Mention the word ‘cruise’ and many people will automatically think of sailing the high seas for a week or two… or even longer. As lovely as that may sound, sometimes a quick getaway might be all you need.
We’re not talking a day trip or an evening dinner cruise, but a few nights that can still feel like a real holiday. In Australia, that could mean anything from a jaunt around the Kimberleys to a journey from Brisbane to the Whitsundays. Or, if you’re doing a short cruise as part of a longer holiday overseas, it could mean a weekend trip to the Bahamas or a few days cruising around the Baltic or the Med.
Either way, short cruises are designed to be short, sweet and hassle-free. If that doesn’t tempt you enough, here are five other reasons to take a mini-cruise.
New to the world of cruising? A short cruise is a great way to ’dip your toe’ into the water, so to speak.
If you’re tempted by the notion of a cruise but not sure how you’ll react to a trip lasting seven days or longer (“Am I going to suffer from seasickness?” “What will the accommodation be like?” “Will I like the food?”), the best way to get peace of mind is to get some experience first.
Short cruises offer an affordable way for first-timers to sample life on the high seas and learn what to expect on a longer cruise, before actually committing to the expense of one. It gives you the opportunity to try out everything cruising has to offer, without busting your holiday budget – or realising a few hours in that you were not born with sea legs!
If you’re wanting some R&R at sea, but a leisurely week or two on the water is out of the question, a short cruise is an ideal solution for a quick holiday fix.
And if you choose a no-fly mini-cruise close to home you won’t spend precious time getting to your cruise rather than actually being on it. Another bonus is that you’ll get to discover destinations on your doorstep that you might not have visited before – without having to contemplate any long road trips.
If it's money rather than time you're short of, fear not: camping grounds and budget motels are not your only option. With food and accommodation included, a short cruise can be the answer for holidaymakers wanting an affordable getaway that still offers a little luxury.
But they’re also a great option if you want a lot of luxury. By scaling down the duration of your cruise you can scale up the luxe factor and get a taste of the high life – but still without breaking the bank.
Blow your holiday budget on a super-luxe escape over fewer days and the sorts of things you could sign up for include a top suite, butler service, luxurious amenities, complimentary drinks and premier dining.
Even if you're a cruising veteran with loads of days at sea under your belt, you might have only experienced one or two different cruise lines. And just because you loved one doesn't necessarily mean you'll love another – a mini-cruise gives you the ideal opportunity to test the waters and see if you like a different cruise line (or even a destination) before you sign up for the full-blown version.
Short cruises are a great way to celebrate a special event, anniversary or birthday with loved ones, and they’re a great option if you've got a group holiday to plan (especially if groups booking deals are available).
Fun cruises to look out for when planning a special celebration are themed mini-cruises (they cover anything from comedy to food and wine), or Australian short cruises that tie in with special events, such as Melbourne Cup or Australia Day. But even if there’s no theme on your chosen short cruise, there will still be a lot of fun to be had, with bars and restaurants on your cabin doorstop (well, almost) – and no taxis required at the end of the night!