Amsterdam Canal

For those among us who are new to cruising, the thought of an extended cruise, could leave you anxious. Jumping straight onto a cruise that is for over forty nights and journeys to the depths of South America or Canada can leave you with many questions and worries. Whilst most people these days have experienced trips abroad that entail the drama of modern travel, including flights, airports, transfers, hotels, etc, which when trying to plan can culminate in an almighty headache. Cruising allows for the stress to be removed as the cruise line takes all the responsibility and hassle from planning your perfect trip.

Modern cruising allows passengers to pick their theme or destination and then provides a full itinerary and schedule based on that selection. It takes the stress of multi-destination trips from travel, accommodation to visas and finding restaurants and harks back to the heyday of the travel agencies where the passenger need only to describe their perfect trip and the agent would produce it.

When I was first asked if I wanted to go on a cruise I was raring to go. Having never cruised before, I was relishing the sense of a new adventure. As time went on the questions and doubts started to creep in, I began to worry whether a cruise would be for me. I like to travel with a sense of wanderlust, I love to explore cities without a map to enjoy the thrill of discovery and see what is around the next corner. I often make up day plans based on mood and what I discovered on the previous day so the thought of a confirmed itinerary with set stops worried me, would a cruise remove all the spontaneity of a short trip? I soon found that all those unprecedented fears were in vain the second I stepped aboard Magellan on a short cruise to Amsterdam and Antwerp. I was amazed at the smooth transition and thorough security checks at London Tilbury Port, it was 30 minutes from arrival to being in my cabin. This is a far cry from the norm of airport queues, long flights, transfers and hotel check-in. It felt slightly novel to know that once I was in the cabin I would be travelling to two separate countries and could call the cabin my base with no need to worry about repacking.

Short Break cruises can be a great way for those who are looking to dip their toes into the cruising world without going all out and booking a two-week trip. Most short cruises are either an overnight hop from one port to another or a short trip to the continent with stops in the Netherlands and Belgium. Normally included in an overnight short cruise is a five-course dinner, big show entertainment, cabaret and late night music with a cabin and breakfast included. This allows for you to get a taste of what days on board would be like. Be sure to read our ‘8 tips for first time cruisers’ blog to make sure that if it is your first cruise that you know what to keep an eye out for.

Short Break cruises can be a great way for those who are looking to dip their toes into the cruising world without going all out and booking a two-week trip. Most short cruises are either an overnight hop from one port to another or a short trip to the continent with stops in the Netherlands and Belgium. Normally included in an overnight short cruise is a five-course dinner, big show entertainment, cabaret and late night music with a cabin and breakfast included. This allows for you to get a taste of what days on board would be like. Be sure to read our ‘8 tips for first time cruisers’ blog to make sure that if it is your first cruise that you know what to keep an eye out for.

Amsterdam will always be a city that has so much to offer, making it a perfect destination for any length of stay. However, it is easily accessible, and therefore a wonderful destination for those on a short cruise. Since upgrading its cruise port terminal recently, Amsterdam cruise port is now only a short 15 minute walk from the ship right into the heart of Amsterdam and Dam Square. The city is best seen on foot or bike and with the short cruises on both Magellan and Columbus, you gain a whole day in the city, that makes it well worth wandering the network of canals across the city. A definite highlight for those who are only in the city for the day, is a stop at De Laatste Kruimel café (literally translating as The Last Crumb). Nestled in small street (Langebrugsteeg) near to Dam Square, this small shop offers a wide range of hot and cold sandwiches which are a complete delight. There are a few small tables inside and a small terrace on top of the canal. It really is one of the best small finds in Amsterdam and I can assure you that you will be hungry just from peering into their delightful windows.   

When on board and arriving at Antwerp Cruise Terminal, the city is literally a stone’s throw from the ship. One of CMV’s unique treats for passengers on a short cruise, is that the ships are perfectly sized to be able to use the Antwerp city cruise terminal and passengers on board and locals watching from the quayside are able to watch the ships as they perform the perfect three point turn in the river to dock, and our new flagship Columbus will be one of the largest ships to dock at the city. Within 5 minutes of leaving the ship you can be in the main Grote Markt exploring the city’s main square with the beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady which is currently host to a wide collection of Paul Peter Rubens paintings including ‘The Raising of the Cross’ (1609-1610), ‘The Descent from the Cross’ (1611 – 1614) and ‘The Assumption of the Virgin’ (1625 – 1626). Counted as one of the greatest artists in the world it is a rare spectacle to enjoy some of his most famous works in the splendour of the 16th century gothic cathedral. 

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