Mini 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.
Compact mini cruises are where it's at, and are floating the boats of more people than ever. We take a look at five 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.
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.
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.
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 of 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 be enjoyed. 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 offer on board, and the music from the Dead Good House Band 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.
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.
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 give you boatloads of entertainment and take you in comfort to some of the most popular destinations in Europe. So, climb on board. The fun's just starting.