25 miles from the Los Angeles Airport; namely, the Los Angeles World Cruise Center in San Pedro and the Carnival Corporation Cruise Terminal in Long Beach.  Most travelers fly to Los Angeles a day or two before their cruise.  This raises issues of where to book a hotel, how to find a rental car at the airport that offers drop-off near the cruise port, how to estimate taxi fares, and what to see and do in Southern California. These issues are covered in the guide.                                    
Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.1 MB)  LosAngeles-01-30-2014
  CALIFORNIA - Joshua Tree National Park - Scenic Driving Tour Guide
It's fun to "discover" scenic views as you drive through a park, but it would be helpful to know what there is to see, and where to drive, before you visit the park.  This Scenic Driving Tour Guide describes points of interest using photos, descriptive text, maps, and GPS coordinates to pinpoint 69 locations.  With this guide, you can plot a driving route on Google maps and "test drive" that route on your computer using Google street level photos.  This will help you plan where to go and spend your time in this huge park that covers 1,234 sq. mi.                  
                    
Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.5 MB)  JoshuaTreePk-01-30-2014
  FLORIDA - Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Florida Port Guide
Port Everglades, in Fort Lauderdale, is the third largest port in the world.  It has 12 passenger terminals for cruise ships! The port is only 2 miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).  This guide uses excerpts from the excellent websites by Broward County Florida.  One of the most important maps in the guide shows wine stores within a mile of the port. Note: there is no place to store luggage at the cruise port.  If you have extra time before or after embarkation or debarkation, consider a pre- or post- cruise tour of Ft. Lauderdale with your luggage stored on the bus.                          

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (2.0 MB)  FtLauderdale-12-31-2011
  MAINE - Bar Harbor, Maine Port Guide
Bar Harbor is on Mount Desert Island which is judged one of the most beautiful islands in the world for its pristine forests, mountains, lakes, coves, and rugged Atlantic coastline.  About 43% of the island is occupied by Acadia National Park.  The cruise ship tender will drop you off next to the tourist office. It's a short walk around the town to visit tourist sites, shop, and find a restaurant for great seafood.  There are many options for self-guided touring by land tours, boat tours, and there are activities for the sports enthusiast including kayaking, cycling, hiking, and air plane tours.  PLAN AHEAD on how to spend your time in port.  

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.1 MB)  BarHarborMaine-08-21-2013

  MASSACHUSETTS - Boston Massachusetts Port Guide
Boston is ideally suited for self-guided touring by walking,  trolley tours, and public transit. It's easy to find your way around. The Freedom Trail is marked with brick and painted lines showing the route to sixteen historic sites.  This guide covers 26 popular tourist sites in Boston plus many sites in the Lexington and Concord area. It's not possible to visit all these sites in the limited time a ship is in port.  Plan ahead to prioritize how you will spend your time.  You'll love Boston.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.6 MB)  Boston-04-21-2013
  NEW YORK - New York Brooklyn & Manhattan Port Guide
This guide describes the exact location of the ports so you can find them on Google Maps or program them into your GPS.  Aerial photos and maps show the dock areas and there is information on travel issues to Manhattan & Brooklyn docks.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (1.0 MB)  NewYork-06-04-2011
  RHODE ISLAND - Newport Rhode Island Port Guide
The cruise ship tender dock is in the heart of the "Old Quarter."  It's a short walk to shops, restaurants, historic sites, and the Bus Station/Visitor Center.  You can spend all day in the scenic area near the harbor, but most people take Bus #67 to walk around and/or tour the mansions.  There is also a Cliff Walk National Historic Trail. PLAN AHEAD to select the tourist sites you wish to visit and put on your walking shoes.  

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (3.1 MB)  Newport-Rhode-Island-08-25-2013
NEW Guide for Southampton, UK  COMING SOON ~ July 30, 2014