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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, GPS 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 cruise vacation.

September 15, 2014
UPDATED Port Guide for Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI) Canada
This guide covers 37 Things To See and Do in Charlottetown with descriptions, maps, GPS coordinates, and photos.  Charlottetown is a "perfect" city for self-guided walking tours.  See the guide under Canada below.

August 30, 2014
A NEW Driving Tour Guide for Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI) Canada
This guide describes popular tourist sites and 26 Things To See & Do using highly detailed maps, descriptions of the sites, photographs, and GPS coordinates.  Whether or not you rent a car, download this guide. Use it with the Charlottetown Port Guide to become familiar with places to visit and all the possiblities when planning your shore excursion for your priorities.  See the guide under Canada below.

July 31, 2014
A NEW Port guide for Bermuda
Located 640 miles east of North Carolina, Bermuda is a popular tourist destination. It's a scenic, colorul, island with many things to see and do. See the guide listed under Bermuda below.

A NEW port guide for Southampton England
Southampton is a major cruise port for Europe. Since most travelers embark or disembark at Suthampton, the guide focuses on travel options via bus, taxi, and train to/from the port. See the guide under England.

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.


Downloading Port Guides

"POTENTIAL PROBLEMS" DOWNLOADING LARGE PORT GUIDE PDF FILES

Every week for the last four years, I have received emails stating, "The Z port guide is corrupt and won't download. I downloaded Y file but cannot download the Z file. There is something wrong with it."

In every instance, the problems have been traced to one of the issues cited below.

If you get a "corrupt file" error when opening a port guide, the problem is that you have not downloaded the entire port guide file. Pages of the port guide are missing, so Adobe Reader shows the error message.

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 to your computer. Google chrome shows a segmented wheel as a visual clue of download status. When the segmented wheel shows it has downloaded the entire port guide to your computer, scroll through the pages to confirm they are all there. If pages are missing, repeat the download process.

When you know you have all the pages, save the port guide to your computer hard drive.

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

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

Loading port guides to iPad using iBooks app
      David Shih, Peggy Kugel, and Steve Johnson suggested tips on loading port guides onto iPads:

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, 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
 

List of All Port Guides

Want a list showing all the port guides available?  Want to know if you have the latest versions of  the guides? This issue was brought to my attention by  George Selfridge, Jr.  He suggested I publish a list of all the guides that he could read off line and send to friends as an email attachment.  

I created a file that is a copy of this section of my website.  It's a small pdf file.  Download it and compare the names of the guides you have against the current names of the guides on this list.  Note that the name of the guide contains the date of publication so you can easily spot guides that have been updated.  The list is always current because I update it every month.  

Click here to download the current list of ALL port guides    PortGuideList-09-18-2014.pdf  
 

Port Guides by Country

ARUBA   Aruba Travel Guide & Port Guide
Whether you arrive by cruise ship or plane, this port/travel guide will 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 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.pdf

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.pdf

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.pdf

BERMUDA  Bermuda Port Guide
Bermuda has three cruise ports. The Royal Naval Dockyard port is at the north and "West End" of the island. It has the character of a huge fortress. Hamilton port is in the center of the island. It's the capital city with
many things to see and do. The Town of St George port is at the far east end of the island. It's a UNESCO
World Heritage site with some of the oldest buildings in the New World. Between these three cruise ports,
you'll find a lovely, scenic island with multi-colored pastel buildings, many beaches, champsionship golf
courses, gardens, impressive forts, and many places to explore. Bermuda is expensive! The best way to avoid pricey hotels and restaurants is to book a cruise that docks for two or three days on the island.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.4 MB)  Bermuda-07-31-2014.pdf

BRAZIL  Rio de Janeiro Port Guide
Rio de Janeiro is synonymous with world famous beaches, iconic images of Christ the Redeemer statue,
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.pdf

CANADA  - NOTE New England Port Guides are listed under United States

  Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI)

  There are 2 Guides: 
       1) Charlottetown Driving Tour of Prince Edward Island in a rental car, and
       2) Charlottetown Port Guide
       
Download BOTH Guides; the Driving Tour has maps showing all the sites 

  Charlottetown Driving Tour of Prince Edward Island (PEI)
A rental car is the best, most flexible, and lowest cost shore excursion of Prince Edward Island from a cruise ship. This guide describes 26 Things To See & Do using highly detailed maps, descriptions of the popular tourist sites, driving routes, and GPS coordinates.  With GPS, it's hard to get lost; you can deviate from the route and still find your way. PEI is a scenic, clean island with rolling hills, farms, small towns, fishing villages, lakes, parks, a coastline with sandstone carved by the sea, and much more!  It doesn't get much better as a relaxing, fun place to explore, at your own pace, in a rental car.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (3.9 MB)
CharlottetownDrivingTour-09-24-2014.pdf

