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P&O Mini Cruises

P&O mini cruises are an ideal way to experience the joys of cruising in a short space of time.

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England from Southampton with the Aurora

P&O Cruises

England from Southampton with the Aurora

4 nights

From Southampton to Southampton


05/12/2024 - 09/12/2024



from £442 pp


from £482 pp

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P&O Mini Cruises

Planning your short cruise holidays with P&O

Best time to go

The best time to book a mini cruise with P&O may depend on the destination, ship and season. But one thing to bear in mind is what your mini cruise plans involve. Are you booking a taster cruise to see if you like sailing? Or hoping to catch the best of spring in the Netherlands? Perhaps you’re looking to see how your sea legs stand up to winter waves before a longer cruise to see the Northern Lights? For exploring European ports, spring is ideal in terms of weather – and crowd numbers. For everything else? Book the P&O short cruise that suits you.

Best moments

P&O short cruises often sail during school holidays. This makes them ideal for enjoying mini breaks with the whole family. Sample the best Belgian chocolates with the grandchildren in Bruges, head to Hamburg to help little ones brush up history or soak up the sun and sand of France’s beaches in summer. Outside the school breaks, sail as a couple to see iconic ports over a long weekend. Amsterdam’s Christmas markets are a winter favourite – and spring is the time to hop across the channel to catch the famous fields full of colourful tulips.

Top destinations for a mini cruise with P&O

Cherbourg (France)

This beautiful coastal city in the Normandy region is known for its stunning architecture, delicious cuisine and outdoor activities. Spend your port day exploring the charming cobblestone streets of Old Town, where colourful half-timbered houses make ideal backdrops for holiday snaps. This is the port for waterfront strolls, classic French cuisine and sightseeing. If you’re travelling with family, the digital aquarium (Cité de la Mer) mixes marine life and maritime history for a fascinating day out.

St Peter Port (Guernsey) 

Seeing St Peter Port, on a P&O mini cruise itinerary will delight new and experienced cruisers alike. The picturesque marina, with its many fishing boats and sailboats, is undoubtedly one of the best sights in the Channel Islands. The small capital is strollable in a day and delivers on views, galleries, churches and cream teas for an idyllic day out. For something a little more active, walking along the cliff-top paths, kayaking and rib rides are just a few of the activities on offer.

Rotterdam (Netherlands)

Don’t dismiss Rotterdam for its vibrant and modern looks. It might lack the cobbled charm of Amsterdam, but the city’s quirky spots, wealth of cultural attractions and stellar cuisine make it unmissable. Take a water taxi along the Nieuwe Maas River to see the iconic Erasmus Bridge. Wander through the city to spot stellar street art and climb the stairs to see what life is like in one of Rotterdam’s unusual Cube Houses. Foodies, don’t miss the Markthal, which mixes modern architecture with a culinary journey you won’t want to miss.

Tips when going on a P&O Mini Cruise


P&O short cruises are popular and can sell out quickly. Secure your chosen itinerary well in advance!


The dress code onboard P&O cruises has definitely relaxed over the years. But a Mini cruise on a P&O ship is the ideal chance to get an idea of what other passengers are wearing, how your formal wear copes with being folded in your case, and whether you want to dress up for theme nights or stay smart casual for the whole cruise.

Find out more tips and ideas in our cruise ship dress code guide.

Onboard Activities

It’s easy to get caught up in port research and seeing the sights, but be sure to set aside time to check out the activities and amenities on board the ship. After all, you might be using a P&O cruise mini break to see whether a particular ship is right for you. 


P&O’s speciality restaurants can get booked up well in advance of a mini cruise. And, with just a few days onboard, you may miss the chance to try the sumptuously spicy menu at Sindhu or the gastronomic wonders of the Epicurean.

P&O Ships sailing on short cruises

FAQs about P&O Mini Cruises

  • Which P&O ships go on mini cruises?

You can book the following P&O ships to go on a mini-cruise: Arcadia, Britannia, Aurora and Ventura. These ships all offer itineraries with voyages shorter than 6 days. The other ships in P&O’s fleet all have itineraries that last 6 nights or longer.

  • How long is a P&O mini cruise?

A P&O mini cruise is typically 1 – 5 nights long, with most sailings averaging 4 or 5 nights. As an example, a 5 night P&O mini cruise itinerary could include a day at sea, two days in European ports and two days sailing from and to Southampton.

  • What should you wear on a P&O mini cruise?

P&O’s ‘come as you are’ dress code states you wear whatever makes you feel most like you – or most comfortable. Dress up – or down, the choice is yours – but the general rule is to keep things smart-casual. On a mini cruise lasting 2-6 nights, expect one black tie night – but again, this is optional.