Holland America shore excursions typically last three to four hours for a half day tour and eight to 10 hours for a full day's tour. There are some shorter evening or special interest tours lasting between one and two hours, while longer tours lasting from 12 to 48 hours or more, can include overnight stays on shore. For example, excursions from Halong Bay, Vietnam, include three-hour cruise and cave visits, and tours of Hanoi lasting up to 14 hours.
Examples of very short Holland America shore excursions include a 75-minute Viking Adventure tour of Dublin, Ireland inside an amphibious vehicle, and a 90-minute Iceland's Quirky Quaffs excursion that involves touring the country's oldest brewery and tasting some unusual beverages.
An example of a longer tour is a two-day excursion from Egypt's Port Said to the capital city of Cairo that includes a visit to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Travelers then rejoin their cruise ship at Alexandria.
HollandAmerica.com lists all shore excursions that operate from each of its cruise ports together with approximate duration, price range, the number of meals included and guidance about participants' fitness levels. A colored stamp helps identify the different category of excursion. For example, the blue Encore Collection is designed for travelers who have visited a place before and are seeking new and different experiences and the yellow World Wonders Collection covers natural and architectural wonders.