An Amsterdam Mini Cruise is the perfect way to explore one of Europe's leading travel destinations. With lots to see and do, a short cruise is a fun and cheap vacation that will allow you to relax and sightsee. Mini cruises to Amsterdam depart the UK from the DFDS Newcastle port, with sailings available everyday.
Whether you regularly sail on mini-cruises, or are looking for a great first introduction, this guide will help you understand what to expect, explain how to make the most of your short break to Holland and also ensure you receive the best possible deal.
What is a Mini Cruise?
Most travellers know what a cruise is, but what about a mini-cruise? They are a relatively new experience available from a select number of cruise and ferry operators. Unlike a traditional cruise, where you are at sea for several days to weeks exploring multiple destinations, a mini cruise is a short break that only lasts a few days in total and normally visits 1 destination.
Mini cruises offer passengers a short escape to Europe, onboard comfortable and modern vessels. You also have the opportunity to extend your vacation by booking additional accommodation at your destination. There are a number of great onboard facilities, including eateries, bars, cafes, live entertainment, casinos, cinemas and plenty of activities to keep younger passengers entertained.
Amsterdam Mini Cruise Deals & Discounts
Below are verified deals and discounts to help save you money on your mini cruise with DFDS.
With prices from £55pp we are offering the perfect family getaway to Amsterdam Zoo which include entry and up to 5 hours at the zoo.
This mini cruise option offers complimentary dining experience at our 7 Seas restaurant as well as a complimentary breakfast on the outbound journey. All of ...
DFDS offer a range of exciting mini cruise holidays to Amsterdam, and further beyond in Europe. Grab a great deal with prices from as little as £32 per person, ...
What to expect on your Mini Cruise?
Your mini cruise will include your crossing and en suite accommodation onboard. You will also benefit from coach transfers from your arrival port to final destination. Once you arrive at your destination, you will have ample time to explore the local sights and attractions, and enjoy the different culture and food available.
With any holiday, it is always a good idea to do some research and explore what will be available during your cruise. A great way to check out what is on offer is through the DFDS youtube channel or you can take a virtual tour onboard here. You can explore a range of different experiences from holidaymakers who have taken and shared their experience onboard.
Mini Cruise Onboard Entertainment
As ferry cruises take longer than most standard English Channel crossings, there are a range of onboard entertainment options for passengers of all ages, budgets and interests.
The facilities available are designed to ensure your holiday begins as soon as you step onboard. There are several modern bars, which offer live music and entertainment. The Columbus club offers a fun mix of music and games, as well as all you favourite beers, wines and spirits.
Enjoy the thrill of the roulette wheel, or perhaps try your hand at blackjack with the onboard casino. Try your luck with some of the most loved casino games.
There are also cinemas, and plenty of entertainment options for the younger travellers, including a kidz's club, and children's entertainers. For teenagers, there is a dedicated games room, which offers a wide array of fun attractions from air-hockey to racing games.
Seasonal Amsterdam Mini Cruises
If you are looking for something a little different, why not consider one of the seasonal mini cruises available. These cruises offer passengers something a little different, and are packed full of fun events and activities to enjoy during your time onboard.
Some of the seasonal and themed cruises include:
- Halloween Mini Cruise – Set sail on All Hallows Eve on the DFDS special Halloween-themed Amsterdam Mini Cruise. Passengers can don their halloween fancy dress and join in on the hair-raising activities available, with prizes for the best costumes. This cruise is suitable for couples, groups and families.
- Pop up Restaurant Cruise – With fun and exciting concept menus that change monthly, you will be sure to have an innovative dining experience at the onboard Pop Up restaurant.
- Other Seasonal and Themed Cruises – check out the full list of experiential mini cruises to Amsterdam available with DFDS.
It wouldn't be a mini cruise to Amsterdam without some time to explore your destination. The capital of the Netherlands has a lot to offer holidaymakers of all ages. No matter your interests, there is plenty of fun for all visitors. Why not explore the extensive canals throughout Amsterdam by boat, or tour the many museums available throughout the city.
