Cruising is an increasingly popular holiday option with British holidaymakers. In fact, a recent survey showed that over 70% of Travelzoo subscribers had either been on a cruise or were considering booking their first.
For those who are new to cruising, however, booking a sailing of seven nights or more is a big commitment, of both time and money. And mini cruises are the answer.
Mini, taster, party cruises… The operators have come up with many names for sailings from one to five nights long. They are ideal for a short break or just to discover what cruising is all about. Prices generally start around £199 per person for a one or two nights and go up to about £449 per person for a 4- or 5-night escape.
So what can you expect? Many of these short voyages will depart from a UK port, so you just have to arrive at the ship and embark. Your accommodation and all meals will be included in the price. The ship will sail to a port within a short distance of the UK. Zeebrugge (for Bruges), Le Havre (for Paris), St Peter Port (Guernsey), Ijmuiden (for Amsterdam) and Antwerp (Belgium) are the most popular destinations.
The price will also give you access to most of the facilities and include daytime activities and evening entertainment. However, you will have to pay a supplement to dine at some of the speciality restaurant and for any extras like spa treatments.
If you’re based in the south of England, Southampton (for Cunard, P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean), London Tilbury (for Cruise & Maritime Voyages), Harwich and Dover (both for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines) are the main departure points. If these ports are not convenient, Fred. Olsen also offers departures from Belfast, Greenock and Liverpool, and Cruise & Maritime Voyages has sailings from Leith, Bristol, Liverpool and Greenock.
Because the operators know these products are the first port of call for non-cruisers, they regularly release very appealing offers including discounts, free onboard credit and cabin upgrades. It pays off to check Travelzoo and the cruise lines’ sites regularly to find the best deals.
Have we tempted you properly? Have a look at our mini cruise offers.