On our recent Panama Canal cruise, we had a day in Puerto Vallarta, and opted for a once-in-a-lifetime shore excursion--to swim with sea lions!
I should get something off the table right now. These were not sea lions that had been taken from the wild for the sole purpose of entertaining tourists. The facility was a marine mammal rescue facility, where they would take sick, orphaned or injured animals, rehabilitate them, and then return them to the wild. However, occasionally, there were animals that couldn't be released, for various reasons. For example, maybe they couldn't hunt for themselves. Those animals became part of an educational program where visitors (like us!) were able to interact with them.
And we had a total blast!
Yeah! So, does that look like fun, or what? And considering how a sea lion (necessarily) in captivity needs to be engaged, to burn calories and to have a good quality of life, we were happy to be part of that process.
But the other thing to consider is that this we booked this as an excursion on a major premium cruise line--Princess Cruises, to be specific. Princess has partnered with Discovery Channel/Animal Planet to offer shore excursions that are particularly immersive, especially in regard to wildlife and animal interactions.
So, if you've got the idea that a cruise can't provide opportunities to have this kind of crazy fun (and legit) experience--well, we beg to differ. But even if you want to fly there and do this, we can make that happen for you, as well. Whether you're cruising, touring, or resorting, we can put this in the mix for you.