Sailing under the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver
aboard the Rotterdam’s one-night trip to Seattle.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
Chances are, you’ve heard of one-night cruises before, but haven’t been on one yourself.  If you live near (or even reasonably close to) one of the ports of embarkation, you really owe it to yourself to give these small ‘taster’ cruises a try; like us, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you find.
Not only is it an excellent way to try out a new cruise line, it’s a fantastic way to try out a ship you’ve always been curious about.  Maybe you’ve had your eye on it for a longer voyage, but wanted to sail it for yourself before committing to a longer duration of time aboard.  
I was always leery of a one-day voyage.  I thought it would be too much of a tease, and not replicate the cruise experience well enough.  
Was I ever wrong.
After sailing aboard Holland America’s Rotterdam for one day back in May, I was astounded by just how much fun it was.  With only one day on board, everyone is there to have a good time.  Service was just as good, and all the usual suspects were open: casino, spa, bars and lounges.  The evening show was in full swing after an excellent dinner, and there were many, many opportunities to enjoy yourself aboard.  
Almost all the usual amenities were present aboard
Rotterdam, including chocolates & room-service.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders 
Of course, the downside is they kick you off the next morning – but strangely it wasn’t a problem.  You  go into it knowing you only have a short amount of time onboard, and that makes it less disappointing in a way.  In short, it doesn’t take a lot of convincing for me to do a one-day cruise again.
Although usually technical in nature (cruise lines offer one-day voyages as a way of shoring up a gap in their schedule, or because of legal restrictions in sailing between US ports, as is the case with the Seattle to Vancouver voyages), these short little jaunts can be a lot of fun.
 Golden Princess sets sail for Seattle on a
1-day cruise from Vancouver.
Photo © 2010 Aaron Saunders
So who offers one day cruises?

From Seattle or Vancouver: Both Holland America and Princess Cruises offer one-day repositioning voyages between Seattle and Vancouver this September.  Oosterdam, Rotterdam, Volendam and Zaandam sail for Holland America, and Golden Princess, Royal Princess, and Sapphire Princess operate the run for Princess.

Prices for these quick jaunts can be as low as $30pp in an inside cabin – far cheaper than a stay in a comparable hotel for the evening.

Norwegian Star arriving in Vancouver.  In November,
she will operate a 1-night cruise from Los Angeles.
Photo © Aaron Saunders 

From Los Angeles: Residents in the City of Angels need not feel left out: Norwegian Cruise Line operates a 1-day sailing aboard the Norwegian Star that departs – and returns to – San Pedro on November 19, 2010.  Pricing starts at $129 per person.

From Boston: Once again, Norwegian Cruise Line doesn’t want passengers on the East Coast to feel left out: Norwegian Spirit operates a 1-night cruise roundtrip from historic Boston on September 24th. 

From New York: Both Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Gem offer a series of one-nighters beginning in January, 2011 and continuing on into February.  

Looking for twice the amount of time aboard?  Go to your favorite search engine like Travelocity and plug in “1 to 2 nights” in the search field.  You might be surprised to find that there are two-night cruises as close to home as Vancouver, New York and Miami, and as far away as Sydney Australia or Santos, Brazil. 

Happy cruising!


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