If you are looking for some more inspiration, below are some useful guides to help you decide what to do with your time.
- Amsterdam for Couples – A few of the most romantic highlights for couples visiting Amsterdam on a mini cruise include De Magere Brug (a bridge with a legend that couples who kiss on this bridge will stay together forever), tandem cycling throughout the cobbled and canal-lined streets of Amsterdam, Bloemenmarkt for old-school romantics and an Amsterdam canal cruise, taking in the highlights such as Westerkerk, Anne Frank's house and golden age canal houses.
- Amsterdam for Families – If you are travelling with youngsters, a few of the must see attractions in Amsterdam include Madame Tussauds for celebrity waxworks, and you can even step inside a Van Gogh artwork or sit on Princess Beatrix's throne. You can also explore the numerous parks, petting zoos and the section of the Hermitage Museum dedicated to kids. When it comes to food, you can't overlook the local pancakes, which are available in both sweet and savoury varieties.
- Amsterdam for Groups – There is a lot on offer for groups, from a small boat party to alcohol tours at either the Heineken Experience or the House of Bols. Some other experiences popular with groups in Amsterdam include the A'Dam Tower, Ajax Stadium tour and shopping in the 9 Streets region.
- Book in Advance – With most travel services throughout the world, you will receive the best deals if you book well in advance. This is because as the cruise begins to fill, the price of each ticket will increase. If you book well in advance, there will be more available and the cruise provider will want to offer you a great deal to secure your business.
- Pre-Book Food – You can save up to 17% when you pre-book your meals compared to onboard prices. If you plan on eating onboard your mini cruise, we strongly recommend taking the time to pre-book your meals. There are a number of eateries available, and you can find out more information about the onboard restaurants here.
- Travel on Weekdays – Weekends and peak times (such as holiday periods) cost more than off-peak times. For the cheapest mini cruise prices, try to travel during off-peak times. The savings can be quite significant, so it is often worthwhile trying to travel during the week, if possible.
- Check for Discounts – Mini cruise operators, such as DFDS, regularly offer discount codes and seasonal promotions, which allow consumers to make significant savings on the cost of their travel. Check out our DFDS offer code page for the latest Amsterdam mini cruise discounts.
How much does a DFDS Amsterdam Mini Cruise Cost?
Short breaks are popular as an affordable escape, and with the range of cabins and package inclusions available with DFDS, you can create the perfect mini cruise for your budget and requirements.
The cost of an Amsterdam mini cruise starts from as little as £32 per person, based on 4 people sharing an economy cabin. Cabin upgrades are available from as little as £7 each way. You can also pre-book food packages, which saves 17% compared to onboard prices.
If you are making a group booking, you can make extra savings with 1 in 10 passengers travelling free.
When booking your mini cruise, you will have a range of great cabin options to suit all types of travellers, from deluxe premium cabins to pet-friendly accommodation for your fur babies. All cabins include an en suite, and are the perfect place to relax and unwind when you aren't exploring the entertainment options available throughout the cruise ship.
The cabins available on an Amsterdam Mini Cruise include:
- Premium Cabins – As a premium passenger, you will benefit from a TV and mini bar available in the Commodore cabins. You will also receive a complimentary hot breakfast in the Blue Riband restaurant.
- Sea-View Cabins – Enjoy the comforts of a an en suite room with bunks, and look at over the seas as you relax during the crossing between Newcastle and Amsterdam.
- Standard Inside Cabins – Providing great value for money, these cabins offer passengers a great night sleep in comfy bunks and a personal shower and WC.
- Double Bed Cabins – If you want more space to spread out or want to snuggle up at night, the double bed cabins are a great choice for you. They also include a private shower and WC too.
