Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a particular holiday. Today: to celebrate National Ferry Fortnight ( sailanddrive.com ), which starts today, we feature a bank holiday mini-cruise to Europe. Prices are for two travelling together over the May bank holiday weekend.

P&O Ferries

£144: a three night mini-cruise to Bilbao, departing Portsmouth on 23 May. "Lots of people try this as an introduction to cruising," says P&O Ferries' Brian Rees. "Take binoculars, as sightings of whales are common from the ship. Whilst the Guggenheim is a popular shore excursion, the old city of Bilbao is a real gem." (08716 646464; poferries.com )

DFDS Seaways

£168: two-night mini-cruise to IJmuiden in Holland, departing Newcastle on 22 May. Coach transfers from IJmuiden to central Amsterdam are included.

"This is a really good quality and value offering for a mini-cruise, with lots of things to do on board – entertainment includes dancers, bands, singers, bars, a casino, cinema, children's club and games room – at no extra cost", says Sally Pearson of DFDS Seaways. (0871 522 9955; dfds.co.uk )

Brittany Ferries

£120: two-night mini-cruise to Cherbourg, departing Portsmouth on 23 May. The price includes high-speed sailings and a night in a hotel in Cherbourg, with breakfast. Christopher Jones of Brittany Ferries, says: "The Hotel du Louvre is conveniently situated in the pedestrianised centre of Cherbourg close to the old streets and the Cité de la Mer, a huge new museum, devoted to underwater life." (0871 244 1444; brittanyferries.com/breaks )