The best 2 for 1 mini cruise deals for 2018 & 2019

Here's Why You Should Book Your Cheap Short Break To Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Or Bruges Today!

Ferry from Hull

What is a 2 for 1 mini cruise?

The clue is in the name. In a nutshell, two people can sail on a mini cruise for the price of one person when they share a cabin. So you can either look at it as one person is paying full fare and the other is sailing for free, or you can look at it as a half price mini cruise.

Multiples apply, so a family of four, or a group of four mates, can sail on a mini cruise for the price of two people when they share a cabin.

How much does a 2 for 1 mini cruise cost?

Normally, mini cruises from Hull and Newcastle start from around £80 per person (depending on the date and availability).

During a 2 for 1 sale, the price usually starts from around £40 per person. Peak travel days (i.e. Thursday to Sunday) normally incur a premium as these are normally the busiest sailings.

You'll normally find the cheapest 2 for 1 mini cruise prices sailing on a Monday or Tuesday when you book around a month or more before the sail date.

Mini cruises are sold on the basis of supply and demand. Supply is limited as there are only so many cabins available on each ferry. As more people book cabins, the demand increases while the supply of available cabins decreases. And so the price rises to reflect the change in supply and demand. As with most things in travel, you are normally better off booking as  early as you can to ensure the cheapest possible price.

When are the 2 for 1 mini cruise deals available?

P&O Ferries

P&O Ferries offers cheap 2 for 1 mini cruises from Hull between October 2018 and March 2019. A few dates are excluded, particularly those earmarked for themed minicruises.

DFDS

DFDS only runs its 2 for 1 mini cruise promotion for short bursts during the winter. So you may need to move quickly to book yourself a bargain mini cruise from Newcastle, or you might need to wait until the next promotion period if you're intent on paying half price.


Where can you sail to?

Bikes outside a bar in Amsterdam

2 for 1 mini cruise from Hull to Amsterdam

Sail with P&O Ferries from Hull to Rotterdam and hop aboard the coach for a transfer to just along from Amsterdam's train station.

Head to Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, or the Van Gogh Museum. Vondelpark is definitely worth a meander around too. Plentiful trams make it so easy to get around.

Spend the day in Amsterdam, or book a 3-night cruise-and-stay to spend the night in this legendary city.

Canal boat in Amsterdam

2 for 1 mini cruise from Newcastle to Amsterdam

Enjoy a short break with DFDS from North Shields to Ijmuiden and then catch the coach for a transfer to Amsterdam city centre.

Tour the Heineken Experience, head to Dam Square, or take a canal sightseeing cruise to see Amsterdam in a new way. Don't miss the eclectic range of museums too.

Spend the day in Amsterdam, or book a 3-night cruise-and-stay to spend the night in this lively city.

Reflections on a canal in Bruges

2 for 1 mini cruise from Hull to Bruges

Sail with P&O Ferries from Hull to Zeebrugge and jump on the coach for a transfer to just south of Bruges city centre.

From the coach park head to Minnewater Park (with lake) and Grote Markt, the incredible historic centre of Bruges. Try the Belgian beer, chocolate, waffles, and frites.

Spend the day in Bruges, or book a 3-night cruise-and-stay to spend the night in this Medieval city.

Rotterdam cityscape

2 for 1 mini cruise from Hull to Rotterdam

Sail with P&O Ferries from Hull to Rotterdam where a coach will take you to the central train station.

The trams and buses make Rotterdam easy to get around, so head to Markthal, up the Euromast Tower, or to any of the fabulous art galleries and museums on offer.

Spend the day in Rotterdam, or book a 3-night cruise-and-stay to spend the night in this trendy city.

Zeilschip Mercator in Ostend

2 for 1 mini cruise from Hull to Ostend

Sail with P&O Ferries from Hull to Zeebrugge where a coach will take you to Ostend.

Maybe give the beach a miss in winter, but the seafront is still worth checking out. As for attractions, head to the Atlantic Wall Museum or tour the Zeilschip Mercator

Only available as a 2-night mini cruise.

Ghent city centre

2 for 1 mini cruise from Hull to Ghent

Sail with P&O Ferries from Hull to Zeebrugge where a coach will take you to Ghent.

Ghent is like Bruges, only much, much bigger. So after visiting the Belfry and Cloth Hall, discover St Michael's Bridge, Gravensteen Castle, or St. Bavo's Cathedral.

Only available as a 2-night mini cruise.

Architecture in The Hague

2 for 1 mini cruise from Hull to The Hague

Sail with P&O Ferries from Hull to Rotterdam where a coach will take you to The Hague.

Be sure to visit The Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery or Escher in the Palace for culture, or to Madurodam Miniature Park to see Europe on a much smaller scale.

Only available as a 2-night mini cruise.

In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres

2 for 1 mini cruise from Hull to Ypres

Sail with P&O Ferries from Hull to Zeebrugge where a coach will take you to Ypres.

