Life is never too busy for a short family cruise! Here’s how you can make a quick escape…

From winter getaways to last-chance sunshine, sometimes you just want to get away from the daily grind and treat the family to a quick holiday. So why not pack up the kids and set off on a short family cruise?

The short family cruise is the world’s gift to busy parents. From the moment you step onto the ship, the kids will be off exploring all the fantastic activities, making new friends, and discovering one fun thing after another. Meanwhile, you’re free to simply relax and indulge in gourmet food and wine, live entertainment, pampering…whatever it takes to reach that state of bliss. (Three or four nights should do the trick!)

We’ve rounded up the best three- and four-night family cruises to help you escape:

Moreton Island, P&O Cruises

Whisk the kids off to Moreton Island onboard Pacific Pearl. Located just on Brisbane’s doorstep, this sand island is a wonderful natural theme park waiting to be discovered. There’s plenty for the whole family to do, from tobogganing down vast sand dunes to watching whales, turtles, dugongs and dolphins in their ocean playground. And you’ve got plenty of time to treat yourself to dinner at the famous Salt grill by Luke Mangan and catch a show or two at the Marquee Theatre.

Need to know: Pacific Pearl departs Sydney on 30 September 2015 for four nights. Pacific Dawn departs Brisbane on 6 January 2016 for three nights.

Moreton Island family cruise

Whitsundays, Pacific Dawn

Celebrate the end of winter with a short yet blissful escape to the Whitsundays. For two days, each member of the family can discover and try out the best activities onboard Pacific Dawn. And nestled in between, a picture-perfect stop at Airlie beach lets you bask in this beautiful coastline.

Need to know: Pacific Dawn departs Brisbane on 3 October 2015 for four nights.

Whitsundays family cruise

Mooloolaba, Pacific Pearl

One of the hot new picks from P&O Cruises is this short cruise to Mooloolaba. Located in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba delivers the perfect year-round climate for a family break. Head straight to the world-famous beach for a dip (it’s one of the safest surf beaches in Australia!) or choose a new adventure, like swimming with humpback whales!

Need to know: Pacific Pearl departs Sydney on 4 October 2015 for four nights.

Mooloolaba family cruise

Margaret River, Sun Princess

Margaret River may be a food and wine paradise for adults, but there’s plenty on offer for kids and teens too! Just down the coast from Perth, this vibrant region is filled with natural wonders and adventure, not to mention around 120 premium wineries. And though this cruise won’t quite give you time to visit them all, you can definitely get a taste for what’s on offer! Then take the kids to explore the ancient Ngilgi Caves, an underground world of jaw-dropping rock formations, or ride the train along the Busselton Jetty to the Underwater Observatory.

Need to know: Sun Princess departs Fremantle on 4 January 2016 for four nights.

Margaret River family cruise

Australian Open, Pacific Pearl

The whole family will love this short break to see the Grand Slam action. There’s nothing like the buzz of Melbourne Park during the Australian Open, and now you can experience it from the second you step aboard the Pacific Pearl. Once in Melbourne, you get two full days of tennis action. And if you want a break, it’s just a short walk or free tram ride to explore the shopping, dining and arts of the city. Back on the ship, the youth programs will provide kids and teens with endless entertainment all the way back to Sydney.

Need to know: Pacific Pearl departs Sydney on 19 January 2016 for five nights.

Australian Open family cruise

Cruise to nowhere

Who says you have to go anywhere to enjoy a family break? The biggest cruise lines offer cruise samplers so you can try out the experience over a couple of days. And we believe there’s no better way to escape the daily grind than to spend a few days doing exactly what you want – whether that’s lying on a sunlounger watching your kids play or joining them!

Need to know: Various cruise lines offer cruise samplers departing from Australian ports year-round.

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