  Charlottetown Port Guide - 2014 Revision
Charlottetown is a "perfect" city for a self-guided walking tour.  There are 37 Things To See and Do within a short distance of the cruise ship dock.  It's a picturesque city with well maintained historic buildings, beautiful churches, many shops, excellent restaurants, pubs, a brewery, parks, boardwalks, an art centre, etc.  There are also excursions to 1) Anne of Green Gables and the North seacoast and  2) a ride through scenic farm country to Confederation Bridge and a fishing village.  If you're interested in biking or hiking, there are 250 miles of trails.  You can rent bikes at Founders' Hall near the cruise ship dock.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.7 MB)  Charlottetown-09-18-2014.pdf

  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.pdf

  Halifax Port Guide

Step off your cruise ship onto the boardwalk to explore downtown Halifax   There's a brewery, farmers market, and museum next to the ship. The Historic Citadel, Victorian Gardens, shops, restaurants, 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.pdf

  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 has maps showing all six cruise ship dock locations relative to the tourist sites.  I've included suggested walking routes, bus stops, bus schedules, and descriptions of the tourist sites. The guide also 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.pdf

  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!

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.6 MB)  Saguenay-QC-12-02-2012.pdf

  Saint John, New Brunswick Port Guide - 2014 Revision 
It's a short walk from the cruise ship to the indoor pedestrian walkway to explore shops, restaurants, and many tourist sites.  Use the HopOn bus or share a cab with friends to explore sites around the city.  A rental car is a low cost, self-guided tour around the city and to visit St Martin's Caves. To see the dramatic effect of the highest tides in the world (over 55 feet), take the ship's excursion to Hopewell Rocks Park. You can walk the seafloor around the amazing flowerpot rocks.  The tides are not as high at your cruise ship dock, but you will see dock workers constantly changing the gangway to compensate for movement of your ship.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.8 MB)  SaintJohn-NB-05-30-2014.pdf

  Sydney, Nova Scotia

There are two guides:
1) Sydney, Nova Scotia Port Guide, and
2) Sydney- Cape Breton Island Scenic Driving Tour Guide
Download BOTH Guides; the Driving Tour has maps showing all the sites 

  Sydney, Nova Scotia Port Guide
Sydney is port city for the 4000 sq. mi. 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. There are also excursions to Fortress Louisbourg and 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 GUIDE to your computer (4.4 MB)  Sydney-NS-02-05-2013.pdf

  Sydney- Cape Breton Island Scenic Driving Tour Guide
This rental car driving tour guide is 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.pdf

COLOMBIA  Cartagena, Colombia Port Guide
Cartagena is rich in history; it's a UNESCO world heritage site. The walled city is impressive and 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.pdf            
COSTA RICA  Puerto Caldara and Puntarenas Ports on the Pacific Coast
Costa Rica is an incredibly beautiful, “natural” setting. There is nothing in the port area; take the ship's excursion or a private tour. 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.pdf

CROATIA  Dubrovnik Port Guide
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.pdf

DENMARK  Copenhagen Port Guide
Copenhagen is perfect for a self-guided walking tour. 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.pdf

ENGLAND  Southampton Port Guide
Southampton is one of the largest cruise ports in Europe. Cruise ships never stay overnight. Passengers
disembark in the morning and new passengers embark in the afternoon. Hence, most passengers are interested in travel connections between the port, airports, and train stations via taxi, bus, and rental car. The guide covers travel options in detail. I've also included a description of the port area for those travelers who have time to spend exploring the museums, parks, shopping, pubs, and historic areas of the city.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (2.9 MB)  Southampton-07-16-2014.pdf

FRANCE

  Le Havre Port Guide
Ships dock ~ 2.3 km from center city; take a shuttle bus or cab to the city.  Le Havre was the birthplace for Impressionist Art. The Malraux Museum is excellent. The city has a modernist style architecture using concrete for reconstruction after WWII.  St. Joseph's Church is an architectural masterpiece in concrete. 
Popular tourist sites outside Le Havre are Honfleur = a beautiful village and harbor, Rouen = the city of museums with historic buildings and grand architecture, Bayeux = a world famous tapestry & magnificent cathedral, Normandy =  D-Day Beaches and War Memorials, and Paris = a long, bus ride for a short visit.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.1 MB)   LeHavre-11-20-2013.pdf

  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.pdf

 THE FRENCH RIVIERA

  Cannes-Nice France Port Guide - an Introduction to the French Riviera
This port guide describes 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.
I've included tips for self-guided touring and information on the French train and bus system.

