Mini Cruises Cruise Theme for all Occasions

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One natural consequence of the ever growing popularity of cruises is an ever growing selection of ideas on how to make them different. Mini cruises are just one such idea. A good one, too: you get many of the appealing features of a cruise such as relaxation and a sense of the great blue yonder, combined with those of a short break convenience, economy and ease of access. And in a world where far flung holidays are now the norm, it's surprising how interesting things can be that bit closer to home. It's just a matter of choosing which one to go on. Consult a cruise agent and sites such as for ideas. The options range from a ship the size of Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas (1,800 passengers) to Hebridean Island Cruises' Hebridean Princess (49 passengers). Here are a few to start with.

If the coast of Scotland doesn't immediately spring to mind as the ideal locus for luxury mini cruises, think again. The little Hebridean Princess carries passengers along the area's coast and islands on cruises which last between three and eight days. And when we say luxury, we do mean luxury: the crew to guest rate on this carefully, classically furnished boat is almost one to one. Oban, home of the famous whisky, is an embarkation point, and you may well need a nip or two to stave off the brisk Hibernian air.

Also popular for short UK mini cruises are west France and the Channel Islands particularly Guernsey because its capital, St Peter Port, is a far more picturesque place to sail into than Jersey's St Helier. Legend of the Seas takes in Guernsey and Brest in May 2005. Fred Olsen's small Black Prince, Black Watch and Braemar ships do regular three day runs between European destinations such as Waterford in Ireland, Guernsey, Amsterdam, and Rouen or St Malo in France. Embarkation and debarkation for these trips is at Liverpool, Dover or Southampton. PO's Oriana, Adonia and Aurora ships all provide a 'weekender' cruise between Southampton and Bruges. Adonia is an adults only ship, so it's ideal for a quiet weekend away.