Cruises have a bit of a reputation for being the exclusive domain of the rich, famous, or elderly - but not anymore. The Telegraph last year reported a continued increase in demand for cruise holidays, with construction underway on ships to accommodate a further 60,000 passengers from 2013 to 2016. It’s easy to see why - a traditional luxury resort holiday can feel boring, while many globetrotters complain of discomfort and stress hopping from city to city. A cruise holiday combines the best elements of both.
Mini cruises then, can be seen as the ultimate compromise to a city break, packing international travel into a week or weekend. CruiseDeals recommend them for families on school holidays as well as couples or single holidaymakers, looking to relax and have fun while also having the option to do plenty of sightseeing. Most holidaymakers on mini-cruises use them as a way of testing the waters for further holidays, as the short duration and low cost is used by cruise companies as an incentive to attract beginners. It’s a successful strategy - another Telegraph article reports that many of these first-time customers return for longer stays in the future.
In terms of location, most short cruises departing from the UK will do short tours of Europe - the Western Med, Scandinavia, Ireland, France and Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, and Spain. For two to four nights’ duration, you can enjoy lively entertainment, fine dining, and luxurious cabins, while by day you’ll explore a brand new area. Based on the routes, you can choose whether you want a city break or a quiet country retreat, engaging in sightseeing or sports. A more practical benefit of these destinations is insurance - citizens of EU member states are easily covered by a EuropeanHealth Insurance Card, so if anything were to go wrong, your medical treatment is covered.
One of the more unique points of a mini cruise is the variety available, where you can tailor it to suit your family holiday or as a romantic couples’ getaway. There are even options for party cruises - particularly popular among hen and stag parties, or for birthday surprises. The on-board entertainment and facilities are designed appropriately for each ‘type’ of cruise, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting anything.
The main advantage of a mini-cruise, unlike other holidays, is the convenience factor. Travellers who want to see lots but have precious little time can pack plenty into a short trip, while the resort-like on board service saves travellers the hassle of moving from hostel to hostel.