Margaret River cruises

Here on Australia’s southwest corner, Margaret River offers a sense of tranquillity and natural beauty that goes a long way to explaining the area’s thriving artist population. 

Margaret River sits halfway along an anvil shaped peninsula jutting out into the Indian Ocean, and its coastline runs between the northern Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in the south. Indeed the area and the trail between the two are both often simply known as ‘cape to cape’.

The Wadandi people call this part of Australia their own, and the name translates along the lines of ‘people of the sea.’ You might be able to learn about their beliefs and customs by meeting a Wadandi guide who can show you traditional tools, instruments such as the didgeridoo, and explain the deep spiritual connection the aboriginal people feel to their land.

The Margaret River area is also noted for the calibre of its wines. There are over a hundred wineries here, which produce a mere fraction of Australia’s total output but a disproportionately high percentage of the country’s premium wines. This may be attributed to a climate that bears surprising similarities with that of the Bordeaux region – a discovery that led to a boom in viniculture just a few decades ago. It was well worth it, and you could try the results for yourself at one of the acclaimed estates.

Highlights.

There’s a vibrant yet low-key buzz to Busselton, where you’ll actually step ashore. It’s a charming resort with a postcard-friendly, heritage-listed jetty that stretches a mile out into the Geographe Bay, just as it has for 150 years.

The area is also known for its produce, from craft beers to chocolate and artisan cheeses, and there’s often a farmer’s market in full swing. If that weren’t enough, expect fresh-that-day seafood, including a local speciality called marron, a freshwater crayfish that’s only found in this part of the country.

To burn it all off, you’ll find opportunities for a whole range of outdoor pursuits. Wildflower meadows and elegant forests of karri trees, which are among the tallest species on earth, extend inland, to be explored on foot or by bike. Enticing ribbons of soft white sand, surf breaks and granite rock formations. Then again, maybe your day here lies offshore, for an adventure by kayak, paddle-board or power boat.

An extraordinary series of limestone formations here include the Mammoth Cave, whose treasures include a fossilised giant wombat’s jaw! Lake Cave is dramatic too, an ancient sinkhole whose mirror-like pool beautifully reflects its incredible interior. Ngilgi Cave, one of the area’s most popular excursions, is a vast underground cavern adorned spectacularly with stalactites and stalagmites; just as rewarding is the aboriginal mythology attached to the cave, the tale of a battle between good and evil spirits.

Excursions

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

  • The Essence of Margaret River

    Capture the essence of the Margaret River region as you visit local producers and savour a variety of tastes along the way.

    The Essence of Margaret River

    From the pier, sit back and enjoy a drive through the lovely surrounding countryside, as you make your way to a local winery. Discover how the wine is produced and sample a selection, accompanied by locally produced cheese.

    Next, it’s on to a brewery to sample the local ‘amber nectar’ and cider. Made with the finest Australian summer hops, you can learn the beer and cider making process. Afterwards, you’ll head to a local venue for luncheon, where a delicious two course meal will be served.

    To round off your tour, you’ll head to the Margaret River Chocolate shop, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the sumptuous chocolate, before the return drive to the pier.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves around one hour of walking over relatively flat ground with gravel in parts. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Local currency is accepted for purchases. This tour is not suitable for children.

    Tour code

    BUS_007

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    6 hours

  • Wines of Margaret River

    Discover the wines of Margaret River, one of the best wine regions in Australia.

    Wines of Margaret River

    This tour is the perfect way to discover some of the country’s best wine, as well as the beauty of the surrounding area. Setting off from Busselton, sit back and relax as you head through the beautiful Margaret River countryside, with its numerous vineyards dotted along the hillsides. The region produces a wide variety of wines including Cabernet Sauvignons, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Your tour will visit three local wineries, where you’ll be offered a selection of wines to sample. Each winery has passionate local experts who will share their knowledge of wine with you and explain about the region and the production process. To soak up the wine tasting, a shared light cheese platter will be offered at one of the wineries.

    After your winery visits and sampling, you’ll head back to Busselton with some new found knowledge of Margaret River wines.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The time spent at each winery is around one hour. Each guided tour is at a leisurely pace; however guests will be required to stand for a period of time. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Wine will only be served to those aged 18 years and over.

