Latest Mini Cruise Updates Following COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates on mini cruises from the UK

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Who'd have thought we'd be where we are at the turn of the century. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a massive impact on the world as a whole, and prompted worldwide lockdowns and disruption to people and businesses. The staggering numbers of people dying from COVID-19 is nothing short of tragic.

Scientists are working tirelessly on creating a vaccine, and governments are trying to kickstart their economies. We're experiencing a "new normal," especially in the travel sector which has had to change the way it operates massively. So, what's going on with mini cruises and where can you sail?

Routes are reopening slowly, and all services now have extra requirements (such as masks in public areas) that you'll need to obey. Destination countries have their own policies too that you'll need to read up on too. Welcome to the world of "new normal mini cruises"!

This information was last updated on 27th July 2020. Check the operator websites for the latest information.


DFDS - Newcastle to Amsterdam

DFDS has restarted its operations between North Shields and Ijmuiden. It's also restarted its mini cruise product, offering a two night mini cruise with accommodation onboard.

DFDS has also reintroduced its cruise-and-stay option which includes pre-arranged hotel accommodation in Amsterdam. If you want to spend a bit longer in The Netherlands, this is a great way to do it. It feels like a regular mini cruise but you get to enjoy a night in Amsterdam, along with two days. It's more relaxing than a two-night there-and-back mini cruise in my opinion.


P&O Ferries - Hull to Amsterdam / Rotterdam / The Hague

P&O Ferries has restarted its operations between Hull and Europoort near Rotterdam.

The company expects mini cruises to restart on Saturday 1st August 2020 and is currently offering Amsterdam mini cruises and Rotterdam mini cruises on dates throughout August 2020 and September 2020. Prices start from £80 per person, subject to availability.

3 night cruise-and-stay mini cruises are also available to book. You need to book a one-night hotel stay for night two (you'll stay on the ship overnight sailing to Rotterdam and overnight sailing back to Hull). It means you'll spend two days and a night in either Amsterdam or Rotterdam at the hotel of your choosing. For peace of mind at this unpredictable time, I'd recommend reserving a refundable room at your preferred hotel, just in case governments have to close borders on short notice again.

The Hague mini cruises aren't available but you can book a Rotterdam mini cruise and catch the Metro to The Hague. It's about half an hour away from Rotterdam Centraal train/Metro station. If you're going to do this, consider the cruise-and-stay option.


P&O Ferries - Hull to Bruges / Ostend / Ghent / Ypres

P&O Ferries has restarted its operations between Hull and Zeebrugge near Bruges for freight only.

No foot passengers or mini cruises are operating at the moment.


Stena Line - Harwich to Hook of Holland (Rotterdam / Amsterdam / The Hague)

Stena Line doesn't run a mini cruise on this route but you can do it yourself.

Ferry services are running between Harwich and Hoek Van Holland. It's not offering its "rail and sail" package right now but you can still book as a foot passenger, sailing overnight, and then pay to use the Metro to get into Rotterdam. From here you can either explore the city or head onward to Amsterdam or The Hague.

Play around with dates and times and you might find it's best to book a night or two in a Dutch hotel in between your outbound and return sailings, making a DIY cruise-and-stay trip.


Stena Line - Cairnryan to Belfast

Stena Line doesn't run a mini cruise on this route but you can do it yourself.

Stena Line allows foot passengers on all sailings except early-morning and late-night sailings on their Cairnryan to Belfast route.


Stena Line - Holyhead to Dublin

Stena Line doesn't run a mini cruise on this route but you can do it yourself.

Stena Line allows foot passengers on all sailings except early-morning and late-night sailings on their Holyhead to Dublin route.


Irish Ferries - Holyhead to Dublin

Irish Ferries doesn't run a mini cruise on this route but you can do it yourself.

Irish Ferries allows foot passengers on its Holyhead to Dublin route.


Irish Ferries - Pembroke to Rosslare

Irish Ferries doesn't run a mini cruise on this route but you can do it yourself.

Irish Ferries allows foot passengers on its Holyhead to Dublin route.


Cruise Lines

Most cruise lines around the world have paused their operations, including Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises, Cruise & Maritime Voyages, and Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. A couple of European operators have begun to restart in Europe, but cruise lines sailing from the UK have yet to commence their operations.

I'm hopeful that when they restart, they'll look to run cruises around the UK, including mini cruises to begin with. Time will tell, but as soon as I hear anything I'll update this section.


Ignore the link below as it links to this page. Use the links in the sections above to find out more and plan your ferry travel.

I shall endeavour to update this page as often as I can, with new information as it is released by the ferry operators.

This deal is available but it won't hang around for long. Book as early as you can to get the best choice of dates and cheapest prices. I have been advised this deal is due to expire on Thursday 31st December 2020. If you think the deal is no longer available please let me know and I'll let everyone else know.

The dull-but-necessary small print

All deals are subject to availability and can be withdrawn by the operator without prior notice. The lead-in prices (otherwise known as the 'from' prices) are, unless otherwise stated above, based on two adults sharing the cheapest available cabin on the cheapest available date. Typically the best prices are available at the start of any promotion period so the earlier you book the better choice of sailing dates and cabin availability you should have. Mid-week sail dates are likely to be cheaper than weekend sail dates.

(Photo credit to Anna Shvets)

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