Themed Holidays

Top 4 mini cruises from the UK… and 4 longer trips

Ferries are popular - 4.2 billion people take one every year. That's about the same as for planes. But how about using a ferry as a means of travel that's great fun in itself? Get on board with mini cruises.

 - 12 Min Read
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Top 4 mini cruises from the UK… and 4 longer trips
  • There are some great mini cruises to be had right now, taking you to some favourite European cities.
  • Onboard entertainment of the highest quality is on offer, together with great dining and duty-free shopping.
  • The chance to spend the day in a city like Amsterdam, with coach transfers there and back, is a great draw.
  • Mini Cruise deals from P&O Ferries are available right now - don't miss out!

Mini cruises: FAQs

  • What companies do mini cruises?

    A number of cruise lines operate them, with departures from Southampton and various other ports on offer. P&O Ferries offer a range of mini cruises, from weekend getaways to themed experiences.

  • Can you do a 3 day mini cruise?

    P&O Ferries Mini Cruises are three-day trips, with two nights on board, with entertainment and food and drink on offer. The middle day is spent on a trip to Amsterdam or Rotterdam, with coach transfers there and back. The seasoned cruiser will find much to enjoy on one of these short breaks, whether it's the fantastic facilities on board or the attractions of two of Europe's best cities.

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Cruises are huge right now.

Don't have the time or the money for a massive meander somewhere distant on board a boat that's so big it's basically a floating metropolitan area? We have the answer. What are you after? Exciting destinations? Check. Convenient departure points? Check? Entertainment en route? Comfortable cabins? Fabulously inexpensive? Check, check, check.

And we're not just focusing on quick getaways. Whether you're into brief escapes or longing for longer journeys, our cruises cater to all preferences. We take a look at some of the best. Ready? Quick - we're about to depart.

1. 80s mini cruise to Amsterdam

Ah, remember that golden era of big hair, big money, and big, big phones? Is your favourite Ferry called Bryan? You'll have a blast on this voyage back into the decade that moderation forgot. Even if you're plainly too young to have lived through this time of teenage tumult and terrific tunes, you'll love this P&O Ferries onboard eighties evocation, departing Hull on Sat 25th November.

As Frankie had it back in the day, Welcome to the Pleasuredome. Within, you'll encounter music wafted from way back when, in the shape of 80s bangers brought to you by covers supremos The Breakfast Club. That's not all. 

There's also a titanic teenybopper turn courtesy of From Gold to Rio, who bash out the best Spandau and Duran Duran covers on Planet Earth - True! (Talking of Duran, it's always seemed a shame that the boys didn't think to book a ticket on a Rio ferry, instead of having to struggle with sailing that yacht themselves. Maybe next time, fellas).

But even that's not all. If we said that the final act was a bit of a Karma Chameleon, and It's a Miracle that you'll be able to spend some time with him on board, you might have already guessed that we're in Boy George territory. That's right - we'll have one of the leading BG tribute acts in the shape of the one and only Liam Halewood, inviting us all to join his Culture Club.

Journeys to Glory

We haven't even touched yet on where you're going. Once you wake refreshed from a night in one of P&O Ferries’ comfortable air-conditioned cabins, you'll be taken by coach to one of the UK's premier city-break destinations, Amsterdam. You can spend the whole day capering along the canals, Rembrandting-it at the Rijksmuseum, and having unreached parts of you refreshed at the Heineken brewery. Then back to the boat for more 80s excess.

Yes, yes, you may be thinking to yourself. That's all great, but am I missing anything? Is There Something I Should Know? Yes, there is—the price. Unlike the 80s themselves, affordability is a watchword here: it's only £99 per person for the entire trip. As mini cruise deals go, that's Gold.

Book your 80s mini cruise to Amsterdam with P&O Ferries today!

2. Harry vs Bruno mini cruise

What's that? Harry Carpenter and Frank Bruno? Knockout! Oh, sorry - still stuck in the 80s there for a second. OK, a mini cruise with Harry Styles and Bruno Mars tribute acts? Even better! What could be more fun than a two-night mini break to Amsterdam, serenaded there and back with tunes from two of the biggest entertainers in history?

