A two-night, three-day cruise to nowhere can offer a quick vacation for a very reasonable price. Ships depart from their home port and sail in a loop to and from the same port, without any other stops. Passengers enjoy all the onboard amenities offered on a longer cruise, without the worry of port stops, tender boats or the added cost of booking shore excursions. Major cruise lines offer these voyages in between longer trips or when a ship has arrived at a new port for the season.
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) has made a superior effort to offer shorter, affordable options from larger cruise ports.
New York: Norwegian Breakaway
The Norwegian Breakaway offers a handful of three-day, two-night cruises departing from New York Harbor from December through February. NCL debuted the Breakaway in 2013. A short cruise on the Norwegian Breakaway allows guests to enjoy the new ship and explore all the added amenities at a fraction of the cost of a week-long sailing.
Popular cruise review website CruiseCritic.com reviews have been outstanding for the Breakaway so far, hovering around four out of five stars. Reviewers are calling it "beautiful, with modern touches" and "a high energy ship". This trip is available for as little as $179 per person based on double occupancy of an interior cabin.
New Orleans: Norwegian Dawn
For vacationers planning a trip to the Big Easy, the Norwegian Dawn hosts a few two-night, three-day Thanksgiving holiday cruises to nowhere from New Orleans. Both the week before and the week of Thanksgiving, the Norwegian Dawn takes the hassle out of the holiday. The week before the holiday, the sailing is priced starting at $199 per person. Sailing the week of the holiday pushes the base rate up slightly, to just $229.
CruiseCritic.com gives the Dawn a five-star rating, and a site a member who took this cruise raves, "Overall, great weekend cruise, great ship and great staff." With pricing starting at $199 per person based on double occupancy of an interior cabin, this may be an alternative to shopping, cooking and hosting holiday dinner!
Virginia: Carnival Splendor
Take a two-night, three-day escape cruise to nowhere on the Carnival Splendor departing from Norfolk, Virginia. On board, two great restaurant options are the signature Sea-day brunch and Tapas at the TasteBar. By day, relax by the resort style pools. After dinner, dance the night away with Carnival's official DJ IRIE in the nightclub, or sing karaoke in the lounge. For great entertainment, take in a show at the Punchliner comedy club.
The Splendor, also known as 'The Pink Ship' due to its dramatic decor, is a large ship with a 'Very Good' three-star rating from CruiseMates.com. Trips begin at a very affordable $309 for interior rooms. These quick sailings are offered annually in May.
Cape Town: Opera
For a five-star, exotic cruise option, the MSC Opera departs from Cape Town, South Africa in November. This two-night, three day trip offers a more classic cruise experience. Think grand spaces, open floor plans, marble and handmade Italian ice cream. This would be a highly relaxing end to a wine tasting trip to Cape Town.
The ship received three of five stars from CruiseMates.com editors, but an overwhelmingly positive five star rating by the members. On both CruiseMates.com and CruiseCritic.com there are very mixed overall passenger reviews. The decor received high marks and gives the impression of a luxury ship. Some love the formality and grandeur of this ship, while international passengers are bothered by the tradition of selling extras aboard. American passengers comment positively on the exotic sailings and cultural interplay as an alternative to large ship antics.
Cruising With No Particular Destination
These short cruises are a popular option to relax, have fun, enjoy being at sea, and take part in onboard dining and activities. Your destination is the ship - there is no other port on the schedule. These days, new ships offer these short trips to explore the grandeur of the vessels, in the hope this will draw passengers back for longer sailings. Whatever your style, the cruise to nowhere makes an ideal, affordable getaway to relax, recharge and reconnect.