How to make the most of a short cruise

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Couple on Christmas market cruise

You don’t need to book two weeks off of work to enjoy a cruise holiday. The delights of Europe and the British Islesare ready for you to discover thanks to the wide selection of mini cruises on offer.

Now all you need is less than a week and sometimes just a few days to escape to Hamburg, Antwerp, the Norwegian Fjords, and many more destinations. Cruise holidays really are for everyone with these short breaks that allow you to choose from a relaxing getaway or a whirlwind city break.

With so much to see, taste and experience, how do you fit it all into just a few days? To ensure you have the best cruise possible, let us walk you through everything you need to do to really enjoy your short cruise holiday.

Plan and prepare

Woman using laptop

Creating a detailed, meticulous plan can often take the fun out of things. But we accept that it is a very important part of making the most of a short cruise. 

What makes planning a short cruise easier is knowing that you won't have to travel a long way to get to your ship. As we sail from a range of regional ports around the UK, whether you want to cruise from Liverpool or start your cruise holiday in Newcastle, you can.

READ ALSO: Why you should book a mini cruise

Research your destination

Research your ports and research what you can do in the time you have there. Short cruises can be a great way to tick a few items off of your bucket list, so long as you have a good idea of how to get there and how long it will take. Sometimes with such time restraints, you may have to compromise on a few things, but that can leave you with a concise idea of seeing the very best of your destination.

Pre-book things

Your cruise will give you the chance to pre-book certain things such as shore excursions. This is something you should jump on. It is just another process to ensure that you are going to do everything you want on your holiday.

Be flexible

Before you head off on your short cruise, you will already have a good idea of what you want to see and do, but you cannot prepare for falling in love with one place in particular. You can easily be caught up in a coffee shop, in a bar, restaurant or an attraction that you enjoy so much that the day passes you by before you know it. This is not a problem. Why should it be? You’re just having fun.

Alternatively, something might be closed or full, meaning you cannot get in and do what you wanted to do. This is also not a problem. Just move on to something else. Be willing to change your plans at the last minute and even just be willing to relax on your cruise ship if you have decided that you are actually in need of some R&R.

READ ALSO: Lesser-known cruise destinations

Accept that you are not going to see everything

Hamburg Christmas market

This doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the best sights, however. As long as you have planned to see the things that you actually want to then you can have a very fulfilling holiday in a short space of time. Prioritise and use this as an opportunity to decide whether you want to come back to a destination on a more extensive visit in the future.

The key to a short cruise is knowing what you want, Think about if you want to spend your time relaxing or if you want to see all the sites. You can maximise your time by arriving to the port as early as possible and also by researching the ports of call before your cruise begins so you can decide what you are interested in.

Choose between the ship or the destination

When you book a short cruise holiday you will typically have your place on a small to mid-sized ship – Ambience is classed as a small ship, for example. This means you have the joys of an intimate experience while still having your choice of entertainment and dining options. It does also mean you will be able to see much more of the vessel than on one of the bigger ships. But this is where timing becomes an issue. You may have booked your mini cruise to relax and unwind, which makes staying on board and enjoying all that the ship has to offer your prerogative. Or you could be looking for a weekend break to see the sights of a new city. Either way, you can’t really have the best of both worlds.

Particularly if your trip is only two or three days, you just don’t have the time to really embrace both. This points back to what we said in our planning and preparation section. If you know that your cruise is visiting a destination you particularly want to see, then you can set about making a checklist of sights.

Woman exploring city

It only takes a moment to fall in love with a new place. One bite of the local dish, a drink in a bar, a visit to a famous attraction or simply interacting with the people. And it will only take a few days on a short cruise to appreciate this practical and enriching way to see more of the world over the course of a couple of days.

Be sure to be flexible, plan, prepare and you will be able to really make the most of a short break, such as a Christmas markets cruise or Mediterranean cruises. Or, why not browse our late cruise deals and see about going away sooner than you think?

Discover all of the cruise destinations visited by Ambassador Cruise Line and head to our blog page for more tips, guides, and advice.