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A quick getaway might be just what you need.

We've all heard the trope that cruises are for the "newly wed and nearly dead" - and perhaps that was true ten years ago. However, the oceangoing holidays have been well and truly modernised over the past years, and now you'll find all ages and walks of life onboard a cruise ship.

One way in which cruising has adapted to the modern era is in the variety of itineraries on offer, and particularly the range in lengths. People have busy schedules, between work, kids in school, family and other commitments, and there is a growing tranche of keen cruisers who don't have the time to get onboard a 10-night journey to the Pacific Islands as often as they'd like. It's somewhat of a paradoxical situation: cruising is the perfect way to unwind, but those who need a bit of R&R most desperately are the ones who might not have the time to spend on it.

Enter short break cruises. These bite-sized getaways have been growing in popularity in Australia and the South Pacific as demand grows for cruises to fit into the busiest of lifestyles. 3-night and 4-night cruises, both with port stops and without, offer a long weekend-style holiday that is much easier to schedule amongst life's craziness.

Cruise lines offering short breaks

P&O

P&O Australia got the ball rolling with short cruises in the South Pacific. Their themed short breaks, categorized under Lifestyle, Comedy and Food and Wine, have been a hit with Aussie and Kiwi passengers. They also offer short cruises from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne with single port calls in places like Moreton Island or the Hunter Valley, the Whitsundays and Eden respectively. Some one-way cruise itineraries also last 3 or 4 nights: predominantly those from Sydney to Auckland or Melbourne and vice versa.

Eat dessert first sign

Carnival
Carnival's Australia-based Fun Ships, the Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend, have jumped on the bandwagon to offer short cruises from Sydney. As well as "Short Coastal Cruises" which are three-night loops with no ports, their most recent programs have included "Queensland Cruises" which sail from Sydney to Mooloolaba or Moreton Island for a 4-night getaway. The Carnival Spirit is based here year-round and offers these excursions to the tropical north during the winter months too - a fantastic escape from cabin fever!

Carnival cruise

Princess
With a big and still-growing fleet of vessels sailing from Australia, it's no wonder that Princess has the full range of cruising options available. Passengers can enjoy the line's beautiful ships on a 2-night coastal cruise from Sydney to Melbourne or to Brisbane and vice versa - these are some of the shortest cruises available in Australia and are great as a taster for first-time cruisers as well as a quick holiday for those who just want to be at sea. Princess also offers short cruises from Fremantle with stops at Busselton, Margaret River and Albany.

Princess cruise ice cream

Royal Caribbean
Short breaks are increasingly on the menu for the Royal Caribbean fleet down under, and they have given them the apt name of "samplers". These include 3-night cruises from Sydney which loop out into the Tasman, and similar ones from Brisbane, allowing passengers to enjoy a short break from a variety of different ports around the country. These are definitely a great way to sample the delights of a Royal Caribbean cruise without committing to a longer one.

Cruising in Sydney

Convinced that a short break cruise is just what you need? Take a look at the many short break itineraries - you can use our additional search options to choose the departure port, date and select 3-5 night cruises.

Written By: Sarah Glover, Content Editor of Cruise Sale Finder

I have enjoyed visiting as much of the world as possible over the years. Europe and the Mediterranean are personal favourites, but there is so much to see very close to our little Australasian corner of the globe- one of my top travel experiences was snorkeling with tropical fish and turtles in New Caledonia! Cruising is a fantastic way to see it all, and we hope to make booking a cruise easier for both first-timers and old salts. From ship tips to destination news and views, we will keep you up-to-date. Happy cruising!

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