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P&O Mini Cruise: Why These Short Holidays Should Be on Your List

Kerry Spencer

Mar 17, 2023

Read time
3 min read

A P&O mini cruise is a short-break voyage departing from Southampton to destinations such as France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. A mini cruise is considered five nights or less. Some have even been known to operate for just one night -- though they don't go very far. Currently, P&O Cruises offers short sailings from three nights.

P&O mini cruises can be booked last minute or up to two years out and these no-fly voyages make for a fantastic alternative to a weekend away in the UK or a European city break. The great news is that P&O Cruises operates short-break cruises on all but Azura. Though if that's your preferred ship, consider booking Ventura, as the two are sisters.

Here's why P&O mini cruises should be on your list for a short getaway.

If You're a First Time Cruiser, A P&O Mini Cruise is a Good Way to Test the Water

If you're cruise curious, but don't want to commit the time and money to a longer sailing, a P&O mini cruise is a wonderful solution. Discover if cruising is for you by plumping for a three-, four- or five-night getaway to exciting destinations such as Zeebrugge, Belgium, and Le Havre, France.

Our tip is to research the ship to make sure you book the right P&O mini cruise at the right time of year for you. Arvia, for example, P&O Cruises' newest ship, has a high-ropes and mini-golf course, a multiplex cinema, luxury spa, multiple pools and live music. It's family-friendly and you can expect more kids onboard during holiday periods. If the ship appeals, but not the kids, go for a sailing during school term time, or opt for a sailing on Arcadia or Aurora, which are adults-only vessels.

Book a P&O Mini Cruise if You're Looking for a Short Break with Home Comforts

P&O Cruises offers home comforts galore. There is Indian cuisine at Sindhu -- albeit a little fancier than your typical takeaway. Cabins are equipped with kettles and a selection of tea and coffee so you can enjoy your morning brew first thing. If your short cruise is during the Premier League season or events such as Wimbledon, you can expect matches to be screened onboard at Brodie's pub, where patrons can enjoy a cold pint with pork scratchings, peanuts and crisps.

There's more: afternoon tea, HP sauce, roast dinners and fish and chips, all while getting the chance to explore exciting destinations across the English Channel.

A P&O Mini Cruise is a Great Alternative to a Staycation

When you consider that a three-night stay at a comparative four-star hotel in London, the New Forest, Cotswolds, Lake District or at a Center Parcs location, you're likely to find a cruise fare more competitive.

For example, a three-night sailing on Arcadia to Belgium costs from £379 per person based on two sharing a cabin (so £758 per cabin), while a three-night stay at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, London, costs £888 per room, based on a room-only stay. With a P&O mini cruise, travellers get all meals, nightly theatre shows and the ship's action-packed activities programme included. When you consider the cost of meals out in London, West End shows and tickets to major attractions, a cruise offers greater added value.

You Could Spend the Night in Amsterdam on a P&O Mini Cruise

One of the many great things about P&O Cruises' short-break voyages is the opportunity to spend the night in Amsterdam. Three P&O Cruises vessels offer short trips to Amsterdam: Ventura, Arcadia, Aurora. If you want to indulge in the city's world-beating museums and quaint neighborhoods, before enjoying a late-night supper or cocktails and live music at a local spot, you can -- before returning to the comfort of your cruise cabin.

A P&O Mini Cruise Offers the Chance to Visit Dazzling European Christmas Markets

For an authentic Christmas market experience -- think wooden chalets, warm Gluhwein and currywurst -- mainland Europe's festivities are superlative. Though sailings aren't labelled as "Christmas market" voyages, multiple P&O mini cruises are available to Bruges, Amsterdam and even Hamburg during December, offering the perfect chance to explore some of Europe's best Christmas markets.

You could even opt for a special New Year cruise to join a Black Tie gala dinner before watching a spectacular fireworks display from your cruise ship balcony on New Year's Eve.

A P&O Mini Cruise is the Ideal Opportunity to Discover Guernsey in the Channel Islands

Among the short P&O Cruises available are three-night summer jaunts to St. Peter Port, Guernsey. This glorious island features rows of colourfully painted houses, a quaint lighthouse, winding streets and some delicious beaches. Visited by Aurora and Arcadia, passengers could spend the day delving into the island's history at Castle Cornet, sunbathing on Cobo Bay and soaking up the laidback vibe of Beaucette Marina.

Updated March 17, 2023
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