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Top Queensland cruise lines

Set sail for the land of crocs and kangaroos and you’ll find a whole lot more.

Updated

Aerial view of Labrador, Queensland, Australia

Visiting the land down under? Queensland is Australia’s second-largest state, and its coast is a top choice for exploring by cruise.

With seafood feasts, island hopping, unique wildlife and the world’s largest coral reef system all on the agenda, planning your days onshore are about to get particularly difficult.

Best Queensland cruises

Queensland has a lot to offer the intrepid traveler so your biggest problem is going to be how to fit it all in. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on who to choose to cruise with.

Best for your buck: Celebrity

Sure, Celebrity’s not the cheapest cruise line out there but you can’t beat the quality and value for money on offer. Complimentary upmarket restaurants and room service, a comprehensive enrichment program and high-end shows are on the itinerary. Some sailings even include an overnight in Cairns to spend more time at the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for families: P&O Cruises

Comfy, family-sized cabins, pools with waterslides, kid-friendly dining and entertaining stage shows are just the beginning. P&O makes it easy for parents to spend time with their kids while creating opportunities for everyone to have their own space. Parents can drop their kids off for activities like hosted dinners and themed dance parties.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for onboard entertainment: Royal Caribbean

If you’re looking for all the bells and whistles of a modern cruising holiday, Royal Caribbean certainly packs a punch. Think live music during the day, dance parties at night, grand theatres with a mix of guest performers and production shows, water parks and adventure activities such as rock climbing, ice skating and laser tag.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • Price matches
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for couples: Princess

The company that brought you The Love Boat keeps the romance alive with its cruising escapes fit for couples of all ages. Onboard you’ll find opportunities to relax in the spa with a couples massage, savor dinner for two, indulge in a slow dance or just watch the sunset at sea over a glass or two of champagne.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners, Discover Card, JCB
Price ($-$$$):

Best for luxury travelers: Regent

If your idea of a holiday includes white-gloved service, spacious suites and premium amenities, then Regent’s got you covered. Low staff-to-guest ratio, exquisitely prepared cuisine, complimentary shore excursions, thoughtful onboard enrichment programs and butler service in penthouses are all part of the package.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, American Express, Discover Card
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, prioritizing well-paced itineraries with port stops at key destinations around Queensland.

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 to Queensland?

Queensland is a year-round cruise destination, with seasons opposite to ours. This huge state boasts 4,333 miles of coastline and the cruise ports can usually be divided into two regions: its capital, Brisbane, and the Far North that includes ports like Cairns, Airlie Beach and Port Douglas.

With a huge variety of weather to plan around, here are some key considerations to factor into your planning:

  • Best weather. In general March to May and September are ideal months to visit when you’ll find great conditions for both sightseeing and water activities.
  • Wet season. Summer and spring are when you’ll find the most rain and the potential for tropical storms so plan ahead and consider cruise travel insurance to make sure you’re covered for any disappointments.
  • Far North Queensland. Up north, the weather tends to stay warm year-round. Summer temps can be hot and humid with an average high of 90°, while winters experience sunny days and evenings that can drop down to the low 60’s. Due to the heat and potential of storms, summer is when you’re likely to find fewer tourists.
  • Stingers. During the period between October and March, box jellyfish are prevalent enough that visitors to the region surrounding the Great Barrier Reef need to wear a stinger suit when swimming in the inner reef.

What are the must-do cruise excursions in Queensland?

  • Green Island, Cairns. Swap your cruise ship for a catamaran and set sail for this island on the Great Barrier Reef where you can hike through the rainforest and snorkel with schools of tropical fish.
  • Australia Zoo, Sunshine Coast. Make a beeline for the home of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin and get up close and personal with kangaroos, koalas, snakes and, of course, some Aussie crocodiles.
  • Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Cairns. Witness the ancient Dreamtime story as indigenous performers bring their culture to life through traditional art, dance and interactive demonstrations.
  • Kuranda rainforest, Cairns. Get a taste of the tropics when you jump aboard a cable car or scenic railway for an exhilarating ride framed by rugged mountains and waterfalls.
  • Mossman Gorge, Cairns. Located inside of Daintree National Park, this relatively untouched part of Australia is home to home to more than 430 species of birds and 315 species of mammals including ringtail possums, cassowaries and Boyd Forest Dragons.
  • Great Barrier Reef scenic helicopter (various locations). See the magic of the outer reef from above where the water is clear enough for you to spot stingrays, dugongs, turtles, dolphins, sharks and even whales during winter.

Current cruise deals

Expedia.comExpedia.com

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

T&Cs apply.

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PricelinePriceline

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

T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.comExpedia.com

Disney cruises from $657 per person to the Caribbean

T&Cs apply.

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CruiseDirectCruiseDirect

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

T&Cs apply.

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Expedia.comExpedia.com

Carnival cruises to the Caribbean starting from $179 per person

T&Cs apply.

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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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OrbitzOrbitz

Save on top ski destinations and free cancellation on most hotels

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TravelocityTravelocity

Cyber Week Deals - 10% off select hotels

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Bottom line

Endless summer, exotic wildlife and iconic natural sites are calling your name. Make Queensland your next cruising destination with our top cruise deals to help get you there faster.

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