Whether you’re a cruise novice, a first-timer or even if you’re a regular on the high seas, mini cruises are a great way of trying out this unique style of holiday to see if it’s for you.

Most itineraries are just one or two nights long, sometimes up to three or four, and often set sail from a UK port such as Southampton. In most cases you will take in one or two destinations which might include the likes of Cork, Paris or Brussels, where you can spend a day exploring the city before heading back to the boat and enjoying an evening’s entertainment.

And what entertainment! Aside from the usual high standard of cuisine which can take the shape of an enormous buffet, freshly prepared using the finest ingredients, to a spectacular gala dinner – often with waiter service, carefully matched wines and a sumptuous taster menu of several delicious courses – you will usually have a full range of entertainment too. This can take the form of a cabaret or high-octane Broadway-style show, sometimes followed by a disco or live music.

It’s all about bringing the highlights of cruise holidays together into one compact package, and in most cases revolves around cruises from UK – rather than incorporating a flight.

Due to their duration these short taster cruises are naturally fairly inexpensive, but you can still find a range of deals on offer. Booking early is a great way of securing discounts on next season’s holidays – particularly if you reserve your spot as soon as the brochure hits the shelves – and you will often get to split the cost of your holiday over a longer period of time too.

So however you book your holiday and whichever itinerary you choose, a taster cruise is the perfect way to give it a whirl.