Mini cruise adventure
For a laid back mini-break option this Spring, why not try a mini cruise? Ideal for a long weekend away, you can soak up the sunshine of Italy’s Amalfi coast, cruise between Cornwall and Guernsey or visit the beaches of Normandy to commemorate the D-Day landings in May. Wherever you’re setting sail to, adding Insure for All’s Cruise option to your policy costs just £6 – to insure the cost of connecting to the cruise up to £1,500, along with unused excursions and cabin confinement cover.
The Amalfi coast
(By Porfirio via Flickr)
Departing from Sorento, a mini-criuise along the Amalfi Coast – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – just takes a day and makes a great excursion if you’re planning a trip to Italy. You’ll stop off at Capri near its famous Blue Cave for a spot of swimming from the side of the boat or just to admire the impressive cliffs and beautiful landscape before visiting Marine reserve of Punta Campanella and “Li Galli”, known as the mermaids' island. If you prefer to choose where you weigh anchor, companies such as Real Adventures offer a boat charter service on smaller vessels of up to 12 people, which comes complete with captain. Alternatively, start your journey in Rome and travel in style with a Star Clippers cruise and take in Amalfi, Capri as well as the Aeolian Islands.
(Mont St Michael by morosphinx via Flickr)
Take a leisurely cruise across the channel to the dramatic coastlines and lush green countryside of Normandy – best known for cheese, Calvados brandy and William the Conqueror. Take in a slice of our own history with an excursion to see the Bayeux Tapestry, see waterlilies and irises through artist's eyes at Claude Monet's Garden or visit the visually arresting Gothic abbey of Mont St Michel, rising from the sea on its rocky crag.
This year, Normandy will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings between March and the end of August with remembrance ceremonies, firework displays, parachute drops, exhibitions, parades and re-enactments. Brittany Ferries offer a free D-Day app for iPhone or iPad, which provides information about some of the main sites of interest, as well as explaining the history behind them.
Fred Olsen offer a 3 day mini cruise to Rouen, which includes an leisurely 80 mile trip along the Seine to spend a day in Paris. Or you could opt for a 5 day cruise taking in Amsterdam, Bruges and Le Havre through P&O cruises.
Channel Island hopping
(Castle Cornet, Guernsey by Ross Crae via Flickr)
You don’t have to stray far from home to enjoy a mini-cruise. In fact, you don’t have to leave British waters at all. Why not weigh anchor at St Peter’s port in Guernsey - one time home of Les Misérables novelist Victor Hugo, who lived in Hauteville House (open to the public and well worth a visit). The Heritage Guernsey Festival kicks off in May, celebrating this small island with a big history as walks, talks and tours are held at open houses across the island. Visit between 15th and 18th and you’ll also catch the Guernsey Literary Festival.
If you want to get away from it all, be sure to include Sark on your itinerary for a night or two of car-free peace, tranquillity and a slower pace of life. The island is a haven for wild-flowers, coastal birds and marine life, and as it is free from light pollution which blights most mainland areas, it has been awarded International Dark-Sky Association recognition as being an excellent spot for stargazing. Saga offer a 7 night island hopping cruise taking in Jersey, Guernsey, Sark and St Malo on the cost of France. Alternatively, P&O Cruises depart from Southampton and include Cornwall, France and Guernsey on their itinerary.