Why short cruises are great for first-time cruisers

In the mood for a long weekend getaway? Trade in planes, traffic and hours spent planning your trip for a short cruise. Mini cruises are the perfect way to get a taste of life at sea, tick off a bucket list destination (or two), and save time and money.

Here are just 3 reasons why P&O Cruises’ Short Breaks are so appealing to first-time cruisers (and why most cruise passengers are repeat guests!).


#1 Maximise your time off

Booking a short cruise is a great way to maximise your annual leave. If you think about the average land holiday, there’s a lot of time spent on less-than-enjoyable moments, like waiting around at airports and being stuck in traffic. With a short cruise, the journey is truly just as fun as the destination! There are plenty of onboard activities to keep you occupied or help you relax, so you’ll be able to soak up those “in-between” times by the pool or at the spa as you sail from one destination to the next. You’ll maximise your time off – and only need to unpack once! As for what to pack for a short cruise, think cossies, casual clothes and comfortable walking shoes.

P&O Cruises offers a variety of departure days for 3-day cruises, including weekdays and weekends, allowing you to find the perfect getaway to fit your schedule. Short cruises typically include at least one land-based day, so you can tick off a dreamy destination from your bucket list! For example, on the Whitsundays Cruise, you can check out Queensland’s cosmopolitan capital of Brisbane before or after your cruise, and the cruise docks again at the white-sand shores of Airlie Beach.

Top tip: Whenever we drop anchor, you’re welcome to explore on your own or opt into a guided experience — like a tour or scuba diving — vetted by the P&O team.

#2 Everything is taken care of

What’s your idea of a perfect holiday? Every person in your group might have a different answer to that question, which is where short cruises come in.

On most P&O cruises, you’ll have over 60 onboard activities to choose from. If you want to sink into some self-pampering, book a treatment at the day spa or refresh your locks at the hair salon. If you’re all about balance, go for a run on our track with front-row ocean views, sweat it out in the sauna or practice your backbends in a yoga class. There are also sports courts if you’re more of a team player.

If you just want to lounge by the pool or work your way through the ship’s many restaurants, go for it! On the opposite end of the spectrum, thrill-seekers will love P&O Edge Adventure Park, where they can rock climb the funnel or zip line across the deck of the ship. When the sun sets, you can enjoy happy hour and an array of entertainment, from comedy shows to theme nights and karaoke.

It’s your holiday, and with a short cruise, you can spend your time however you like. Everyone else you’re travelling with can do the same! On a land trip, you’re limited to the activities on offer where you stop.

Top tip: Cruises are a great way to cut down on holiday planning. All you have to do is show up, and the cruise staff will take care of the rest! Since most of our short cruises set sail on a weekend, it’s easier to coordinate dates with a bigger group, too.

#3 There's something for everyone

It feels good to keep a few more pennies in your pocket where you can, and short cruises are great for budget-conscious travellers. The all-inclusive fare covers accommodation, most dining and entertainment options and extras like daily cabin cleaning. For a short cruise, you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars per person, which is much less than you’d cough up for flights, hotels, activities and other expenses on a land-based trip.

To save even more, book as early as possible. Cruise prices are tied to demand, so you’ll score early bird prices if you book months in advance. P&O Cruises provides a variety of payment plans to help you plan for your trip and regularly offers deals and discounts.

Top tip: Booking early has other perks, too. You’ll be able to request things like interconnecting cabins, triple rooms for larger families, or a quiet cabin away from elevators or venues.


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#4 Value for money

Ask any cruise enthusiast, and they’ll tell you: you will be spoilt for choice with what is included within your fare. Between the accommodation, activities and main meals in designated restaurants, cruises prove to be cheaper than most land-based holidays. 

Think about it: where else can you enjoy stunning sea views and round-the-clock entertainment for the family for a few hundred dollars a night? We lay out the costs upfront, so there are no nasty surprises at the end. And you won’t need to tip for the stellar service you receive. 

Let’s look at the pricing of our Moreton Island - Tangalooma Cruise as an example. The four-night cruise kicks off in Sydney, and includes a day on beautiful Moreton Island, one of the world’s largest sand islands. There, you can snorkel through shipwrecks, get up close to coral reefs, and soak up the sun. During the sea days, you can enjoy all the activities and amenities the world-class ship has to offer.

#5 ‘Try before you buy’

Short cruises are also known as ‘teaser’ or ‘sample’ cruises. If you’re new to cruising, a three- or four-day cruise is the perfect introduction. You’ll have enough time to explore the ship, relax by the pool, play trivia, dine at incredible restaurants every night, and be entranced by a show. You’ll also find out what it’s like to stop at a port for a shore excursion – without needing to lug around your suitcases or passport. Many first-time cruise guests tell us they had no idea just how many onboard entertainment options they could have until they’d experienced a cruise for themselves. 

On the same note, short cruises give you a taste of the destinations you might want to revisit one day. For example, you probably wouldn’t fly to the Airlie Beach for a day, but our Whitsundays Cruise – which departs from Brisbane and docks there for a day – may convince you to linger a little longer in tropical North Queensland next time.

Treat yourself to a quick getaway

With value for money, a huge range of entertainment options and budget-friendly prices, short cruises have so much to offer for first-time and seasoned cruisers alike. Ready for a holiday break? 

Find your perfect short cruise now

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