Don't miss the poignant Menin Gate Memorial, Bedford House Cemetery, Ramparts Cemetery, or the In Flanders Fields Military Museum.

Only available as a 2-night mini cruise.


Where can you sail from?

2 for 1 mini cruise from Hull (P&O Ferries)

So you are sailing from Hull? Great choice! The port is easy to get to by car or public transport from most of England and Wales. I drive up from South Wales just to get my mini cruise fix. Better still, it offers the widest choice of mini cruises:

2 for 1 mini cruise from Newcastle (DFDS)

Newcastle, or more specifically North Shields, is the obvious choice for those living in the North of England and Scotland. Unlike Hull, there isn't a great deal of choice on routes as there's just one:

The catch? Unlike P&O Ferries whose 2 for 1 offer runs from October to March, 2 for 1 DFDS mini cruises are normally only available for short periods during this time. So you might need to wait until it comes back on offer to book your next cheap short break to Holland.

Sometime there's a Groupon offer on for DFDS Amsterdam sailings, so best check that too.

What about from Harwich, Portsmouth, or Southampton?

Wouldn't it be great to find a 2 for 1 mini cruise from Portsmouth or Southampton? Believe me, I'd snap that deal up in a heartbeat and I'd shout about it very loudly.

Here's the kicker, and it relates back to the supply-and-demand concept.

In the winter, passenger demand for the North Sea routes from Hull and Newcastle drops. People want to holiday in hot sunny destinations, so it takes a lot to encourage us to switch to a short break in a potentially cold and wet European city. So price is crucial, and the 2 for 1 deal is a vital tool for ferry operators to use to stimulate demand. Down south, the story is a bit different. Freight traffic between the UK and France or Spain is resilient, so the need to stimulate foot passenger traffic during the winter isn't so great.

So there's probably a greater chance of waking up to a white Christmas than finding a 2 for 1 mini cruise from the South of England. In the many years I've run this website, I've never come across a 2 for 1 sale from Harwich, Portsmouth, or Southampton. Hull and Newcastle aren't that far away though:

From To Hull To Newcastle
Southampton 4½ hours by car
5½ hours by train
5½ hours by car
6 hours by train
Portsmouth 4¾ hours by car
7 hours by train
6 hours by car
6¼ hours by train
Harwich 4½ hours by car
6¼ hours by train
5¾ hours by car
6½ hours by train
Manchester 2 hours by car
2½ hours by train
3 hours by car
3¼ hours by train
Liverpool 2½ hours by car
3¾ hours by train
3½ hours by car
4 hours by train
Edinburgh 5 hours by car
5¼ hours by train
2¾ hours by car
2¾ hours by train
London 4¼ hours by car
3¾ hours by train
5¼ hours by car
4½ hours by train
Birmingham 2½ hours by car
4¼ hours by train
3¾ hours by car
5 hours by train
Cardiff 4½ hours by car
7 hours by train
5½ hours by car
7 hours by train

Times are for guidance only, and are dependant on your start/end location and traffic/timetables. But I'm sure you'll agree they are a lot closer than you'd think, especially when you compare the times with travel times to get to your nearest airport (for 'regular' holidays).

Southampton, Portsmouth, and Harwich all have ties to the cruise ship world, and while 2 for 1 deals are a rarity here, Cruise & Maritime Voyages normally runs a seasonal promotion offering half-price fares when two people share a cabin. It's not usually as cheap as a ferry mini cruise, but it still may be an attractive offer to you.


Latest 2 for 1 mini cruise deals

Windmill in Amsterdam

DFDS 2 for 1 Amsterdam mini cruise

Enjoy a great value mini cruise deal where two people can sail to Amsterdam with DFDS for the price of one!

Bikes next to a canal in Amsterdam

P&O Ferries 2 for 1 Amsterdam mini cruise

Sail from Hull to Amsterdam from as little as £40 per person with P&O Ferries.

Bruges at night

P&O Ferries 2 for 1 Bruges mini cruise

Sail from Hull to Bruges from as little as £40 per person with P&O Ferries.

Rotterdam at night

P&O Ferries 2 for 1 Rotterdam mini cruise

Sail from Hull to Rotterdam from as little as £40 per person with P&O Ferries.

The Hague

P&O Ferries 2 for 1 mini cruise to The Hague

Third in size after Amsterdam and Rotterdam, take this opportunity to tour The Hague in The Netherlands.

Ghent, Belgium

P&O Ferries 2 for 1 Ghent mini cruise

Sail from Hull to Ghent from as little as £45 per person with P&O Ferries.

Ypres

P&O Ferries 2 for 1 Ypres mini cruise

Sail from Hull to Ypres from as little as £45 per person with P&O Ferries.

Ostend, Belgium

P&O Ferries 2 for 1 Ostend mini cruise

Sail from Hull to Ostend from as little as £40 per person with P&O Ferries.