Newcastle - Amsterdam

What is a mini cruise?

Our mini cruise from Newcastle to Amsterdam is our most popular break, and it’s easy to see why. It’s the perfect way to take a short break to one of the most fascinating cities in Europe, as well as enjoying a cruise experience onboard our comfortable, modern ships.

But what exactly is a mini cruise? And what can you expect if you book one? Well, in this blog we’ll take you through the trip from boarding to bed, to breakfast and back again.

All aboard!

Our ferry departs from the port in North Shields, near Newcastle, every evening at 5pm, so be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to check in and don’t forget your passport! We recommend turning up at least 90 minutes before departure, but even earlier if you have any special requirements, and please let us know in advance if you do.

Not to worry though, as you can grab something to eat at our port café-bar, pick up a couple travel items at the shop or play on the arcade games. Royal Quays outlet is also just up the road, about 10 minutes away.

At check-in, you’ll be able to pre-purchase meals (and save compared to onboard prices), upgrade your cabin and add other extras if you wish. So if you’re looking for a way to make your mini cruise extra special, then look no further.

Once you’ve checked in you will pass through security and you’ll be able to board.

Cosy Cabins

Once you’ve boarded, you’ll be directed to your cabin where you can drop your luggage. We have a range of different cabins, all in different sizes and with different capacities, so no matter what your budget, and how many are travelling, we’ll have something for you. Our cabins range from 2-bed to 5-bed, plus we have standard inside, sea view and economy options, all with en suite facilities.


However, we know some of you will be thinking about taking a more luxurious trip, so that’s why we also offer premium Commodore and Commodore De Luxe cabins which include a TV, seating areas, a complimentary minibar and more. Commodore De Luxe customers will also get entry to the Commodore Lounge, where you can enjoy snacks, drinks and prosecco as you sail. Now that’s what we call sailing in style!

Eat, Drink and be Merry

Our ferries aren’t just a means of transport. At DFDS we believe that your journey should be every bit as fun as the time you spend in your destination, so that’s why we’ve packed our ships full with facilities and amenities to ensure you have a pleasant and enjoyable crossing.

You’ll find 4 restaurants to choose from, with food suitable for even the pickiest eaters. For a taste of the Mediterranean, head to Little Italy and choose from a range of pizza and pasta dishes suitable for all the family. The Blue Riband à la carte is a little bit posher, but no less accessible, with meat and poultry dishes, plus meals suitable for vegetarians. Our Explorers Steakhouse is one of our most talked-about dining experiences, serving up juicy, succulent steaks and sides still-sizzling to you.


Our most popular restaurant, however, is the 7 Seas all-you-can-eat buffet. So if you’re looking to stuff yourself silly on your journey, then look no further. You’ll have a choice of over 80 dishes from all over the world, plus delicious desserts and family-friendly meals too, so there’s no need to worry about finding something you’ll love.





Once you’ve had your fill of the delicious food onboard, we’re sure you’ll want to get your holiday started properly, and that’s why our ships are packed with things to do for travellers of all ages!

If you’re travelling with your family, then your kids will love the Kidz’ Club and the children’s entertainer, or our arcade games area. We also have shops onboard selling fashion, fragrance, toys, gifts and souvenirs, where you can spend some of your holiday money and indulge yourself in some retail therapy.

Our onboard cinema plays the latest Hollywood blockbusters and is perfect for couples or families, so you can grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy a thriller, a comedy or something a little bit more romantic.


For the grown-ups, we have a number of onboard bars where you can relax and grab a beer, sip a cocktail or a glass or two of fine wine. Our Columbus Club hosts live music and entertainment from a house band, acoustic troubadour and entertainer, and then later on you can dance the night away before you head back to your cabin for a good night’s sleep.


The most important meal of the day…

Those of you sensible enough to book a breakfast, and disciplined enough to get up early, before docking at 9.30am, can enjoy the delights of our breakfast buffet. With hot and cold breakfast options, including everything you’ll need to make yourself a full English, as well as pastries, fruit, cereal and plenty more.

Once you’ve disembarked, you’ll be directed to a number of transfer coaches which will take you from our port in IJmuiden to Amsterdam, approximately 40 minutes away, and then the day is yours to do with as you please!

Amazing Amsterdam

You’ll have anything up to 5 hours in Amsterdam, so more than long enough to explore but short enough that you won’t be left hanging around, and with so much to do in the Dutch capital, the hardest thing will be deciding on what you pack into your day.

Amsterdam was home to some of the most famous artists in history, and now is home to some of Europe’s foremost art museums, such as the Rijksmuseum with its collection of Rembrandt works and the Van Gogh Museum, hosting the great eponymous artist’s most brilliant masterpieces.

Take a cruise through the city’s canals and in just an hour you can see 100 of the city’s highlights. It’s a great way to get to know the city if it’s your first time, or to see the sights in an entirely new way if you’ve been before.

The Dutch capital is also a great shopping destination, with areas such as the 9 Streets including everything from boutiques to brands, and is well-stocked for bars and restaurants as well as Brown Cafés, similar to English pubs, and Grand Cafés, which are a little more ornate, and a great place to people-watch.

Between 3 and 4pm, our coaches will arrive in Amsterdam to pick you up. Your driver will have told you where to report back to when you first arrived in Amsterdam in the morning. These coaches will whisk you back to port so you can enjoy another night onboard, before arriving back in North Shields at 9am the next morning.

Whew, what a fun, non-stop trip!

Themed Mini Cruises

Our mini cruise is our most popular short break, and our themed mini cruises are another way to enjoy a short break to Amsterdam with a cruise experience.

Our North Sea Sounds music cruises include concerts from world-famous music artists and DJs. In the past we’ve welcomed ABC, The Christians, the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show, Smoove & Turrell and plenty more onboard to entertain our customers as they sail.

If you’re an animal lover then our Amsterdam Artis Zoo mini cruise is ideal for you. You’ll spend a day at one of Europe’s oldest and most well-renowned zoos, with hundreds of animals of all species and types to discover. Alternatively, our Marine Wildlife mini cruise – in association with dolphin and whale charity ORCA – will give you an education on the animals it’s possible to see from the deck of our ship, including dolphins, whales, birds and more.

Our Halloween cruise is enormously popular, with a hotly-contested fancy dress competition and other themed fun, while our New Year’s Eve mini cruise includes 3 nights onboard, plus an open bar on New Year’s Eve, and the chance to see the famous Amsterdam fireworks at midnight from the deck!

So if all of this has got you in the mood for a quick jaunt to the Dutch capital, then be sure to head to our website for more information, ideas and inspiration!

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