- Economy Cabins – Located in the lower decks, the economy cabins are perfect for the budget-conscious traveller who wants to have a great experience without spending too much.
- Pet-Friendly Cabins – If you want to bring your dog along for the journey, you can! These specially adapted rooms are designed to be pet safe, and can comfortably fit 2 medium sized dogs.
- Accessible Cabins – If you have mobility issues or a disability, you can opt for an accessible cabin. These cabins have more space to maneuver, and also benefit from additional rails and accessible inclusions.
Mini Cruise Food & Restaurants
There are a number of food options available onboard, catering to all tastes and budgets. Top Tip: You can save up to 17% when you book your meals in advance.
- 7 Seas Restaurant – Serving up to 80 dishes from across the globe, this buffet restaurant is great option for those who want to try a little of everything.
- Blue Riband Restaurant – For a premium dining experience, the Blue Riband is the destination for the finest ingredients and exquisite dishes.
- Explorer's Steakhouse – Enjoy a steak cooked to your preferred style, and expand your meal with a range of desserts and fresh salads.
- Little Italy – As you may have guessed from the name, Little Italy serves up classic Italian dishes including pizza, pasta, and more.
- Lighthouse Cafe – From a quick snack or sweet treat to a burger and fries, the Lighthouse Cafe has you covered.
- Pop Up Restaurant – With exciting menus that change monthly and offer passengers a unique culinary experience.
You can also upgrade your trip into an Gourmet Food Amsterdam Mini Cruise to enjoy a range of drinks and food options onboard.
Shopping is a popular activity for passengers onboard DFDS mini cruises, and are a great opportunity to find a bargain. The sea shops stock a wide range of products, including confectionery, clothing, gifts, toys, souvenirs, alcohol, tobacco, perfumes and cosmetics.
There are also the travel essentials you may have forgotten at home, such as sunscreen, travel adapters, maps, toiletries and much more.
With the onboard sea shops, you can find famous brands at low prices. There are also a number of travel exclusive products that aren't available at high street retailers, so be prepared for a great shopping experience.
You can find the latest deals and best buys brochure on the DFDS shopping page.
Bring Your Car & Pets
One of the many great features of a mini cruise with DFDS is that you get to take your pets and car with you. The boats used for the cruise crossing between Newcastle and Amsterdam have space for up to 600 cars, which provides passengers the option of exploring the many attractions available at the destination with their own vehicle. You can also shop to you drop, and bring all your shopping back in the boot of your vehicle.
If you want to bring your pet along, you will need to book a pet-friendly cabin. It is also important that you check the other requirements for travelling with your dog, such as pet passports and vaccinations. There is also a small charge for bringing your dog along on your journey.
Why Choose DFDS?
When it comes to mini cruises, DFDS are one of the pioneers of this unique experience. Founded more than 150 years ago, they have established themselves as one of the leading ferry cruise providers servicing the UK and Northern Europe.
When it comes to awards, DFDS have a very impressive record of winning prestigious commendations. In the 2016 World Travel Awards, DFDS was awarded the World and Europe's Leading Ferry Operator awards. They have been awarded this tremendous accolade 6 times in a row, demonstrating the exceptional service the strive to deliver to all of their customers.
Amsterdam Mini Cruise Sailing Schedule
There are sailings every day with DFDS Seaways between Newcastle (North Shields) and Amsterdam (Ijmuiden). There are two cruise ferries that operate the route in both directions. Crossings are overnight and depart from the ports in the late afternoon, and arrive in the morning.
Whilst regular services are available everyday, some dates may not be available due to annual maintenance. Please check the DFDS route information page for more information of any dates that are not available.
Newcastle to Amsterdam Ships
There are two ships available on the mini cruise between Newcastle and Amsterdam, King Seaways and Princess Seaways. Known as cruise ferries, these ships boast a number of facilities to ensure passengers are well fed, entertained and have a great night's sleep during your crossing.
If you are interested in the technical details of these ships, we have included some fun facts below.
