The Flanders port city of Antwerp rewards a visit. Credit: Ambassador

Three of the best mini cruises to book for 2024

Author: Kaye Holland

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Mini-cruises are a great way to get a taste of life at sea, without having to commit too much time or money

If you’re new to cruising, then a mini cruise offers you the chance to dip your toes in the water and work out whether or not cruising is for you.

Mini cruises which, as the name suggests are bite-sized voyages that tend to be between two to four days in length, are also ideal for the time poor – or anyone looking to make the most of a long weekend.

A mini cruise allows you to tick off at least a couple of destinations in a single sailing, while only needing to unpack once.

Ready to set sail? Here are three of the best mini cruises to book with Ambassador Cruise Line, Britain's premium value no-fly cruise line, for summer 2024…

Amsterdam and Antwerp City Break from Edinburgh
Departing from Edinburgh, aka Scotland's vibrant heart, on board Ambition – the second cruise ship to join Ambassador’s fleet – you’ll first stop off in Newcastle. Located in the northeast of England, Newcastle is home to some world-class museums and galleries, brilliant beaches and nine hours in port will give you plenty of time to explore the Toon.

Upon leaving Newcastle, you’ll enjoy a day at sea – time to see some world-class shows in the Palladium Theatre or sip a cocktail in The Angel Bar, so called after The Angel of The North sculpture at Gateshead.

Next up is Amsterdam. No trip to the delightful Dutch capital is complete without visiting the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum over in the Museum District which features works by the likes of Rembrandt. Or, simply stroll along the famous canals while savouring a stroopwafel (two thin waffles stuck together with a layer of sweet syrup).

After Amsterdam, it’s on to Antwerp – Belgium’s cultural centre that’s known as the diamond capital due to the fact that 84 per cent of the world’s rough diamonds pass through the city. The hot ticket in Antwerp is the Royal Museum of Fine Arts (KMSKA) which reopened in September 2022 following an 11-year renovation that cost £87m.

You’ll spend another day at sea before returning to Newcastle where it’s time to disembark.
A six-night Amsterdam and Antwerp City Break cruise departs August 15, 2024 from Edinburgh. Prices from £839 per person.

Amsterdam has art, parks, cafes and more. Credit: Ambassador

Amsterdam and Antwerp City Break from Newcastle
If Edinburgh isn’t a convenient destination for you to set sail from, then Ambassador’s Amsterdam and Antwerp City Break also departs from Newcastle.

The itinerary is largely the same with ample time in Amsterdam to explore attractions such as the Anne Frank House and the historic city of Antwerp where you can discover treasures such as the Cathedral of Our Lady, traditional Belgian chocolate shops, and the world-famous Diamond district.

The fun continues back on board Ambition too. Enjoy a meal in the Buckingham & Holyrood Restaurants, or simply relax with a drink and a good book in hand, in one of the gorgeous public spaces.
A five-night Amsterdam and Antwerp City Break cruise departs from Newcastle on August 16, 2024. Fares from £719 per person.

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Bank holiday escape from London Tilbury
Trying to plan for the August bank holiday? Consider three days off work your chance to escape on a cruise. Departing from London Tilbury, this five-night cruise on board Ambience – the debut cruise ship from Ambassador that counts Olympian Sally Gunnell as her godmother – will whisk you to the bordering countries of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Your first port of call will be the preserved mediaeval Belgian city of Bruges with its gothic architecture, gorgeous gables, and cobbled squares.

After Bruges, an optional tour from Bremerhaven to the cultural hub of Bremen in Northern Germany, the setting of the ‘Town Musicians of Bremen’ fairy tale, awaits.

Then it’s onto Amsterdam, one of Europe’s most romantic pleasures. An overnight stay in the Dutch capital means you’ll truly be able to immerse yourself in the city’s characterful cafes and elaborate canal system. Now that sounds like a brilliant bank holiday weekend to us.
Ambassador’s five-night Bank holiday escape departs from London Tilbury on August 22, 2024. Fares from £609 per person.

To make a booking, please call 0808 303 0927 or visit

Bruges is all cobbled squares, gorgeous gables, and gothic architecture. Credit: Shutterstock
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About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]