Mini-cruises to mainland Europe are popular destinations with people in the UK, especially those with busy working lives, in a partnership or who have children still in dependent education i.e. not in university. These trips give the opportunity to take relatively cheap holidays that require a minimum of planning in terms of accommodation and sightseeing. Many of the mini-cruises are designed for nearby countries with large coastal areas, large enough for cruise ships.
Advantages and Locations
Usually the individual would have to think about where they will live, as well as how they will eat and make time to visit the different locations on their holidays. Cruise trips differ in that they provide comfortable accommodation and food as well as information about the best and closest tourist attractions. These mini cruises often depart from places like Newcastle, Hull and Portsmouth--English cities with a close proximity to open water and which were major shipping areas in the past.
Cruises to Amsterdam
The capital of the Netherlands as well as its largest city--this is one of the most popular destinations for people looking to get away for a quick break. Arriving via ship is one of the more unconventional ways to get to Amsterdam (many people prefer to travel via car or by trains from France, Belgium or Germany). Famous for its red-light district, there are also plenty of other attractions available such as historical sites including the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum as well as large shopping districts.
Cruises to Bruges
Bruges in Brussels in an ideal location for a cruise trip (short or otherwise) due to its formal status as a major world port. Some of the main attractions include the medieval town, the market square and the canal trips (as well as the famous Belgian chocolate souvenirs). These trips are not necessarily restricted to Bruges: travel to surrounding areas via ferry, such as Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, is also very popular.
Cruises to Hamburg
Although the city of Hamburg doesn't lie on the outskirts of Germany (and is therefore not typical of the usual cruise destinations), it can be reached via the Elbe river. A city that combines a strong history with a host of activities and modern attractions, it is an ideal location to spend a couple of days. The attractions of the city include Hamburg's busiest shopping center near the Jungfernstieg rail station, the Hagenbeck zoo and the Krameramtswohnungen, a row of 17th century shopkeeper houses.