What to expect on an Australian cruise.

During a cruise to Australia, you’ll encounter unique wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and opportunities for adventure around every corner.

Why choose Australia for a cruise?

Many of Australia’s top sites and cities lie along its picturesque coastline, meaning a cruise to Australia is a perfect way to sample the best of what the country has to offer. From cosmopolitan cities to awe-inspiring natural beauty, Australia is a land packed with regions, each one shaped by the cultural heritage and history of the country.

Landscape.

From glistening bays, soaring mountains, and thundering waterfalls to the untamed wilderness in the Australian outback, on land, there are treasures of natural wonder waiting to be discovered. Off the glittering coasts, you’ll uncover an underwater wonderland, teeming with hordes of tropical fish and coral across The Great Barrier Reef.

Weather.

Sun-kissed summers and chilly yet bright winters mean Australia is an ideal cruise destination all year round, with many cruise guests enjoying the sunlit summer beaches from November to March.

Cuisine.

Delicious regional cuisine provides flavours to suit every palate, with some of the world’s best wines and beers on offer, fresh from the vineyards and breweries dotted around the country. The best of ingredients can also be found within our restaurants, allowing you to indulge in local flavours throughout your journey.

Australia cruise history.

Cruises to Australia began in what many refer to as the ‘Golden Age of Cruising,’ in the 1950s. While once an excursion reserved for the rich and famous, or a chance for a new life for immigrants from the UK after World War II, as more and more cruise lines emerged, cruises to Australia became a popular holiday option for all manner of guests. Cunard ships have been visiting Australia for decades, and today Queen Elizabeth's visits are a popular sight for many locals on the Australian coast.

Australian cruise routes.

Sydney.

One of the largest cities in Australia, with its iconic harbour-front, scenic mountain vistas, white sandy beaches, and exquisite food, it’s easy to see why Sydney is such a popular destination.

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Melbourne.

Being the capital city of Victoria, Melbourne is packed full of bustling streets, lively shopping plazas, and plenty of bars and restaurants serving up delicious local and international options.

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Brisbane.

Brisbane is a large but charming city. Here you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of the weird and wonderful creatures at Australia Zoo, sample fine wines at the Sirromet Winery, or simply relax on the postcard-perfect beaches of the Gold Coast.

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Australia cruise highlights.

Each region has untapped potential for exploration with a cruise to Australia. Here are just some of the highlights you can expect throughout your voyage.

Australia cruise sights.

Dip your toe into one of the seven natural wonders of the world and one of the primary attractions on a cruise to Australia – The Great Barrier Reef. The reef presents an extraordinary opportunity to come face to face with tropical fish, clams, and colourful coral beneath the crystal clear waves. Swim, scuba, or snorkel in this underwater paradise, or take a trip on a glass-bottom boat for a look at the world beyond the surface.

Take in the lush, tropical rainforests that cover Willis Island – the only inhabited island in the entire Coral Sea Islands Territory. Exotic birds swoop overhead amongst the emerald branches and make for an unforgettable photo opportunity.

Absorb the awe-inspiring beauty of the Sydney Opera House, and perhaps even catch a show within its echoing acoustic halls. Discover shipwrecks along the coast of Moreton Island, sip fresh coconuts as you explore the rainforest in Port Douglas, or simply relax and sunbathe on the soft sands of Airlie Beach.

Cultural highlights.

Immerse yourself in Australia’s distinct and fascinating history. Learn about the rich and diverse indigenous cultures of the country, as well as the tales of the first penal colonies and European settlements, and how these changed the landscape of Australia forever.

To get close to this side of Australia, you could visit the best-preserved convict settlement in Australia Port Arthur. Or, to discover local arts and culture, lose yourself in a visual feast at the Natural Gallery of Australia.

Food highlights.

Australia’s culinary scene is as diverse as its wildlife. Meat lovers will find all sorts of exciting fare on offer, from lean kangaroo steaks, burgers or sausages, to nutritious and rich emu. Seafood too is in no short supply in the region. Perhaps try Barramundi, one of the most popular fresh fishes used in Australian cooking in a variety of ways.

If you want to experience a traditional dish you could sample a protein-packed Witchetty grub or two, a favourite of many Aboriginal Australians. Or, for those a little less adventurous find plenty of delicious local snacks including thick meat pies or sweet Anzac biscuits.

Festival and events.

From Mardi Gras to Australia Day, there are plenty of festivals and events throughout the year that you can embrace on a cruise to Australia.

Australia Day, on 26 January, marks the anniversary of the first European fleet reaching the shores of Australia in 1788. Festivities include plenty of barbecues, fireworks, and other celebrations, many of which take place around Sydney Harbour.

Dance, music, art, and a host of cultural performances make up the spectacular Melbourne International Arts Festival, which generally takes place in mid-September.

Australia cruises throughout the year.

Australia boasts some of the most stunning natural topography that Mother Nature has to offer, and a visit at any time of the year will provide pleasant weather if a little interchangeable in the summer months. 

December, January and February.

The Australian summer, these months are filled with sunny, warm days - ideal for spending time lounging on the soft white sands. The tropical north can see some heavy rain during the wet season (November to April) and temperatures in the arid outback can soar. 

March, April and May.

See the landscape transform from lush green to brilliant hues of orange, sapphire red, and shimmering gold as the temperatures cool. It can be a little wet in the tropical north, but the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, and the Sunshine coast still boast plenty of dazzling sun. 

June, July and August.

During the Australian winter, it’s common for the south of the country to experience snow, with ample opportunities for skiing in the Australian Alps. Northern parts of the country still enjoy warm days with low humidity and excellent water temperatures – ideal for exploring. 

September, October and November.

Sunny days and cool nights characterise Australian spring, with wildflowers in full bloom, creating a spectacular display of colour across the country. 

Australian cruise FAQs.

Cruises to Australia.