What we have here, first off, is America's own JJ Gibson, belting out the Bruno hits with a frenzy of funk and a storm of soul. After a non-stop Finesse and 24K Magic, we guarantee you won't feel like you've been Locked Out of Heaven. Then there's only blooming Harry Styles - well, the next best thing, in the shape of Harry Styled (great name), AKA Kofi Taylor, who gives it full Hazzer Magic, with nothing but Golden stuff throughout.

Night Changes

After an evening spent partying with this calibre of entertainment, you'll be ready for a rest, and your air-conditioned cabin awaits, where you can snooze the passage away as the ferry makes its way to the continent. The next day, the coach transfers you to Amsterdam, where culture and leisure activities abound, and where you can spend the day exploring all this renowned city of stories and song has to offer.

But it's not just One Direction you get to go in, no sir. You get to come back, too. At the end of the day, your coach will bring you back to the ferry, and it's full speed ahead with Harry and Bruno once again. One way another, you're bound to hear The Best Song Ever.

Starting at only £119 per person, tickets are likely to be snapped up for this, so book early for this mini cruise that departs on 8th December.

Book your Harry vs Bruno mini cruise with P&O Ferries today!

3. Classic Christmas mini cruise to Amsterdam

'Tis the season to be jolly well on a ferry to Amsterdam, and this is the Christmas way to do it. Two nights on board, with Christmas music and party vibes, plus a day in Amsterdam? Yes, please!

So, if you love trad Christmas songs delivered with class and style, you'll love the Rosa Belles, a harmony trio who will fan the festive flames with seasonal stylings and tunes to get your merry moves a-busting. Also confirmed for this mini cruise is Adam Brown, a hugely popular and talented Michael Buble tribute act, who will entertain you with a range of festive and non-festive classics. After all the dancefloor delights those jingling Belles will be throwing your way, you'll be glad for a rest, and your comfortable cabin will be only steps away, all the better to recover in time for the big trip the next day.

Christmas shopping in style

Amsterdam, with its festive decorations and Christmas markets awaits, and you get to spend the day there, transported there and back in coach-driven comfort.

Then, at the end of the day, you set sail back to Blighty with more Christmas capers to enjoy. And after one more egg nog for the road (well, shipping lane), you can make your way to a well-earned night's rest in your cabin.

Almost forgot - you can stock up on duty-free on board, so that's a bunch of presents sorted! Tickets start at only £89 per person, and the fun starts on 13th December. So, have yourselves a ferry little Christmas. Sorry.

4. Hulloween mini cruise to Rotterdam

Prepare to join the voyage of the damned! (The Rotterdamned.) If you want some serious seagoing scares, then this exciting excursion will thrill you down to your bones. Live music, interactive frights from twisted circus performers, and a zombie flash mob, all while you chug your way to the earthly delights of one of the most entertaining cities in Europe, Rotterdam.

Ghouls (and boys) of all ages will love the family-suitable scares on board, and the Dead Good House Band music will keep everyone vamping it up on the dancefloor and lurching from one move to the next. Then, when it's time to return to their rest, your cackling crew can sleep the night away in their comfy cabin.

Trip hazards!

The next day, you'll be spirited away to Rotterdam, where you can have a bear scare or two at Rotterdam Zoo, then scale the terrifying heights of Euromast, before seeing something reassuringly small in Miniworld.

Then it's back for more terror in transit as you deal with a night of fright back on board your return ferry. And the price? Nothing to be scared of - it starts at £99 per person. Departs from Hull on 29th October.

5. Spring in Southern Ireland

The untamed beauty of Southern Ireland can seem a world away from our overcrowded section of the British Isles, but it only takes a short jaunt aboard, and you’re there among the Craggy Island-like landscape that has delighted so many travellers for years beyond measure. 

This Emerald Isle mini-cruise from Saga takes you on the Spirit of Discovery from Portsmouth harbour, with its bustling dockyard and flotilla of pleasure craft dotted around the glorious Solent, westward round past the tip of Cornwall, across to the unrivalled beauty of County Cork. 

