Irish holidaymakers are sharing in the worldwide appetite for cruise holidays, which now has over 28 million people taking to the high seas each year. With it has come the ‘mini cruise’ – shorter 3-5 day cruises for those who don’t wish to spend a full week on a ship or who fancy combining a cruise with a sun holiday or city break. In anticipation of further growth in 2020, leading travel agent Cassidy Travel has launched its first ever mini-cruise brochure, highlighting the many options on offer. Venice, Barcelona and Genoa near Milan are the embarkation points for a myriad of glamorous odysseys across all corners of Europe, taking in endless historic sites of breath-taking beauty and variety. Popular stop-offs include Rome, Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca, but mini-cruises also provide handy access to locations which might otherwise go unnoticed.
The historic city of Zadar on the Dalmatian Coast in Croatia for example, is famed for its Roman ruins and unique sea organ, to be enjoyed as the sun goes down. Split in Slovenia, meanwhile, boasts a wonderful seafront promenade and narrow cobbled streets against a backdrop of dramatic mountains. The fascinating port of Marseilles features prominently on cruise itineraries, with its world class cultural offerings and shopping. Among the cruise experiences on offer is a 2-night voyage aboard the MSC Poesia from Genoa, taking in Marseilles and Barcelona in October. Another cruise ‘taster’ sets sail from Venice in May, travelling to Koper in Slovenia, Split and Zadar from €439pps over 4 nights (flights extra).
4 nights aboard the MSC Opera from Barcelona, visiting Palma, Marseilles and Genoa next April is another option, as is a 5-night cruise on the MSC Magnifica from Genoa to Rome (Civitavecchia), Corfu in Greece and on to Kotor in Montenegro and Venice in May. “Mini-cruises allow people to enjoy the romance of the cruise ship, with all the amazing facilities, entertainment and great food that today’s ships offer, in a very affordable way without committing to a full 7 nights at sea,” explains John Spollen of Cassidy Travel. “Many of our clients are combining mini-cruises with their city breaks or sun holidays.”
Packages may be booked in Cassidy Travel at the Square Tallaght or any of 9 travelshops across Dublin or by phone on (01) 462 9100.
All prices subject to change.