DFDS provide a great selection of mini cruises to a number of destinations across Europe, particularly Scandinavia. They are ideal if you don’t have a lot of time to go on holiday, as the cruise duration is just two nights, where you can pack in as much or as little as you want.

You get a good amount of time to explore your chosen city, usually an afternoon or the best part of a day, which will give you time to get your land legs and see all the major attractions, or just simply wander around the city getting a feel for the atmosphere and escaping the stress of day to day life.

The cruises are ideal for either a romantic break with a loved one, or a fun weekend away with friends. And it’s not just simple cruises that are on offer. DFDS also do themed cruises and activity cruises, for something a bit more exciting. The themed cruises (Halloween, school disco, or tropical) are great for stag and hen nights, and the activity cruise gives you more of a purpose when you reach your destination.


One of the most popular destinations DFDS has to offer is their mini cruise to Amsterdam. Included in the price of your ticket is an en-suite cabin for the two nights of the cruise, on-board entertainment to see you through the evenings, transfers from the port to the centre of the city, and five hours to explore Amsterdam itself.

The mini cruise departs from North Shields at around dinner time. You can either drive there and leave your car at the secure car park, or take a shuttle bus service from the centre of Newcastle (there will be an extra charge for this service).

Once you’re onboard, you’ll be spoiled for choice with how to spend your time. You can go and have dinner in the exclusive restaurant, spend some time in the casino, or sit back and enjoy some of the live entertainment, meeting the other passengers.

After a good nights’ sleep you’ll arrive in Holland refreshed and ready to explore. The coach will take you right into the centre of Amsterdam. It’s a laid-back place to visit, and it perfect for exploring by foot once you’ve docked. There are many winding streets to get lost in, all of which have great cafes, bars and restaurants. There are plenty of sights to see during your time here, including the Van Gough Museum and the Stedelijk Museum for the art lovers. The Anne Frank Museum is a must-see, but make sure you go first thing in the morning or last thing at night to avoid the long queues. And if all you want to do is relax in bars, there are plenty around to do just that. After an exciting day in one of the most cultural cities in Europe, head back to the ferry and continue your fun on the cruise home.

Another popular DFDS cruise option is Esbjerg from Harwich. This is a beautiful little maritime town which is a wonderful place to explore. Included in the price of the ticket is an en-suite cabin for the duration of the cruise, on-board entertainment, and a day to explore Esbjerg. Once you’ve boarded the ship and settled in to your cabin, take some time to enjoy a meal in one of the on-board restaurants. You have a choice of either the à la carte menu or a buffet dinner. Once you’ve had your fill, head over to the Columbus Lounge for a few after-dinner drinks and some top-class entertainment, or just take a stroll along the deck enjoying the sea air and the stunning views of the ocean.

You’ll arrive in Esbjerg the following morning. Once you’ve arrived, head to one of the most visited tourist attractions in town: the Marbeak National Park, which contains fascinating settlements. The local Water Tower is one of the monuments in town you should definitely go and visit. Visitors can climb to the top for some stunning views of the whole town, including the harbour. For some culture, you can explore the Kunstmuseum, where you will see a great collection of modern art. However, you might also just want to take a stroll and explore the city at a more leisurely pace, and have something to eat and drink along the coastline, just watching day to day life in this gorgeous little town. Then head back to the ship for the return journey, where you can relax in style.

Instead of travelling from the UK, you can choose to start your journey in Oslo. One of the mini cruises departing from here goes to Copenhagen. Included in the ticket price is two nights in en-suite accommodation, onboard entertainment, and around six and a half hours in Copenhagen. There is plenty to do on board, so it’s not a case of waiting till you reach your destination. However, when you do, there’s a lot to explore. You’ll be able to see most of the city by foot, as it’s surprisingly small. This means you won’t miss anything during your time there.

Other destinations available from DFDS mini cruises include Oslo, Haarlem, Utrecht, and Alkmaar.

The Experience

Once you’re on board, it’s not a case of simply waiting to get to your destination. Take some time to soak in the atmosphere in the bars, and have a few holiday tipples. Some of the bars have sea views, so treat yourself to a glass of champagne or a cocktail as you watch land disappear behind you.

The on-board entertainment is second to none. Depending on how much energy you have, you can party the night away, take in some live shows, or relax in the cinema. And the food on-board is first class. Whatever your tastes, you’re bound to find something suitable. All of the meals are freshly prepared by knowledgeable chefs, and you’ll have a choice of restaurants. So whether you want a relaxed sit-down meal, or just a quick snack from the café, you’ll find something to suit your tastes.