    Tour code

    BUS_002

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Ngilgi Cave & Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

    Explore the hidden treasures of Ngilgi Cave and view the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse surrounded by sweeping coastal views.

    Ngilgi Cave & Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse

    Situated in close proximity to the Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park in the Geographe Bay and Margaret River region is Ngilgi Cave, home to stunning stalactite, stalagmite, helicitite and shawl formations.

    Originally named Yallingup Cave, it was opened to the public in 1899. Its name then changed to Ngilgi, after the Aboriginal legend describing the battle between a good spirit (Ngilgi) and an evil spirit (Wolgine). Here, you can explore the geographical wonder at your leisure on a semi-self-guided tour. You can also uncover Ngilgi Cave's fascinating history at the interpretive area of the cave.

    Afterwards, you’ll head to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, where you’ll stop and view the lighthouse exterior, and the lovely sweeping views over Geographe Bay and the Indian Ocean.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There are around 350 steps to negotiate within Ngilgi Cave, however these are in staggered sections. Flat, non-slip shoes are essential. Guests are not permitted to visit the inside of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

    Tour code

    BUS_004

    Features

    • Activity high

      Activity Level: High

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Aboriginal Experience & Barbecue Luncheon

    Gain an interactive insight into the Aboriginal Culture and enjoy a native barbecue luncheon.

    Aboriginal Experience & Barbecue Luncheon

    Drive from the pier, enjoying the scenery along the way, to the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. Upon arrival you’ll be met by a local Wadandi guide for a short walk around the base of the lighthouse. Enjoy a ‘welcome to the country’ introduction and discover the significant importance of the Aboriginal culture. <>br>
    Afterwards, you’ll stroll across to an outdoor bush setting close by to the lighthouse, for an interactive cultural experience. View a range of tools and artefacts and listen to the sounds of the didgeridoo. You’ll be regaled with local stories and learn about the deep connection the local Wadandi people have with the Cape to Cape region. During your experience, a traditional outdoor barbecue buffet luncheon with native food tastings and refreshments will be served.<>br>
    On the return drive to the pier, relax and enjoy the scenery once more, as you reflect on your Aboriginal experience.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. This tour involves around one hour of leisurely walking and some standing. There is varying terrain including uneven ground. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. This tour is conducted outdoors, please remember sun protection.

    Tour code

    BUS_006

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    4 hours

  • Jet Boat Adventure

    >strong> Experience the beauty of the western Australian coast on an exhilarating jet boat adventure!

    Jet Boat Adventure

    From Busselton pier, you’ll take a drive to the small township of Dunsborough to join a sleek jet boat for an exhilarating ride 30 minute ride.

    < Hold on to your hats as you zip over the water enjoying 270 degree turns, doughnuts, and fishtails!You’ll wizz past spectacular coastal landscapes and reaching speeds of up to 90 kilometres an hour. Feel the wind in your face and prepare to get wet as the boat hits the waves!

    As your ride comes to an end and you’re back on terra firma, you’ll take the return drive to the ship.

    ACTIVITY EXCURSIONS
    You and all those in your party should be aware that, in undertaking activity excursions, you will be involved in a degree of physical exertion and/or activity such as hiking, biking, snorkelling, kayaking, diving etc. By booking the excursion you confirm that you and all those in your party are in good physical and mental condition, with no history of conditions such as seizures, dizziness, fainting, heart condition, respiratory problems or back/neck problems (by way of example only). You should also ensure that no one in your party is taking medicine that carries a warning about impairment of physical or mental abilities. If you are pregnant this type of excursion may not be appropriate for you. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and well enough to take part in the activities booked and you are reminded to take care for your own safety. Because of the risks associated with activity excursions, you may be asked by the excursion provider to sign a document which may affect or limit the excursion provider’s liability. Comfortable flat walking shoes are recommended.

    BEACH/WATER RELATED EXCURSIONS
    For any excursion involving water, guests are reminded to exercise particular care. Alcohol and eating a full meal should be avoided before swimming. If buoyancy aids are provided for an activity they must be worn at all times. You should bear in mind that the sea is unpredictable. Lifeguards are unlikely to be present and there may not be a flag system to indicate whether or not it is safe to go in the water. In addition, beach activities may not be supervised or accompanied and so you should take care to satisfy yourself as to the safety of the beach and/or the sea at the time of your excursion. Please exercise caution when entering the sea as the seabed and aquatic environment is capable of springing surprises and we have not inspected the beach or seabed for its safety. Children must be supervised by you at all times near water. All activities on the beach, water and in the sea are undertaken at your own risk. You’ll need to take swimwear, a towel, sunscreen and flat shoes that can be worn in the water.

