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Top cruises out of Cairns, Australia

There’s a cruise for every traveler with Cairns as the gateway to your bucket-list dreams.

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Norman reef in Great barrier Reef, Cairns, Australia

For many, Cairns is already a vacation hotspot so it’s hard to imagine a cruise holiday that can top it. But with destinations like Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands within reach, it’s no surprise cruise lines manage to woo travellers from Australia’s shores.

Whether you’re looking for a quick budget escape or a lux small-ship adventure, here are some great options to scratch your cruising itch.

Best cruises from Cairns

Make your cruise your own with your choice of cruise companies based on your budget and lifestyle. We’ve sourced cruises for bargain hunters, doe-eyed couples and adrenaline addicts among others.

Best for a breezy budget getaway: P&O Cruises

Not only can you set sail from as little as $570 per person, but P&O’s itineraries span from short four-day sails to longer journeys that explore the South Pacific. Even better, fares include your accommodation, shipwide entertainment, a wide variety of dining options and nightly shows.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for couples: Windstar

Windstar’s masted ships cut a romantic silhouette sailing across the ocean and they’re an ideal place to spend a holiday for two. The intimate-sized ships have something for every type of couple.

Foodie couples will love the chef-led market tours and dining under the stars at the outdoor restaurant. Adventurous couples should make a beeline for the watersports platform where you can go kayaking, sail-boarding and even waterskiing.


  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, American Express, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for small ships: Ponant

Intimate and elegant with a touch of adventure — that’s what Ponant’s unapologetically French fleet is all about. But small doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on the cruising amenities you love.

All cabins have balconies, there’s a choice of restaurants and bars onboard and days can be spent with time by the infinity pool, relaxing in the spa or working out in the gym. Evenings are filled with dancing to live music, classical concerts or big production shows.


  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for luxury: Silversea

Top-of-the-line experiences with most luxuries included — what more could you want? Suites are spacious with ocean views, walk-in closets and full-size tubs. Most have a balcony and all come with butler service.

Get truly pampered with a choice of nine different pillow types, personalized stationery, your preference of toiletries and amenities and even have your suite stocked with your favourite spirits and wines.


  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

How we picked our best cruises

When choosing cruises for this list, we look at the quality of routes available from each cruise line. We also consider onboard dining options, weighing the number, variety and overall quality of restaurants against passenger reviews.

Finally, we weigh cabin amenities against each price point, looking for cruise lines that are known to deliver the highest value.

We also seek out customer reviews on travel websites and personal travel blogs, considering first-person experiences and each company’s overall reputation.

When is the best time to cruise from Cairns?

There are cruises sailing from Cairns throughout the year with availability largely depending on your destination. Generally, cruises to the South Pacific are more popular during the summer months and cruises to Asia are more frequent in autumn and winter.

What are the must-do cruise excursions from Cairns?

  • Mount Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu). An active volcano known as the lighthouse of the Pacific that is easy to access on foot or by 4WD to within 150m of the crater rim.
  • Tau Cave and zipline tour (Lautoka, Fiji). Soar above the treetops by zipline, rappelling down obstacles and journey underground to explore limestone caves.
  • Village visit (Alotau, Papua New Guinea). Get a glimpse into the lives of the locals and spend a day in their shoes. From traditional dances, fishing for food and making fresh coconut milk, you’ll walk away with some new skills and an insight into the local culture.
  • Diving (Gizo Island, Solomon Islands). Head underwater and you’ll find some of the most diverse and exciting diving available including World War II wrecks and plummeting wall dives.
  • Litchfield National Park (Darwin, Australia). Cruise on the mighty Adelaide River, see the Cathedral and Magnetic Termite mounds and spend the day swimming, hiking and exploring the thundering waterfalls the Top End is known for.
  • Borobudur by train (Semarang, Indonesia). Take a ride on an antique train to the largest single monument in the Southern Hemisphere. You’ll find some of the best examples of Buddhist reliefs in the world along with a variety of terraces, stūpas and statues.

Top deals for cruising

Expedia.comExpedia.com

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

T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.comExpedia.com

Disney cruises from $657 per person to the Caribbean

T&Cs apply.

Last verified

CruiseDirectCruiseDirect

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

T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Expedia.comExpedia.com

Carnival cruises to the Caribbean starting from $179 per person

T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Expedia.comExpedia.com

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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PricelinePriceline

Up to $1,000 to spend on board with Norwegian Cruise Line

Just book your next cruise vacation with Priceline Cruises and get up to $1,000 to use as a liquor, dining, and spa credit, along with other purchases made on the ship! T&Cs apply.

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CruiseDirectCruiseDirect

Last minute cruise deals from $33/night

Cruises from 3 to 15+ nights available from multiple lines. Get great deals on prime ships, routes, and rooms for bookings from a week or more out.

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Avoya TravelAvoya Travel

Princess cruises sale - free drinks, tips and up to $400 free cruisetour cash

T&Cs apply

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Deal ends

CruiseDirectCruiseDirect

3 night Bahamas cruises from $567 on Disney cruises!

Exclusive-up to $500 to spend onboard, plus 10% off shore excursions!

Last verified

PricelinePriceline

Norwegian cruises starting from $64/night with 50% reduced deposits

T&Cs apply.

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Bottom line

With access to the South Pacific, Asia and Australia’s Top End, it’s hard to beat the variety of destinations on offer with a cruise from Cairns. Head to our top cruise deals for the latest offers that can save you on your next holiday.

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