Viator takes on cruise lines with shore excursion transport pledgeNewsBy Dennis Schaal | November 15, 2010Share This article was originally published on Viator expanded its shore-excursion offerings in 40 destinations and pledges to transport customers to their ship's next port of call if the activity doesn't get the passenger back to the ship before it departs.With the introduction of its Worry-free Shore Excursions in popular ports from St. Thomas to Istanbul, Viator says it offers an "attractive alternative to the often pricey tours provided by the cruise line...""Viator has worked hard to ensure each Worry-free Shore Excursion will enable passengers to return to the ship on time," the company says. "In those rare circumstances where passengers miss their departure, the traveler will be transferred to the ship's next port-of-call courtesy of Viator."Of course, if passengers miss the departure because they decided to stop in a local saloon after the shore excursion or spend a couple of hours perusing jewelry shops, then that's another story. When it is not the passengers' fault, Viator will provide the transportation, worth up to $1,000, to the next port of call. The terms and conditions of the pledge are here in section 21.Viator's Worry-free Shore Excursions also are included in its Low Price Guarantee, another competitive challenge to cruise lines.Between the price guarantee and the transport pledge, Viator really is giving cruise passengers a reason to book their shore activities with Viator and independent of the cruise line.Consumers looking to book a shore excursion from Viator, which specializes in the panalopy of in-destination activities, can view them on Viator's Cruise Port Pages.A display about a St. Lucia Catamaran Day Sale, for example, includes a price calendar, recent photos of the 8-hour tour, user reviews and, of course, the ability to book the activity.If the sailing takes longer than expected or there are other delays beyond the control of the cruise passenger, Viator pledges to get passengers to the next port if they missed the boat.