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 Australian coastline, 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, 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 experience 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 ports

Sydney

The largest city in Australia, Sydney is iconic with its 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 or simply relax on the postcard-perfect beaches of the Gold Coast.

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Australia Circumavigation

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.

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 whilst sipping fresh coconuts as you explore the rainforest in Port Douglas, or simply relax and sunbathe on the soft sands of Airlie Beach.

Tasmania

A cruise to Tasmania is an unquestionably unique experience. Hobart, once a 19th-century penal colony, brings a chance for you to explore Tasmania’s convict history. In Port Arthur, perhaps visit the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, and get closer to these famously boisterous animals.

Offering photogenic landscapes, fascinating fauna, and sophisticated culture and food, find countless opportunities in Tasmania to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Circumnavigation

On a circumnavigation voyage of Australia, you’ll come face to face with some of nature’s most fascinating creations. Bask in the colours and textures of the Great Barrier Reef, ponder the sheer size of the outback and gaze up in wonder at the majestic Blue Mountains. Absorb yourself in the famous architecture and vibrant culture in cities like Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth. Discover it all on a Cunard voyage in Australia.

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.

Food highlights

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

Thick meat pies are another local favourite, coming in a variety of styles and flavours. When it comes to sweet treats, be sure to try some Anzac biscuits. These are made using syrup and oats - perfect with a cup of coffee.

Festivals 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.

Australia cruises throughout the year

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

Summer - 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).

Spring - 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. 

Winter - June, July and August

During the winter, the south brings ample opportunities for skiing in the Australian Alps while the northern parts of the country offer warm days with low humidity and excellent water temperatures – ideal for exploring. 

Autumn - 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

Australia cruises