Belgian chocolates

Saga Pearl II Amsterdam and Bruges Mini Cruise – 30th November 2018

If you crave a short pre-Christmas break to get into the festive spirit then look no further than this Saga cruise.

Visiting bustling Amsterdam and romantic Bruges in early December will get you in the right mood for Christmas.

About this cruise

Your over 50's cruise takes place on Saga Pearl II, a lovely small ship with a family feel onboard (you know, minus the kids).

You'll board the ship in Portsmouth on Friday and will have a chance to explore your new home-away-from-home before you take to the seas bound for Amsterdam.

Saturday morning is spent at sea so you'll have an opportunity to relax and unwind. Be as lazy or as active as you like. Mid-afternoon, the ship will dock in Ijmuiden where it will stay overnight. This means you can join an optional twilight shore excursion to Amsterdam or you can head out and experience Amsterdam's legendary night life.

Complimentary shuttle buses will operate from the port to the centre of Ijmuiden but not to Amsterdam, so you'll need to make your own way to the city unless you join an organised tour. Public buses run between Ijmuiden and the outskirts of Amsterdam (taking about an hour), with the city centre well served by a bus and tram network.

Much of Sunday is spent docked in Ijmuiden so you've got a full day here to explore Amsterdam or North Holland. You could also explore the small port city of Ijmuiden, although you might prefer to do this on Saturday afternoon instead, saving Sunday for a visit to Amsterdam for a spot of Christmas shopping and sightseeing. The choice is yours though. Just make sure you're back on board before the ship sails onwards.

After a night at sea, you'll arrive in Zeebrugge on Monday. This is the gateway port to Bruges. You'll either need to join an optional shore excursion to Bruges or make your own way to the city, which is around half an hour or so away. The coach drop-off point and the train station is quite a walk from Bruges city centre so you might want to take a taxi from these to save you from the lengthy trek. It's worth it to stock up on authentic Belgian chocolate gifts for Christmas as well as to see the Christmas Market in the central square at Grote Markt.

Alternatively, a tram runs outside the port down to Blankenberge, a lovely little coastal town. The beach in early December is not as inviting as in summer, but there are plenty of cafes to enjoy a coffee in. Head to the railway station for onward travel to Bruges or stay on the tram and head to Ostend.

Head back on board Saga Pearl II and sail overnight back to Portsmouth where you'll disembark after breakfast on Tuesday morning.

(Photo credit to Dghchocolatier)

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The Route

The itinerary for this mini cruise is:

1Friday 30th November 2018Portsmouth5pm
2Saturday 1st December 2018Ijmuiden (for Amsterdam)Arrive at 3pm
3Sunday 2nd December 2018Ijmuiden (for Amsterdam)Depart at 5pm
4Monday 3rd December 2018Zeebrugge (for Bruges)8am to 5.30pm
5Tuesday 4th December 2018Portsmouth8am

Why choose this taster cruise?

  • 4 nights on Saga Cruises' ship, Saga Pearl II
  • Voyage P2215 departs on Friday 30th November 2018
  • Sail round-trip from Portsmouth
  • Enjoy an overnight docked near Amsterdam and spend a day near Bruges

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So you know, the map above shows point-to-point lines which may cross land. Don't worry, your cruise ship will not sprout legs and run across dry land. Instead it's water all the way! Mapping is approximate, and the scheduled times are estimates. Your trip is subject to change as, occasionally, operators have to alter itineraries due to bad weather or unforeseen events.

The Price


On Wednesday 5th September 2018, I found a starting price from £652 per person based on two sharing the cheapest cabin (usually this is an inside cabin). 24 days prior it started from £614 per person, a hike of £38 per person.


What's that per night?

Want to compare this short break to a hotel stay? A starting price of 'from £652 per person' equates to 'from £163 per person per night'.

Here's a trend line showing the movement of the lead-in price for this cruise. I aim to check prices daily and this graph shows only those readings. I love geeky stuff like this and thought it might be handy when planning when to book your next cruise.

In my last 13 checks, the cheapest I have seen this cruise start at is from £499 per person, and the highest I've seen it go is from £691 per person.


Are there any extras?

This price normally includes some meals but excludes drinks, gratuities, optional shore excursions, and any applicable flights and transfers (if needed and if excluded). If you want a cabin or suite with a view, these come at a premium (if available).

Cruise prices are based on supply and demand so the more spare cabins there are closer to the sail date, the cheaper the prices often become. After all, no cruise line likes sailing with empty cabins and this cruise sails in 1 month.

I regularly check for price changes by hand, but as they can occur rapidly, please use the link below to get the latest prices.

Remember, prices were correct when I last checked, but may have since changed. Prices are usually based on two adults sharing the cheapest available cabin.

See the latest prices°

More choices

Not quite right? Here are some other suggestions that may suit better.

See full mini cruise calendar

David Fiske 5 September 2018 5 September 2018 Saga Pearl II Amsterdam and Bruges Mini Cruise – 30th November 2018

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