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5 best cruises from Brisbane

Set sail from the River City to the isles of the Pacific Ocean and beyond.

As Queensland’s capital and Australia’s third-largest city, Brisbane is a gateway to some of the country’s best domestic and international cruises. It’s the perfect place to kick off to far-flung Pacific Islands or have a gander up Australia’s east coast to the Whitsunday Islands or Great Barrier Reef. We love these cruises because they cost less than $100 a night, deliver great value for your money and give you a wonderful Aussie experience around the South Pacific.

Traveling during COVID-19
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When traveling, follow safety measures that include wearing a mask in public, social distancing and washing your hands. If you are diagnosed with, have symptoms of or are waiting for COVID-19 test results — or are otherwise at risk of illness — do not attend gatherings or travel for 14 days.

Our favorite cruises from Brisbane

Cruise lineCruiseItineraryPriceBook
CarnivalOceania Cruise — 10 nights
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Alotau, Papua New Guinea
  • Kitava, Papua New Guinea
  • Rabaul, Papua New Guinea
  • Kiriwina Island
  • Conflict Islands
  • Brisbane, Australia
From $685 per personBook now
CarnivalSouth Pacific — 7 nights
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Lifou, New Caledonia
  • Vila, Vanuatu
  • Brisbane, Australia
From $472 per personBook now
Princess CruisesAustralia Cruise — 7 nights
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Arlie Beach, Australia
  • Cairns, Australia
  • Port Douglas, Australia
  • Willis Island, Australia
  • Brisbane, Australia
From $599 per personBook now
Royal CaribbeanAustralia/New Zealand — 5 nights
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Eden, Australia
  • Brisbane, Australia
From $443 per personBook now
Royal CaribbeanSouth Pacific — 8 nights
  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Vila, Vanuatu
  • Mystery Island, Vanuatu
  • Nouméa, New Caledonia
  • Brisbane, Australia
From $660 per personBook now

Best cruise lines departing from Brisbane

Our shortlist of the top cruise liners sailing away from the River City panders to every kind of vacation. From mini-breaks to serious expeditions, you’ll find something to suit you with one of these five companies.

Best for exploring the Great Barrier Reef: P&O Cruises

Spend seven nights onboard a family-friendly P&O cruise to explore one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Cruise your way through the Whitsundays on your way to Cairns, where you'll make a beeline for Willis Island. But not before discovering the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef using the ship's complimentary snorkels and stinger suits.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for exotic destinations: Carnival

A newcomer to the Brisbane cruising scene, Carnival promises exciting cruising destinations. Along with the usual fare of Pacific Island and Great Barrier Reef itineraries, a handful of its ships head further to the concrete jungle of Singapore and the untouched oasis of Papua New Guinea.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Paypal, Carnival EasyPay, Gift Card, Discover Card, Debit, Western Union, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for minibreaks: Royal Caribbean

If you're stretched for time, consider booking a Royal Caribbean sampler cruise. Spending two or three nights on the water means you can indulge in a few days of much-needed relaxation at sea — as well as duty-free shopping.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for long-term cruising: Princess

Spend 50 days or more onboard a Princess Cruise liner, and experience an unforgettable journey to the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. If Asia is more to your liking, hop on one of its three-month cruises leaving Brisbane that stop off in South Korea and Japan and then carry on their merry way to Alaska.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):

Best for traditional cruising: Cunard

If the idea of daily afternoon tea, croquet and dressing to impress appeals to you, consider a cruise with Cunard. Established in 1840, this classy cruise liner has stuck to its guns and continues to provide cruisers with an experience worthy of the QE2.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked the best cruises

When curating our list of the top cruises sailing from Brisbane, we first analyzed cruise liners with well-thought-out itineraries. Those that stop at key ports were first to make the cut. Next, we looked at facilities onboard, including the variety of restaurants, the hospitality of crew members, the quality of cabin amenities and both onshore and offshore entertainment.

Finally, we cross-referenced our own experiences with the opinions of highly valued travel publications, online reviews and current blogs to bring you transparent, trustworthy details.

Where do cruises from Brisbane go?

Bring those dreamy postcards to life when you cruise from Brisbane to one of these picture-perfect destinations, including:

  • Australia’s east coast and Tasmania
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Singapore
  • Vanuatu
  • Bali
  • Tahiti
  • Bora Bora

As of October 2020, Royal Caribbean features cruises from Brisbane. Destinations include Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and the Great Barrier Reef.

When is the best time to cruise from Brisbane?

Brisbane is one of those lucky cities that enjoy year-round sunshine. Where you set your sights on from Brisbane, however, can be affected by the seasons.

  • August–October. Autumn months are perfect for island hopping through the South Pacific. Enjoying more sun and less rain, they are also the busiest, so expect crowded waterways and high prices. Cyclone season begins in November, when you’ll want to steer clear of the South Pacific Islands.
  • November–February. Summer in the Southern Hemisphere boasts top cruising conditions to pop across to New Zealand. Temperatures are warm, and you’ll have plenty of ships to choose
  • March. You should be able to bag bargain prices if you book a cruise to the South Pacific Islands in this shoulder season.

Limited cruises run to Papua New Guinea between October and December. Calm winds make for easy sea crossings, and warm days with little rain are ideal for relaxing on one of its untouched beaches.

Getting to the port for your cruise from Brisbane

Most cruise ships departing Brisbane leave from Portside Wharf, which is 6 miles northeast of the city center. Either jump in a taxi or on Bus 300 from the city, and you’ll be at the port in under 30 minutes. The CityCat Ferry also conveniently docks a short walk away from the port.

Large cruise ships can’t dock downtown due to low-hanging bridges, and so they drop anchor further out. Most cruise ships offer complimentary shuttle buses from Brisbane’s city center.

For those flying into the city, Brisbane Airport is a handy 4 miles away from Portside Wharf. The easiest and fastest way to get there is by taxi or shared shuttle bus. Public transportation will take you into the center of the city, where you can catch a connecting bus out to the port.

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Disney Cruise Line deals starting from $213/night to Caribbean and other destinations

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Save up to 25% on select Bahamian, Caribbean and Baja cruises with Disney

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Carnival cruises starting from just $55/night to the Bahamas and other destinations

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Carnival cruises to the Caribbean starting from $179 per person

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Save up to 83% off Carnival cruises to the Caribbean

Caribbean cruises from 4-7 nights from $179 per person. T&Cs apply.

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Bottom line

Take in the views from Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge, and relax with a cocktail along South Bank before setting sail on the cruise of a lifetime. Save money on your fare by first comparing top cruise deals.

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