Whether you're new to cruise holidays and are wondering if they are the right fit for you, or you're a seasoned voyager looking to expand your horizons before embarking on your next longer adventure, a taster cruise is the perfect mini break. Keep reading to find out just what a taster cruise is, where they depart from and who offers them.
What Is A Taster Cruise?
A taster cruise is a short voyage which lasts less than a week, with some even being just one night away. While this is a great option for those who have never cruised before and would like to dip their toe in the water, there are also others who may well enjoy them. From those who are looking to try out a new cruise line, to guests who would like a getaway but can't spend long away from home, a short cruise provides all the joy of being at sea without a lengthy voyage and or high price tag.
Taster Cruises From Southampton
While a quick flight can take you to the Mediterranean for a mini cruise in warmer climes, the easiest way to enjoy a shorter voyage is on a taster cruise from Southampton. Other British ports will offer these types of cruise, ideal for those not wanting a long journey to meet their ship, but you'll find the greatest choice of holidays departing from Southampton. Taster cruises from Southampton are particularly popular in the winter when you can immerse yourself in the festive spirit on a Christmas market cruise. Some cruise lines even do ‘cruises to nowhere’ or mystery destination cruises from UK ports - ideal to get a taste for life onboard.
Typical Destinations From Southampton
- Zeebrugge in Belgium
- Antwerp, Rotterdam or Amsterdam in the Netherlands
- Hamburg in German
- French river cruise
- Saint Peter Port on Guernsey
- Cornwall and Devon
Best Cruise Lines for Taster Cruises
Royal Caribbean Taster Cruise
Thanks to their shorter length, a short voyage is a great option for families, and what better cruise line to choose when you've got kids than Royal Caribbean? Boasting ships packed with adventure, not only will you be able to enjoy the voyage and visit one or two ports of call, but you'll also be able to lose yourself in the fun of a mega cruise ship.
While you may not always find Royal Caribbean taster departing from the UK, a 2.5 hour flight could take you somewhere like Barcelona, and from here you can embark on a 5 day cruise visiting the likes of Marseille and Civitavecchia.
P&O Taster Cruise
Always a popular choice amongst Brits who want to feel at home on their holidays, P&O Cruises offer an impressive range of short cruises, often lasting between 2 and 5 nights. As well as being a great family cruise line, P&O Cruises also have two ships- Arcadia and Aurora- which are exclusively for adults.
If you opt for a short, 2-night cruise you're likely to visit somewhere such as the beautiful, historic city of Bruges, while a few more nights away could get you to Hamburg or Amsterdam.
Cunard Taster Cruise
For a more sophisticated and traditional cruise, complete with Afternoon Tea and Gala Balls, look no further than Cunard Cruises. Well known for their transatlantic crossing onboard the cruise liner Queen Mary 2, guests will be able to experience this stylish way of voyaging on a shorter getaway.
Just like P&O Cruises, Cunard taster voyages tend to last between 2 and 4 nights. With some cruises being round trips from Southampton, visiting ports of call including Hamburg and Kiel, others are one way, meaning you could begin your holiday with a cruise and extend it with a hotel stay, giving you more time to explore.
Fred. Olsen Taster Cruise
As an independent, family-run cruise line, guests onboard a Fred. Olsen cruise can expect fantastic, personal service from beginning to end of their voyage. Boasting sumptuous dining options and amazing evening entertainment, whichever ship you choose you'll be sure to enjoy a relaxing time at sea.
If you're searching for a mini break from Southampton, Fred. Olsen won't disappoint, with destinations ranging from Antwerp and Amsterdam to Falmouth and the Scilly Isles. If you're not set on Southampton, you could depart from Rosyth in Scotland or Newcastle to the Norwegian Fjords.
MSC Taster Cruise
Showcasing just what makes European-style cruising so special, MSC Cruises offers the perfect combination of an exciting onboard experience and destinations that you won't forget in a hurry. With a fleet of 19 ships, you're sure to find one that's the perfect fit.
Although MSC Cruises offers some short sailings from Southampton, including voyages to Guernsey, you may have to head a little further afield to enjoy a mini cruise. A short flight will take you to the likes of Venice, Marseille or Barcelona, from where you'll be able to see more of the Mediterranean in just a few days.
Now you know just what taster cruise has to offer, be sure to browse our fantastic cruise deals and find the right holiday for you.