If you assume cruises involve a pricey fortnight trapped on board ship, think again. There’s a wide range of boat trips available to suit all, from short breaks to unusual locations – so get packing that suitcase!
You’ll barely have time to find your ‘sea legs’ on the DFDS weekend break to Amsterdam. This short trip will take you from Newcastle for a whistlestop tour of the Dutch capital and back again. The trip includes two nights on board, dinner and breakfast on both sailings, transfers to the city and live entertainment.
- The Taste of Cruising package costs from £101pp. Cruises take place daily. To book call 0871 522 9955 or visit www.dfds.co.uk
Keep it local
There are many gems on our doorstep and a cruise of the Scottish Highlands is great for appreciating the dramatic landscapes from a new perspective. Fred.Olsen Cruises offers a seven-night trip from Edinburgh to the Orkney and Shetland Isles. Enjoy Tobermory’s colourful houses, sail over the sea to Skye, and much more.
- Highlights of the Highlands departs from Rosyth, Edinburgh, on June 21. Prices start from £799pp. For more information call 01473 746167 or visit www.fredolsencruises.com
You don’t have to head to sunny climes on a cruise ship. If you’re more a fan of wintry weather, why not take a seasonal trip to Norway? Hurtigruten offers a tour of the Norwegian coastline from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the north, calling at 34 ports along the way. This is a choose-your-own-cruise package, as the trip involves around 50 different organised excursions, from dog sledding to bird watching. Plus, of course, the chance to see the famous Northern Lights.
- The Norwegian Coastal Voyage lasts 12 days, departing from Gatwick in November, from £1,415pp, including direct flights, transfers and accommodation on full-board basis. For more information call 0203 582 6642 or visit www.hurtigruten.co.uk
Suffer from seasickness? Then why not take a break on a sedate river cruise. Enjoy the variety of Europe on a ten-day trip from Amsterdam to Avignon, via various German and French cities, on the rivers Rhine and Rhône. You’ll get to explore some of the continent’s most picturesque towns.
- The North Sea to Mediterranean tour costs from £1,118pp. For more information call CroisiEurope on 0208 328 1281 or visit www.croisieurope.co.uk
Cruise like an Egyptian with a seven-day trip down the Nile. Visit ancient temples, walk the Valley of the Kings, and have your photo taken with a sphinx, before shopping at the bustling local markets. The trip travels from Luxor to Abu Simbel and back again.
- Nile tours from Discover Egypt depart on various dates in November and December, and cost from £799pp. For information or to book call 0207 407 2111 or visit www.discoveregypt.co.uk
Cross the pond
Always wanted to see the sights of America and Canada, but not sure where to start? Get the best of the west coast with a ten-night cruise from Vancouver down to Long Beach, via San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, before heading back up to Vancouver.
- An American Retreat with Princess Cruises departs on April 21 and costs from £870pp. For more information call 0800 408 6228 or visit www.cruise.co.uk
Head Down Under
Cork hats ahoy for a 12-night cruise around Australia and New Zealand that takes in Sydney, Melbourne, Wellington, Auckland and more. Onboard, indulge in wine tasting, Asian cuisine and even feel the grass between your toes (yes, really!) on the top deck. From natural wonders to city sights, including Sydney Opera House and a 1,076ft sky scraper in Auckland, this packed itinerary is a great way to sample life Down Under.
- The Celebrity Solstice New Zealand cruise costs from £1,069pp and departs on December 4. For more information or to book call 0844 493 2043 or visit www.celebritycruises.co.uk
Enjoy an all-inclusive 20-day Caribbean break for just £1,299pp. It’s great value when you consider it includes all food and alcohol, plus numerous ports of call en route, from Gibraltar to the Bahamas and finally Orlando where you’ll have four days in a hotel to enjoy the local theme parks.
- The Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas trip departs October 30. To book call 0800 230 0655 or visit www.cruise1st.co.uk
Alternatively, take a mammoth 24-night trip around the ports of Europe, including Lisbon, Barcelona, Cannes, Naples, Florence, Venice, Corfu and Rome! Excursions include dolphin spotting, a trip to the Tower of Pisa (left) and a gondola tour.
- This P&O cruise costs from £1,599pp and departs from Southampton on March 22. For more information or to book call 0800 408 6228 or visit www.cruise.co.uk
For more ideas on destinations, visit www.cruisecritic.co.uk