King Seaways is a large cruise ferry originally built in 1987 and renovated in 2006. The ship can accommodate over 1,300 passengers and 600 cars. The ship features many restaurants, shops, bars, cafes, two cinemas, casino and children's entertainment.
The cruise ferry is 163m long and 28m wide, has 522 cabins and a cruising speed of 21 knots.
Princess Seaways one of DFDS's two ships used for the route between Newcastle to Amsterdam. It was originally built in 1986 and renovated in 2006. The ship can accommodate over 1,200 passengers and 600 cars. The ship features restaurants, shops, bars, casino and children's entertainment.
The cruise ferry is 163m long and 28m wide, has 478 cabins and a cruising speed of 21 knots.
For more information on either King Seaways or Princess Seaways, including virtual tours and full onboard facilities, please click here.
Other Mini Cruises to Amsterdam
Whilst it isn't quite the same, P&O Ferries provide a service they refer to as an ‘Amsterdam Mini Cruise'. The P&O cruise ferry departs from Hull and travels to Rotterdam. A coach then carries passengers from the arrival port up to the Amsterdam city centre. Whilst it is similar, the arrival port is much further from Amsterdam, so more time will be spent travelling in a coach once you arrive in the Netherlands. For those who would prefer to travel from Hull, rather than Newcastle, this could a better option.
If you aren't looking for a mini cruise, you can find out more about other ferries to Amsterdam here.
Frequently Asked Questions
To help you prepare for your holiday, and ensure you choose the right vacation for your needs, we have provided some helpful frequently asked questions below.
How much time will I have in Amsterdam?
You will have approximately 5 hours to spend in Amsterdam city, unless you decide to extend your stay by booking additional accommodation.
The boat docks at Ijmuiden, and you will be taken by coach to Amsterdam at 10:15am. The last coach back to the boat at the end of the day departs Amsterdam at 4:00pm.
During your leisure time in Amsterdam, you can relax, unwind and explore. You will be provided with more information about the drop off and pick up locations for the coach by the DFDS staff on your cruise.
Does DFDS accommodate disabled and reduced mobility passengers?
Yes, there are a number of services available to reduced mobility and disabled passengers. On the Newcastle to Amsterdam ferry crossing, there are accessible cabins available. However, there are only a limited number, so you will need to contact the customer service team to check availability and book. There are both standard and sea-view accessible cabins available.
These cabins have been designed to ensure a comfortable journey for less mobile passengers, and feature larger bathrooms with a seated shower and rails, tiled floors throughout and more space. They also feature the comforts of standard rooms, such as drawers, clothes hangers, desk, chair, power plugs bedding, towels and much more.
Can I bring my car or vehicle?
Yes, the ferries can hold up to 600 cars, and you can book special motor mini cruise packages. Explore further with the convenience of your own vehicle, from the beautiful beaches to the excellent shopping. And with your own car, you can bring back all your shopping in the convenience of your own boot.
As well as cars, you can also bring bicycles, motorhomes, minibuses, caravans and motorbikes.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes, you are allowed to bring your dog (or dogs) if you book one of the pet-friendly cabins. These cabins feature vinyl flooring, and can sleep up to 4 people and 2 medium sized dogs. You can find out more on the DFDS Pet-Friendly Cabin page.
- There is a surcharge of £25 per dog to have your pet in your cabin.
- As you will be crossing in to a different country, please ensure your pet has all the required documentation.
How long does the cruise take?
From Newcastle to Amsterdam, the cruise takes approximately 15 hours and 30 minutes (or 16 hours on Sunday's). The outgoing journey departs at 5pm and arrives at 9:30am. The return ferry departs Amsterdam at 5:30pm, and arrives back in the UK at 9am the following morning.
In total, the mini cruise spans 3-days, starting at 2:30pm when check-in opens on day 1 and returning to the DFDS Newcastle port at 9am on the third day.