A mini-cruise is a “short cruise” that typically lasts anywhere from one to four nights. Some mini-cruises may even last for one full day from early a.m. to late p.m. These cruises may not have a specific destination, but they will likely sail up and down the coast or around a harbor in order to tour a variety of points of interest.

Mini-cruises may stand alone or they might be part of a larger itinerary. When part of a larger itinerary, mini-cruises may include exotic river cruises, small yacht cruises, or small expedition cruises that travel where larger ships cannot. Mini cruises offer the same variety of entertainment, dining options and leisure facilities that are found on longer sailings, but they are designed to allow passengers to get the most out of their time onboard.

Some mini-cruises may take place during the week, but many take place on weekends. These types of cruises are packaged as “weekend getaways.” Popular destinations for weekend cruises include The Bahamas, The Western Caribbean, The Pacific Northwest, and Baja Mexico. Pacific Northwest mini-cruises typically last for three nights and they leave from Seattle. Bahamas cruises leave from Miami for three nights, and Western Caribbean cruises leave from Miami for four nights. Baja Mexico cruises leave from Los Angeles for three nights.

These are not the only mini-cruises available. Most cruise lines offer short cruises, but some of the most popular mini-cruises are offered through:

Royal Caribbean
Disney Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line
Celebrity Cruises

Prices for mini-cruises are “mini” too. Thanks to the shorter duration of the cruises, the are perfect for cruisers that are short on time and money. Depending on the type of accommodations, a mini-cruise may cost as little as $150 per person for an interior suite, up to $500 for a deluxe suite. You can also save money on mini-cruises by booking through a discount booking search engine such as Kayak or The links to the most popular discount booking search engines are provided below.

So why take a mini-cruise? Mini-cruises are a perfect way to test the waters (no pun intended). If it’s your first cruise, a mini-cruise will let you know if you will get seasick, if you are ok with crowds, if you will like the cruise experience overall, the food, entertainment, etc. Next, as stated earlier, mini-cruises are less expensive than longer cruises. Mini-cruises also allow you to visit a variety of locations in a short amount of time without having to deal with flying or staying overnight in multiple locations. And finally, if you are short on time and you only have a few days to unwind, a mini-cruise offers just enough time to accomplish your goals.

To book a mini-cruise, visit any of the websites listed in this article or use the Ships and Cruises Directory to locate dozens of different cruise lines around the world.

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