5 European Mini Cruise Destinations

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Not that we are able to do it as often as we’d like to, hubs and I love going on city breaks. Admittedly, we’ve not had the chance to do that for quite a while (unless you count the night away in London for the UK Blog Awards a few weeks ago!)

One thing we would love to do is go on a cruise, and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that we did think about taking a Disney cruise, but we couldn’t make the available dates work for us, so we’re going to Florida instead! I spoke to my friend, who’s a cruising expert, and she suggested that we go on a few mini cruises to get a feel of a what a cruise is like before committing to going on a longer one…a really great idea!

I’m always dreaming and wishing for the next travel adventure we have, I decided to take a look at what s destinations are available on the Fred Olsen website from the ports that are closest to us – Harwich, Dover, Tilbury and Southampton and as I write this, my mind is in overdrive for when we can fit one in!

1. Amsterdam, Holland

When I think of Holland I think of tulips…when I think of Amsterdam, I think of their unique coffee shops…if you know what I mean ;) I’ve never been to Amsterdam before, but it’s somewhere I’d like to visit – walks along the historical canals, seeing the Red Light District (yes, I want to see it for myself!) and visiting a coffee shop! We could get to Amsterdam on a 2 night cruise from Harwich.

2. Paris, France

Paris is not on the coast, so getting to this most romantic of cities on a mini cruise seems like a strange one to me…but you stay on land for one night of your stay, in Rouen, which gives you the opportunity to make a day trip to Paris and see the sites! We went to Paris in 2010 for a few days, and to maximise our sightseeing time, we took a bus tour of the city which enabled us to see the major landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe. We could get to Paris on a 3 night cruise from Southampton.

3. Dublin, Ireland

Another city we’d love to visit is Dublin, Ireland. I don’t think a visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to the Guinness factory! To get there on a mini cruise it would be travelling up north where we could get to Dublin on a 2 night cruise from Liverpool.

4. Honfleur, France

Honfleur is a pretty harbour town and from here you can travel to Normandy for the day and visit Cormeilles and tour the distillery which makes cider and Calvados. You can sample the booze and some local cheeses, making it a must visit for foodies! I’m sure we’d love it! We could get to Honfleur on a 2 night cruise from Dover.

5. Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

I took my husband to Bruges for his 40th birthday a couple of years ago and we had the most wonderful time! We explored as much of this beautiful city on foot as we could in the few days that we were there, and for us, it would be a perfect place to revisit on a mini cruise. You sail to Zeebrugge and are able to get the coach to Bruges. There is plenty to see – it’s such a pretty and historical town, and of course, there are lots of chocolate shops to buy some goodies to bring back home with you! We could get to Bruges on a 2 day cruise from Tilbury, which is awesome, because Tilbury is less than 20 miles from where we live! Oh, and you can see all my photos from our Bruges trip here!
Have you taken a cruise before – mini or otherwise?

Disclosure: In collaboration with Fred Olsen