Short cruises good for first-timers

If you're tempted to indulge in a cruise but are nervous about embarking on such a holiday for the first time, then it might be wisest to test the water with a short cruise of only three or four days.

At least, this is the conclusion drawn by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which asked customers a series of questions and discovered a number of aspects about short journeys that were particularly pleasing to first-time cruisers.

Those looking for a quick romantic getaway or to spend the vast majority of their trip exploring destinations rather than staying on the cruise vessel also advocate booking only two or three nights.

Although these were the main groups identified by the survey, time-strapped holidaymakers as well as those seeking the best possible value claimed they look for short-term cruises as well.

Interestingly, people tended to fly to exotic destinations for such cruises rather than staying local, with the most popular destinations for short holidays proving to be Mexico, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

If you fall into one of the above categories, it might be worth considering one of Seafarer's shorter cruising experiences below. A plethora of destinations and experiences are available in countries ranging from European historical hotspots (Greece, Italy) to exotic beach destinations (the Seychelles). Check out the range of exciting options below.

Greece

Few holiday destinations can boast as much attraction as Greece. Quite apart from possessing some of the most beautiful beaches and attractive little coves, it also has plenty of important historical locations, such as the town of Ephesus with its ancient harbour and fascinating ruins, constructed around the 10th century BC. Once upon a time, a population of 56,000 resided among these stone columns and crumbling walls. With Seafarer, Greece is one of your best options for a short cruise, with the Idyllic Aegean itinerary lasting either three days or four days. You can enjoy the atmosphere of Syros, Cesme, and Athens – plus more – before returning home after a fantastic holiday. Experience renowned beauty spots including Santorini, chic cosmopolitan atmosphere on Myokonos, and destinations from the lap of history such as Patmos and Heraklion.

Seychelles

Don't write off exotic destinations for a short cruise. The Seychelles is available with three and four-night itineraries that show off this archipelago's best points – warm temperatures, gorgeous turquoise seas, stunning beaches and charismatic coastlines. Opportunities for diving, snorkelling and swimming on islands such as Moyenne and Praslin are simply unmissable, with the marine life proving varied and fascinating. An oxcart tour in La Digue, the quaintest community in the Seychelles, is also well worth experiencing. And that's just some of what's on offer in the three-day itinerary, with a visit to St Anne to see giant tortoises proving the highlight of the four-day alternative.

Wildlife, extraordinary landscapes and great weather. The Seychelles quite frankly has it all, and experiencing it on a short trip might just convince you to come back for a longer visit.

Tahiti

Another extraordinary location for a short holiday is Tahiti, which boasts eye-popping beauty along every turn and twist of its elegant coastline. There are three and four-night itineraries available – the Blue Lagoon Dream and the Huahine Dream. The former will see you navigating the famous blue and green lagoons, with snorkelling and kayaking opportunities in the Avatoru Pass and walks on the motu. There is a nursery of sharks to witness and many tropical fish, while your hunger will no doubt be sated with a tasty barbecue. Meanwhile, the Huahine alternative is quite a different experience, taking you to the likes of the Avea Bay and the Bourayne Bay – both grand and expansive stretches of water. Surrounded by tropical fish, lush vanilla plantations and archaeological sites, you can count on an extraordinary week here.

Bear in mind that for the two long-haul destinations, our cruises are attached to land or beach-based holidays.