Amazing cruise excursions.

This is a really interesting article done by Time & Leisure about some amazing cruise ship excursions.  I’d highly suggest clicking on the link and flipping through the pages; there are 7 other excursions I didn’t mention below.  A few of my favorite ones are:

1.  Snorkel with Sea Dragons: Australia

One of the most unusual creatures of the sea is found only off the coasts of southern Australia. Not quite a sea horse and not quite a fish, the mysterious sea dragon—which can grow up to 18 inches long—was named for its resemblance to the mythical creature and often escapes perception by the human eye. Squint hard—they’re often mistaken for seaweed swaying in the undertow, thanks to their leafy camouflage.

Where to Book: Available through the Holland America Line; $167 to $199 on fall itineraries passing through Melbourne.

2.  Take a Helicopter Tour: Hong Kong and Dubai

The scene has become an action movie cliché: a deafening chopper drops down from the heights of a soaring skyscraper, narrowly dodging enemy fire. And just when you think you’re in the clear…Boom! Crash landing! Okay, cruise lines won’t let you re-create the scene frame by frame, but you can still get in on the action. In Hong Kong, a twin-engined copter takes off from the rooftop helipad of the Peninsula Hotel for a dramatic swoop over the Kowloon skyline and Victoria Harbour, while a “flightseeing” tour of Dubai surveys the desert coast before touching down at the suspended helipad at the iconic Burj Al Arab.

Where to Book: Yachts of Seabourn offers the excursion year-round in Hong Kong on its East Asian itineraries ($399) and in Dubai on its spring and fall Middle East voyages ($699).

3.  Swim with Sharks: South Africa

Thanks to Jaws, the great white shark has earned a reputation as one of the ocean’s most vicious predators. This journey starts off innocently enough, with a tranquil 20-minute sail from Kleinbaai harbor, southeast of Cape Town, but takes a menacing turn near Dyer “shark alley” Island. Dive-cage operators will lower you into the waters in a five-man steel cage, throwing out ground sardines to lure the beasts, who may swim up close enough for views of their razor-sharp teeth.

Where to Book: Crystal Cruises, on a 19-day cruise from Mumbai to Cape Town, embarking March 29, 2011; $448.

4.  Brave the Elements with Penguins: Antarctica

An extreme landscape of frigid cold and biting winds, the White Continent is home to only the hardiest of survivors. Among them: adélie, chinstrap, and gentoo penguins. The daylong trek to the remote King George Island is an adventure in itself: a seven-seater plane traverses the Strait of Magellan, Tierra del Fuego Island, and the jagged Darwin Mountains, before shooting south another 620 miles to Frei Base, a scientific research station on the penguins’ island of residence.

Where to Book: With Silversea Cruise, on the Silver Whisper’s South American itineraries, departing from the port of call of Punta Arenas, Chile; $4,999.

5.  Fly a Soviet MiG: Russia

What better way to channel your inner James Bond than an exhilarating whirl in a Soviet jet fighter? The adventure takes off at the Sormovo Air Base, on the outskirts of the historic Nizhny Novgorod; after a physical exam and flight instruction, you’ll strap on a helmet for a skyward journey up to the dizzying speed of 1,536 mph (or twice the speed of sound). The rewards of your mission, if you choose to accept it: a flight certificate and breathtaking—but blurry—views of the Russian countryside.

Where to Book: Crystal Cruises operates MiG tours from St. Petersburg on summertime Baltic cruises. The two-day package costs $45,999, including round-trip transportation to Moscow, overnight hotel accommodations, and a full-day sightseeing tour.

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