The perfect first-timer-friendly mini cruises to Amsterdam, Paris & Hamburg | The Sun10/19/2023
YOU can test whether life at sea is for you without spending a fortune with these first-timer-friendly mini cruises.
The cruises will sail to some of Europe's best destinations in France, Germany and the Netherlands, with prices from £98pp a night.
Why go on a mini cruise?
A mini cruise is a great way to get started, as it provides a taste of the experience without committing to a lengthy journey.
These short cruises are usually just a few days long, making them less intimidating for first-time cruisers.
On top of that, mini cruises are an affordable way to determine whether travelling by cruise suits you and test the waters if you're apprehensive about motion sickness or cabin life.
Who knows, you might even end up like a man who tried a cruise ship holiday and loved it so much he now lives on them after taking his first voyage in September last year.
How to find the right cruise for you
Cruise ships will draw in guests from different backgrounds, so the first tip is to look for a cruise that fits your vibe.
For instance, you should steer clear of a ship designed for relaxing if you want to party late into the night.
Once you've decided which vibe you're going for, find a destination that intrigues you from your nearest departure port, and then define your budget.
When that's all sorted, you'll have to settle on the cruise's duration – some are only weekend-long excursions, while others go for up to a week (we'd recommend going for four or five nights.)
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Lastly, make sure that you have the necessary passport and visas needed to enter your chosen destination.
Which destinations are the best for mini cruises?
Mini cruises from the UK usually sail to a popular European port city.
The most visited destination on cruises from the UK is Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where you'll find picturesque canals, a rich history and plenty of things to explore, including the Anne Frank House, the van Gogh Museum and the famous Dam Square.
Paris is another favourite, thanks to its iconic landmarks and as a shopping destination.
You could visit the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Luxembourg Gardens and enjoy some world-class shopping along the Champs-Élysées after wandering around the city of love.
And if you're in a festive mood, there are also some short Christmas cruises to enjoy this winter.
Germany is the best choice if you're a newbie to Christmas markets, as they originated there more than 500 years ago.
You'll be able to look around the charming booths in towns like Berlin or Hamburg and indulge in some gluhwein or lebkuchen, the country's characteristic Christmas cookies, and mulled wine while shopping for handmade stocking fillers.
The best mini-cruise deals
If you're ready to sail away, many deals are available for under £100pp a night.
- Western Europe with P&O Cruises – from £395pp
Sailing from Southampton, you will stop in Amsterdam (Netherlands) over four nights aboard.
- Western Europe with P&O Cruises- from £424pp
Sailing from Southampton, you will stop in Cherbourg (Norway), Rotterdam (Netherlands), and Zeebrugge (Belgium) over five nights abroad.
- Two-night cruise with Royal Caribbean – from £386pp
Sailing from Southampton, you will stop in Le Havre (France) over two nights abroad
- Celebrity Cruises to Bruges and Amsterdam – from £686pp
Sailing from Southampton, you will stop in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Zeebrugge (Belgium) over four nights abroad
- Two-night cruise with MSC – from £269pp
Sailing from Southampton, you will stop in Saint Peter Port (Guernsey) over two nights abroad.
- Five-night Northern Europe cruise with MSC – from £499pp
Sailing from Southampton, you will stop in Amsterdam, Cork, and Falmouth over five nights aboard
- Festive Market Getaway with Ambassador Cruises – from £399pp
Sailing from Tilbury, you will stop in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Zeebrugge (Belgium) over four nights aboard
For more beach holiday deals, we've rounded up the best autumn and winter holidays with ‘guaranteed sun’ that are also great value.
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