Everything you need to know about short cruises

There’s simply nothing better than short holidays. Heading off for a few days lets you hit the reset button, without eating into your annual leave. 


The question is: How can you make the most of your short break?


Don’t waste another minute in airport queues, booking holiday accommodation or researching things to do. A short cruise packs all the fun and adventure of a full-sized holiday into just a few days. 


To help, we’ve answered the most frequently asked questions about short cruises so you can set sail in style.



1. What happens on a short cruise?

In short, you can expect to experience all the same things you would enjoy on a long cruise. This includes party nights, entertainment, daytime activities, restaurant dining, lounging poolside and more. 


The benefit of a short break spent cruising is that you choose the holiday you want to have - do it all or do nothing at all.

2. What are the different types of short breaks?

Short cruises offer lots of choice and flexibility. On a P&O Short Break, you can go to amazing places like Moreton Island-Tangalooma, Kangaroo Island or the Whitsundays. 

To maximise the fun factor why not try a themed short cruise? From country and western right through to the fun of the 80s, you can unwind with like-minded people with all activities and entertainment based around the theme. 

Or you can choose a one-way short break and cruise to or from your holiday destination. We partner with all of the major airlines and can help you book flights in the opposite direction through P&O CruiseAir.

3. What is included in a short cruise?

A short cruise packs everything from a full-sized cruise into just a few days.  The benefit of spending your short holiday cruising is that accommodation, travel, entertainment, all main meals in designated restaurants, kids clubs, and most daytime activities are included. You simply book and then enjoy a stress-free break.

4. How do I get the best deal on a short cruise?

Keep an eye out for our latest deals. They do sell out fast though, so don’t delay!

5. What is the main difference between a short cruise and a long cruise?

The longer the cruise, the more destinations you visit and the further you travel. No matter how long you choose to cruise, you’ll have full access to the comforts and joys of our fantastic ships.

6. What should I pack on a short cruise?

Be sure to check the weather forecast of both your departure point and destination. If it’s going to be warm, don’t forget your swimmers and sun protection.


If you’re wondering how much you should pack on a short cruise, simply bring weather-appropriate clothes for the number of days you’ve booked. And don’t forget your glad-rags for the evenings.

7. Are there shore tours on a short cruise?

Our one-stop and one-way short breaks offer shore tours. It doesn’t matter whether you’re travelling with your family or solo; are an adventure seeker or have limited mobility; enjoy wilderness and wildlife or chilling beachside - there’s something for everyone.

8. What restaurants should I be making reservations for?

You should make a reservation at all of our restaurants. This is especially true if you want to catch a show or catch up with friends and family. Check the details of your ship to find out what’s on offer, then take your pick. Of course you can go to our casual food court style venue, The Pantry, at any time and try and one of the nine deliciously different food outlets.

9. Are short cruises good for kids and families?

Kids love making new friends at the onboard clubs, waterslides, waterparks, Edge adventure park and more. Parents love that kids clubs are included in your fare.


Short cruises are perfect for family get-togethers. There’s plenty for kids to do during the day and our late-night babysitting service means you can have a date night as well.

10. How do I make the most of a short cruise?

Make sure to read GoodTimes. Our daily guide is delivered to your room to let you know what’s happening where and when. The benefit of a short holiday spent cruising is that the choice is all yours. 

If you’re in the mood to relax, simply find a deck chair by the pool at the child-free Oasis or laze on your balcony.

Short cruise holidays by departure point

Short cruises from Sydney


There are short cruises departing from Sydney every other week. Cruise to Moreton Island-Tangalooma and hand feed dolphins, snorkel shipwrecks or try sand tobogganing.Our themed cruises from Sydney include the 80s, comedy and Sapphire Coast Food & Wine Festival.

Short cruises from Brisbane


Every other week Queenslanders head off on one of our short cruises from Brisbane. At the Whitsundays, you can spend a day on the reef or explore Airlie Beach. Or you can choose from comedy-, 80s-, or country-themed cruises. 

You can head one-way to Melbourne, Cairns and Auckland or cruise back to Brisbane from Cairns or Sydney.

Short cruises from Melbourne


Keep your eye out for seasonal short cruises departing from Melbourne. You could cruise to Kangaroo Island or enjoy a comedy or 80s themed short break. 

We offer one-way short cruises from Brisbane or Adelaide. If you’re departing from Melbourne, you can choose a one-way short from Melbourne to Adelaide.

Short cruises from Adelaide


Short cruise departures from Adelaide are seasonal and include trips to Port Lincoln and Robe or choose from comedy or 80’s themed cruises. Enjoy a belly laugh on our comedy-themed cruises to Melbourne, or heading back from Sydney. We also offer a one-way cruise to Auckland.

Ready, set, sail

There are so many reasons to choose a cruise for your short break. So what are you waiting for? Book your next short cruise and dip your toe into life on the high seas.

Search All Cruises


Related Articles