Scenic Tours, which offers nearly all-inclusive Europe river cruises, recently announced it will be rolling out GPS-led port tours in various locations. That means it could be significantly easier for passengers to sightsee independently at their own pace — without getting lost or spending money on private tours.
We think it’s a novel concept, and it got us wondering which other handy-dandy tools might be useful for navigating through port on our own. We’ve come up with three that we think are worth a look.
GPS Apps: The first step is getting there. You can’t swim, shop, eat, sightsee or do much of anything until you know where you’re headed. If your smartphone or tablet doesn’t already have GPS capability and you’re not cruising with lines like Scenic Cruises that offer such technology, consider adding an app like Waze, which is available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and several other devices.
Mobile Tours and Travel Guides: There’s a lot to be said for ship-sponsored tours, but sometimes they can be crowded, and it can often be difficult to hear your guide. Mobile tours are a great alternative in many locations abroad. You can download them to your iPod right from the iTunes store and use them to lead you through museums and other historical places. Want to hike in Yosemite or walk the Freedom Trail in Boston? If you’re staying in the U.S., consider downloadable travel guides from sites like EveryTrail; the guides are available for iPhone and Android.
Find-a-Toilet Apps: We all know how annoying it can be when nature calls and you’re in unfamiliar territory. Download an app to your smartphone, and voila — problem solved. Find Toilets can help you locate facilities in many locations abroad. Do take note that some countries have a larger number of listings than others, so be sure to do your research before downloading. For bathrooms in the U.S., check out the SitOrSquat app from Charmin. Both are available for iPhone and Android.
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