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

  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.pdf

GIBRALTAR, BRITISH CROWN COLONY  Gibraltar Port Guide
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. This 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 dolphin and whale watching.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (4.4 MB)  Gibraltar-02-15-2012.pdf

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 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.pdf

  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
ship terminal.  This guide provides details for a walking tour of Corfu Old Town to see fortresses, palaces, museums, churches, shops, cafes, etc. 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.  There are over 30 beautiful beaches, many villages, resorts, etc. to explore.

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" to your computer (3.7 MB)   Katakolon-Olympia-07-24-2013.pdf

  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.pdf

  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 up the cliff 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.pdf

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 early 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.pdf

ITALY

  Livorno (Florence/Pisa) Port Guide

Livorno is the closest port for Florence and Pisa.  It's a large industrial port, so you'll need transportation to the city via the ship's shuttle bus or a taxi.  Self-guided touring is generally limited to tourist sites close to the port, unless you rent a car.  Considering the complexity of travel connections and travel time from the port, I believe most people take a ship's excursion or private tour to visit Florence (Firenze), Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, Siena or 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.pdf

  Naples & Sorrento Port Guide
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. This guide includes 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. 

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (6.8 MB)  Naples-01-31-2012.pdf

  Rome (Civitavecchia) Port Guide
Civitavecchia is a large industrial port.  You cannot walk through the port, but there are free shuttle buses between your ship and the port gate at the center of town.  If you have extra time, Civitavecchia is a nice town to explore.  It's a short walk from the port gate, along the sea, to the train station. Train stops and stations in Rome are discussed in detail.  The guide covers ten popular tourist sites in Rome plus excursions to Tarquinia, Villa del Marta, Tuscania, Villa Lante, Bolsena, and Orvieto.  The guide has ~ 97 maps, aerial photos, and street level photos with turn-by-turn directions and tips for self-guided touring. It also has links to the "best" websites for information and to download FREE, high resolution maps. 

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide (7.5 MB)  Rome_Civitavecchia_08-07-2012.pdf

  Venice Port Guide
Venice is an amazing, wonderful place to visit for picture perfect views, fantastic shopping, outstanding food, impressive architecture, rich history and art, grand plazas, majestic churches, and more!  It's a short walk from your cruise ship to the "People Mover" monorail for a short ride to Piazzale Roma to begin your self-guided tour.  You can walk and use vaporetto (water buses) to explore the city and the islands.  The guide includes the OFFICIAL tourist map, vaporetto timetables, and tours of Murano and Burano islands.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide to your computer (5.1 MB)  Venice-05-06-2011.pdf

MADEIRA (Funchal) Port Guide - Listed under Portugal

MONACO (Monte Carlo) Port Guide - Listed under FRANCE  The French Riviera

PANAMA CANAL Port Guides - LISTED UNDER:
   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 canal 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.pdf

PRINCESS CAYS Port Guide - Listed under Bahamas

PORTUGAL

  AZORES (Ponta Delgada) Port Guide

It's a short walk from your cruise ship to center city Ponta Delgada.  The Azores are uniquely beautiful volcanic 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.pdf

  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 a map showing ALL electric tram routes and 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.pdf

  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 my preference to explore the island.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide  (5.2 MB)  Funchal-Madeira-03-26-2014.pdf

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.pdf

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.pdf

  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  (4.7 MB)   Cartagena-Spain-08-20-2013.pdf

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.pdf

  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. To help you find the ancient ruins on maps, I've listed GPS coordinates you can copy and paste into Google Maps to find the exact location of the site. I've 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.pdf

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. Ketchikan is the ideal port for independent travel. 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.pdf

  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.pdf

  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 in Joshua Tree National Park. 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.pdf

  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.pdf

  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  (4.1 MB)   BarHarborMaine-08-21-2013.pdf

  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.pdf

  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.pdf

  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 ride around, stop to walk around, and/or tour the mansions. There is also a Cliff Walk National Historic Trail. Wear comfortable walking shoes to visit this area.

Click here to view, print or "save" the guide (3.1 MB)   Newport-Rhode-Island-08-25-2013.pdf

Gaspe Canada Port Guide   COMING SOON ~ November 30, 2014


Copyright 2014 Thomas Sheridan www.TomsPortGuides.com