Top 5 Mini Cruises Around the World

The word, ‘cruise’ isn’t automatically part of the backpacker’s vocabulary, but this travel option shouldn’t be sniffed at. Short breaks are competitively priced and can offer an alternative way of exploring the world.


1) Hamburg

A popular destination for a mini cruise is the exciting German port of Hamburg. The Reeperbahn area of the city came to fame during the 1960s as a result of the Beatles’ performances at the ‘Club Indra’ and the Kaiserkeller (still open today) on Grosse Freiheit, adjacent to the Reeperbahn. This part of Hamburg is also famous as red lights district as well its many music clubs and bars.  Hamburg isn’t just about the city’s exotic nightlife.  The city is home to Germany’s largest art museum, the Hamburg Kunsthalle, and this iconic museum has works by the famous Baroque masters as well as more contemporary pieces including video installations and conceptual exhibitions.  You can’t leave the city without exploring the area around the harbour.  If at all possible try and time your visit for May when the harbour opens up and is transformed into a massive party venue in honour of its birthday, the port of Hamburg dates back to 1189.


2) Guernsey

If your wanderings take you to the north coast of France or to the UK, then try and enjoy a mini break in the Channel Islands.  Despite the geographical fact that these islands are closer to France than to the UK they are still regarded as British sovereign territory.  St Peter Port is the capital of Guernsey and this bustling town is famous for its 800-year-old Castle Cornet as well as its multitude of outdoor activities.  Adrenalin junkies will be able to tick coasteering off their bucket list as well as kayaking and diving.


3) The Rhine

If you’ve ever wanted to penetrate the country of fairy tale castles, rich cooking and historic cities, then a Rhine cruise is one of the best ways of fulfilling your dream.  You’ll be able to explore the city of Cologne as well the ancient city of Koblenz on the junction of the Rhine and the Moselle.  The Ehrenbreitstein Fortress dominates the city and this is the best place to ascend in order to obtain a panoramic view of this stunning area.  When your cruising down the Rhine, remember that you’re entering the world of the brothers Grimm and their bewitching fairy tales.


4) The Mediterranean

When the bleak northern winters become too depressing then head off south to the Mediterranean.  Try and see if you can source a mini break that will allow you to visit the wonders of northern Italy, Spain and then France.  The town of Ajaccio is both the capital of Corsica and Napoleon’s birthplace.  If you are a devotee of the Emperor than visit his house, Maison Bonaparte, before setting off to explore Ajaccio’s old town.


5) Bruges 

The Flemish city of Bruges is frequently referred to as the Venice of the north and is as famous for its pommes frites and mayonnaise as its stunning medieval architecture.  The Burg in the centre of the city is akin to taking a trip back in time, to a gentler world of beautiful churches and cobbled streets.  Bruges is the perfect city for dreamers.


By Celina Bledowska, writer and traveller




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Blogger and Photographer at Backpacker Banter
Chris is a surfer, photographer, traveller and writer from Devon in the UK and In 2009 he ditched 9-5 life and headed off to backpack the world. When he’s not in the water catching some waves he’s busy exploring with his camera or blogging over and Top 5 Travel

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