There, you’ll land at Bantry Bay, which sounds about as Robert Louis Stevenson as it’s possible to get without involving a parrot. After this, you get to travel to the charming seaside town of Cobh, renowned for its gaily coloured houses and the majestic St Colman’s Cathedral, which really cuts the mustard. From there, you can pop over to Blarney Castle, get yourself a gab upgrade, or pull out the stoppers and take an excursion to the city of Cork.

Then it’s back to Portsmouth. While afloat, you’ll be entertained by the Motown Legends Temptations tribute act Masterpiece. What’s more, you can enjoy fine dining aboard at one of four fabulous restaurants, which is all included in the price. There’s also a library, a spa and an outdoor terrace. Finally, every bedroom on the Spirit of Discovery has its own balcony. 

6. River-Cruise in Burgundy and Provence

OK, this one involves a flight, but that’s so that you can start enjoying your river-cruise all the quicker. You’ll fly from a London airport to the wondrous city of Nice (a place as pleasant as it sounds), where you’ll then travel to Arles where you’ll transfer to your cabin aboard the SS Catherine or one of her sister Uniworld ships. 

From there, you’ll drift gloriously through the majesty of Provence, taking in the sights of Avignon, Tournon and Lyon. You’ll spend leisurely hours luxuriating aboard your boat, enjoying all-inclusive meals and refreshments, as well as having the chance to participate in six shore explorations, including historic towns, countryside and even the chance to kayak under a Roman aqueduct.

This Flight Centre River Cruise in Burgundy and Provence offers a good deal of customisation, so you can add various elements to suit you. After seven days of tailor-made heaven, you’ll fly back refreshed and totally blown away by the sights you’ve been lucky enough to enjoy. 

Book your Flight Centre River Cruise in Burgundy and Provence today!

7. English Sites and European Delights

This Virgin Voyage is a terrific option if you fancy a quick blast of southern European sun but want to be back inside for a week. And you don’t have to bother with any airport stress either! 

The English Sites and European Delights mini-cruise takes holidaymakers on the exciting sounding Scarlet Lady, out from Portsmouth across the Bay of Biscay down to the Spanish seaport of A Coruna on the Galician coast. There you’ll discover a fascinating and historic region, including in its highlights the Tower of Hercules, which is a Roman lighthouse, no less.

From there, you’re taken to Bilbao, the culture-rich city famous for its Guggenheim Museum. Then it’s onward and over the border to the French city of Bordeaux, where you can load up on the local libations, before returning to Portsmouth, replete with memories and something for the wine rack. 

The Scarlet Lady offers terrific comfort, fine dining, and a swimming pool on deck, so you can get your strokes in without having to take the plunge overboard.

Book your Travelodeal English Sites and European Delights mini-cruise today!

8. A Taste of the Rhine

Have you ever wondered why so many people go cruising on the Rhine? Here’s a chance to grab a sample of what everyone’s been enjoying all this time, which will enable you to hit the highlights in the space of just five days. 

Saga’s A Taste of the Rhine takes you from Utrecht aboard the well-appointed Spirit of the Rhine, which will host a welcome drinks reception and a farewell dinner and provide all-inclusive meals and refreshments throughout. 

So, it’s down this celebrated river to your first stop - Dusseldorf. After enjoying the many attractions of this diverse city, you can relax and take in the magnificently rocky riverside scenery of the Middle Rhine Gorge. 

You’ll get the opportunity to explore such contrasting areas as the winemaking town of Rudesheim together with Bonn, the capital of West Germany during the Cold War (as well as Beethoven’s birthplace). 

Then it’s back to Dusseldorf and the return journey to the UK. Transit to and from is via Eurostar, so fabulously straightforward and super-comfortable. 

Book your Saga A Taste of the Rhine mini-cruise today!

Mini is magical

Harbour no doubts about it - voyages like these are serious fun, and there are mini cruise breaks out there that are ideal for you, whatever you're into. From nights of nostalgia to a scare-filled floating frightfest, P&O Ferries Mini Cruises gives you boatloads of entertainment and takes you to some of the most popular destinations in Europe in comfort. So, climb on board. The fun's just starting.

Image Credit: P&O Ferries at P&O Ferries

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