In response to guest feedback for shorter duration cruises, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has created seven ‘mini-cruises’ – including a new product of two-night ‘Introductory’ cruises – for the 2014/15 cruise season.

Fred. Olsen’s mini-cruises of two and three nights include city breaks to Paris and Dublin, and are the perfect opportunity for guests to have a weekend escape or for first-time cruisers to ‘test the water’.

Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“Who can resist the temptation of a few nights away from home in a lively city? All of our 2014 mini-cruises, which sail from four regional departure ports, will take guests, in comfort and style, to an exciting destination, perfectly suited for exploring in a weekend.

“For those ‘new-to-cruise’ guests, our mini-cruises are the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the delights of cruising on board a Fred. Olsen ship. Experience the attentive service, delicious dining and great entertainment on board and discover new and exciting destinations – and it’s all so much more relaxing than arranging flights and a hotel separately.”

Fred. Olsen’s mini-cruises for the 2014/15 season are:

- Balmoral’s three-night 'Easter Chocolates' mini-cruise, L1402, ex Southampton on 19th April 2014

On this ‘chocolate connoisseurs’ dream cruise, Balmoral sails to Antwerp, for an overnight stay, allowing guests the chance to explore this interesting city. There will be plenty of opportunity to see, taste and buy handmade Belgian chocolates – perfectly timed for Easter – as well as discover other cultural highlights of the area, including the Wellington Museum, in nearby town Waterloo, which was chosen by the Duke of Wellington as headquarters for army staff during the defeat of Napoleon. Prices start from £319 per person.

- Braemar’s two-night 'Honfleur' mini-cruise, M1420, ex Dover on 18th July 2014

On this summer cruise, Braemar calls at Honfleur, a pretty and enchanting harbour town, where lofty slate and timber fronted houses overlook the colourful yacht and fishing harbour. Guests can explore the 15th Century wooden church and impressionist paintings of the Musée Eugene Boudin, or visit the village of Cormeilles, and enjoy tasting the cider and Calvados at the local traditional distillery. Prices start from £219 per person.

- Braemar’s three-night 'Paris City Break' mini-cruise, M1430, ex Southampton on 20th November 2014

Braemar takes guests on a stunning cruise along the River Seine on this winter city break, before arriving in Rouen for an overnight stay. Rouen is rich in history, with the medieval quarter, gothic cathedral and Place de Vieux Marché, the latter being where Joan of Arc was executed. Rouen is also the perfect base from which to explore Paris; guests will have ample time to take a day trip to the world-renowned ‘romantic city’ to discover the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the delightful and chic boutiques. Prices start from £249 per person.

- Black Watch’s two-night 'Pre-Christmas mini-cruise to Belgium', W1419, ex Tilbury on 13th December 2014

On this exciting pre-Christmas mini-cruise, Black Watch will take guests to Zeebrugge, the gateway for tours to one of northern Europe’s most picturesque old cities, Bruges. Explore the UNESCO-listed twisting cobbled streets, picturesque ancient buildings, tree-lined canals and gabled facades, whilst getting any last-minute presents at the wonderfully festive Christmas markets. Prices start from £149 per person.

- Black Watch’s two-night 'Pre-Christmas mini-cruise to Belgium', W1422, ex Tilbury on 18th December 2014 (cruise details as above). Prices start from £149 per person.

Boudicca’s two-night 'Dublin mini-cruise', D1423, ex Liverpool on 19th December 2014

Given her smaller size, Boudicca is able to take guests right to the heart of bustling Dublin city. Soaking up some true Irish hospitality and ‘craic’ in the many pubs, bars and cafés at Temple Bar, guests can also make the most of this city by taking a stroll along the River Liffey, hopping on one of the fascinating bus tours or visiting the Guinness Factory to see how the famous ‘black stuff’ is made. Prices start from £189 per person (with limited availability).

Balmoral’s two-night 'Pre-Christmas mini-cruise to France', L1418, ex Southampton on 19th December 2014

On this festive cruise, Balmoral will take guests to the UNESCO-listed town of Le Havre, where there will be the opportunity to spend a full day exploring the Malraux Museum, which claims to have the second largest collection of Impressionist paintings in France, with works by Monet, Renoir and Pissarro, or take a tour to Monet’s house and gardens in the pretty village of Giverny. Prices start from £199 per person.

Prices are based on two adults sharing a twin, Inside cabin, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, and port dues.