    LIABILITY
    Cunard will arrange for the excursions to be performed by the relevant excursion provider. Cunard does not provide or supply the excursion services. Cunard will exercise reasonable care and skill in the selection of the excursion provider, but will not in any circumstances have a greater liability than the excursion supplier and Cunard shall not be responsible for the negligent acts/omissions of the excursion supplier. Please note that in relation to all excursions Cunard is not responsible or liable for any loss, damage, or injury sustained by you unless such loss, damage or injury arises out of a breach of legal duty of Cunard.

    TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Before booking any activity excursions it is essential that you ensure your travel insurance extends to cover the specified activity. It is your responsibility to obtain adequate insurance.

    This excursion will operate by jet boat. There is a short walk to and from the ferry terminal. Passengers must have a degree of agility to embark the jet boat. This tour is not suitable for those with back or neck injuries or conditions, which may be affected by the bumpy ride. Pregnant women and children under 10 may not participate. The Jet boat route is dependent on weather conditions and is subject to change. Please remember to wear swimwear, take a towel and sunscreen.

    Tour code

    BUS_005

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    Duration

    1½ hours

  • Aravina Estate Wine & Gastronomy Experience

    Discover the Aravina Estate and enjoy a private luncheon with wines to match a sumptuous menu.

    Aravina Estate Wine & Gastronomy Experience

    The award-winning Aravina Estate is situated in the northern corner of the premium wine growing region of Margaret River. Nestled in picturesque countryside amongst rolling hills and vineyards, the estate showcases the best natural attributes of Australia’s south western region.

    Upon arrival, you’ll be guided through the Estate’s grounds and lush gardens, passing by the estate’s luxury sports car collection, and stopping off at the kitchen garden and homewares shopping gallery along the way. One of the experienced Aravina Estate cellar door staff will then guide you through the award-winning range of wines, matched to a delicious five course luncheon. A visit from one of the area’s local chefs will explain the approach to food sourced locally or onsite, and organic and sustainable produce.

    Following your on-site luncheon and wine, you’ll be ready to relax on the return drive to the ship.

    This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is strict maximum capacity of 10 guests on this tour, therefore early booking is advised. This tour is not suitable for children. Wine will only be served to those aged 18 years and over. There is around one hour of leisurely walking, flat comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Tour code

    BUS_003

    Features

    • Activity medium

      Activity Level: Medium

    • Meal included

      Meal Included

    • Refreshments included

      Refreshments included

    Duration

    5 hours

  • Cape to Cape Scenic Drive & Winery

    Discover the south western coastline scenery and sample a drop of local award-winning wine.

    Cape to Cape Scenic Drive & Winery

    A scenic drive will take you along the coastline from Busselton to neighbouring Dunsborough. Here, you can enjoy some free time to wander around and browse the town’s boutiques.

    Afterwards, your drive will continue along Geographe Bay, passing by the glassy waters and tranquil coves of Castle Rock, Meelup Beach and Eagle Bay, before arriving at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse. Take a short walk to admire the lighthouse exterior, and the sweeping panoramic Indian Ocean views.

    Next it’s on to the Canal Rocks, passing through the small surfing town of Yallingup and along Caves Road. A short photograph stop at Canal Rocks provides an opportunity to see the ancient granite formations that have eroded in spectacular geological fashion.

    To round off your tour, before returning to Busselton, a visit will be made to one of the local wineries, to sample a taste of their award-winning wine, with cheese and cracker nibbles to accompany.

    This excursion will operate by coach. To derive full enjoyment from this tour some walking is required. Guests must be able to negotiate steps on to and off the coach and there is a short walk from the coach to reach the lighthouse and ocean views, this is however optional. Wine will only be served to those aged 18 years and over. Guests are not permitted to visit the inside of the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse.

    Tour code

    BUS_001

    Features

    • Activity low

      Activity Level: Low

    Duration

    5 hours