A leisurely cruise is a vacation to savor, but not everyone has the luxury of enough vacation time to sail away for 10 days, 14 days or longer. The good news is that if your vacation time is limited, you don’t need to rule out a cruise. Many cruise lines are now offering a greater variety of cruises that are seven nights or less.
Shorter cruises appeal to lots of vacationers – and not only those with limited time. There are first-time cruisers who want to "sample” a sea-going vacation before they commit to a longer voyage. There are experienced cruisers who want to try out a different part of the world before exploring it through a longer, more in-depth cruise itinerary. There are vacationers who rely on the value of a short cruise to deliver the most for their vacation dollars; and, those who want to pamper themselves with a brief, luxury-class cruise.
Shorter cruises have become an option for more vacationers as the number of home ports has expanded. With ports of embarkation located all along the East Coast, Gulf Coast and Pacific Coast, experts estimate that half the population of the U.S. lives within driving distance of a cruise port. Likewise, several cruise ports are an easy drive for residents of Canadian cities such as Vancouver and Halifax.
The variety of home ports also expands the list of short-cruise destinations beyond the popular, time-honored choices of the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Home ports like Boston, New Orleans, San Diego and Seattle extend the short-cruise market to places like New England and Canada, Mexico’s Caribbean coast, the Mexican Riviera, and Alaska.
The increase in shorter cruise itineraries isn’t limited to the ocean cruise market. River cruise lines are finding that shorter voyages suit many of their passengers, too. For example, four- or five-night European River cruises are growing in popularity, especially during December, when historic European Christmas Markets are open.
There’s yet another reason to select a shorter cruise – to combine it with a land-based tour. Imagine a few days of cruising the Mediterranean or the coast of Alaska, followed by some time to explore what lies inland.
For more information on selecting a short cruise for your next vacation, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.