Often referred to as the gateway to the tropical north and Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef system, Cairns is a port city in Queensland (Australia), one of the country's four largest cruise ports. It's filled with great dining venues and bars and has a rainforest, beautiful beaches, and gorges.
The Cairns port has easy access to the city's center, the Northern Beaches, the Barron Gorge National Park, the Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, the Esplanade, and impressive shore excursions. A cruise to Cairns may be a fantastic option for those who love visiting handicraft markets, exploring art galleries, swimming in the Lagoon, and doing other exciting outdoor activities.
Several cruise lines, including many luxury brands, offer voyages that either visit or depart from Cairns, where you can spend a day at the Great Barrier Reef, snorkel, scuba dive, and ride a catamaran or semi-submarine, among other adventures. You can discover underwater wonders and breathtaking coral wildlife and enjoy rainforest scenery, creating unforgettable memories for a lifetime. The ideal time to visit Cairns is between June and October.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes Cairns, Australia. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to Cairns, Australia. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit Cairns, Australia:
These cruise lines fit (quality and, usually, price-wise) somewhere in between Premium and Luxury cruise lines.
A country club casual atmosphere can be expected on these lines, as can be elegant accommodations and gourmet cuisine. These cruise lines are a great option for adults looking for a upscale, yet laid back, vacation.
Unique itineraries are often available on these cruise lines, as their small-to-mid-sized ships can visit ports of call that large ones can't get to.
The pricing on Azamara Club Cruises includes select beverages and pre-paid gratuities, while the pricing of Viking Ocean Cruises includes shore excursions and select beverages.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
When the finest cruise vacation is your top priority, this is the place to start.
On a luxury cruise line, guests experience highly personalized service, a more intimate (and usually formal) onboard experience, gourmet cuisine, well-appointed accommodations, and fantastic amenities. Many of these brands have smaller ships, allowing them to reach ports of call that the larger ships can't, which results in unique itineraries.
All of these brands feature a version of all-inclusive pricing, and some of them have ships with all-suite accommodations. Although these cruise lines are usually more expensive than the rest, they also provide their guests with so much more, resulting in a fantastic value when considering all that's included.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These are just a few of the most popular tourist attractions in Cairns, along with a brief description:
Visit the scenic foreshore, Esplanade, stretching for 1.55 miles in the heart of Cairns. It is free to enter its playgrounds, parklands, boardwalk, and recreational facilities and swim in the saltwater Lagoon, pumped from the Trinity Inlet. This safe swimming spot boasts beautiful sandy edges, shallow water for kids, shady trees for relaxation, and a perfect leisurely atmosphere.
♦ Cairns Aquarium
Located in the center of Cairns, the Aquarium lets you adorn the most magnificent water creatures and see the eco-systems you can only meet in Australia's Tropical North Queensland. It is a great place to see shark feeds or even dive with a shark, hear animal talks, and explore over 70 unique habitats, home to more than 16,000 critters.
♦ Botanic Gardens
If you are spending a day in Cairns, visit its Botanic Gardens and indulge in the tropical atmosphere (the entry is free). Enjoy the beautiful tropical horticulture and flora, take many photos, and relax in the breathtaking surroundings.
♦ Great Barrier Reef
Take a superyacht or catamaran in Cairns to visit the Great Barrier Reef, and spend an unforgettable day snorkeling and diving to get a closer look at the beautiful underworld with bright coral, mesmerizing fish, and turquoise water.
♦ Kuranda Rainforest
Touring the Kuranda Rainforest can be a fantastic one-day trip for those who visit Cairns. This rainforest is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage and can be a wonderful place to see. You can travel to Kuranda by the Kuranda Scenic Railway and return to the port city on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Fill your day with amazing adventures, from adorning butterflies to meeting dingoes and koalas, eating delicious lunch, and creating long-time memories.
♦ Rusty's Market
Enjoy a fantastic selection of fruit and vegetables at Rusty's Market, delicious loaves of bread and cakes in nearby cafes, and jewelry at craft fairs in Cairns.
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