Is there any better feeling than leaving the office on a Friday afternoon, work shirt off – jeans on, overnight bag slung over your shoulder and the faint grin of smug excitement firmly rooted in place? Short breaks often mean cosmopolitan cities, spa retreats and ivy-strewn country houses, but we’ve got a better option for you and it combines all of these and more.
It’s time to trade the mini break for a mini cruise and here are five great reasons why.
A MINI CRUISE IS BETTER VALUE FOR MONEY
The average cost of a 3 or 4-night short cruise from Southampton with someone like P&O Cruises, Cunard or Fred Olsen hovers around £100 per person per night. This includes your transport, accommodation, dining in a variety of amazing restaurants, kid’s clubs and evening entertainment. Compare this to the cost of flights, transfers to the city centre, hotel accommodation, transport around the city, meals throughout the day, activities…the list goes on and the cost quickly spirals. That £100 a day doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
IT’S A GREAT WAY TO TEST THE WATERS
If you’ve always fancied cruising but never quite given it a go, it’s probably because you’ve heard some of the most common cruise misconceptions over the years; it’s only for old people, it’s too expensive or I’ll be really seasick. A short cruise is the perfect opportunity to dip a toe in the water, so to speak, before taking the plunge with a longer holiday. Within a couple of hours you’ll realise that the cruise critics were wrong all along; there’s a great bunch on board, families and young couples included, there’s no sign of seasickness and you’ve already tucked in to the best meal you’ve ever had at sea, which tasted even better when you remembered it was included in your fare.
YOU CAN SHARE THE FUN WITH THE WHOLE FAMILY
Unlike the traditional mini break, a short cruise isn’t just for the grown-ups if you choose a family-friendly cruise line like MSC Cruises. A traditional mini break means days spent wandering cities – hard work for little legs! A mini cruise on the other hand is far more fun. Kid’s clubs are included in your short cruise fare and today’s ships have some seriously cool features; surf simulators, climbing walls, video arcades, DJ decks, pirate ship splash pools, cookery schools, zip lines, water slides, dodgems – the list is long enough to see the word ‘bored’ banished for eternity. While the kids are running wild in the kid’s clubs and the teens are off making new mates by the pool, mum and dad can finally do everything they never get the chance to do at home, including catching up over lunch, indulging with a day in the spa and afternoon tea, watching that new-release in the cinema or lazing in the pool. Come evening, once you’ve finally enticed the kid’s to join you for some family time, you can catch a show as a family and tuck into some great grub that pleases everyone – how often does that happen at home!
Unlike a family short break, family short cruises are great value too, thanks to often largely reduced rates for babies, toddlers and children travelling as 3rd or 4th passengers.
YOU’LL SEE MORE IN ONE TRIP
Even the biggest chocoholic will grow tired of the sweet scent of chocolate drenched waffles in Bruges after a while! Whilst a city break gives you more time to explore a single destination, a short cruise lets you see more destinations in one single trip – as many as three ports in one 4-night cruise! Short cruises with Fred Olsen tend to combine the Normandy countryside with Parisian city chic, whilst P&O Cruises often bring together the medieval city of Bruges with the prettiest port in the Channel Islands, St Peter’s Port, amongst others.
If you’re worried about not having enough time to explore each destination, don’t be; you’ll arrive into port early in the morning and won’t leave until late evening.
THE SHIP IS AS MUCH A DESTINATION AS THE PORTS
The beauty of a mini cruise, especially this summer’s new staycation cruises, is that they promise even more time to experience everything a ship has to offer. It’s impossible to see it all in just a couple of days but time spent at sea means time to try out some of the dining options, have a dip in the pool, catch a live band or cheeky comedian (oh how we’ve missed live gigs!), grab a drink or two and hit the theatre for some entertainment before bed. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself waxing lyrical about the ship even more than you do the ports once you’re back at your desk on Tuesday!
Have we persuaded you to ditch the mini break and book a short cruise instead? Let us know where you’ll be heading! This summer’s season of staycation sailings from Southampton are first on our list. Find out more here.