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Cruises to Melbourne

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Melbourne (Photo:Scottt13/Shutterstock)

About Melbourne

It's no wonder Melbourne was ranked as the world's most liveable city for seven years in a row. Spend some time in the capital of the state of Victoria and you will soon discover it's welcoming, relaxed and has a tonne of flair.

More cruise ships are now using Melbourne as a homeport as well as a destination stopover, providing the opportunity for passengers to discover the city's charm.

Melbourne has a colourful history -- Victoria's 1850s' gold rush propelled Melbourne to become one of the world's great cities by the 1880s, when it was the chief conduit for people, goods and financial matters in and out of Australia.

Melbourne was and still is the most English of Australian cities, and yet it also has a highly cosmopolitan population of more than 3 million. Waves of British, Italian and Greek immigrants began arriving after World War 2 and, when immigration restrictions changed to allow Asians to become residents, a huge influx arrived. They brought with them new tastes and flavours, with many establishing cafes and restaurants creating a cosmopolitan feel to Melbourne.

The Yarra River slices through the city. North of the river, you will find the commercial heart and, to the south, most of the museums, theatres, concert halls and open spaces -- including the striking Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Nearby inland and coastal neighbourhoods such as Carlton, Fitzroy, Richmond, Toorak and St. Kilda are worth exploring on foot, with each area having its own distinctive flavour.

Happily, pedestrians have lots of rights, and walking is free-flowing and safe. It's also easy to navigate the city via its tram system. The first electric models began running in 1889, and unlike so many other cities, Melbourne never abandoned them.

Everyone talks about Melbourne's changeable weather and it is true you can get four seasons in one day. So be prepared. Due to its southern location, Melbourne gets cloudy, rainy and cold in the winter months and warms up to pleasantly and sometimes searingly hot during its summer. Given that Melburnians complain a lot about their winters, travellers are usually pleased to find out that most cruise ships call at Melbourne during the Australian summer.

Cruise ships berth at Station Pier in Port Melbourne, the dock formerly used for overseas liners and the current facility for the Spirit of Tasmania, the overnight ferry that sails across the Bass Strait to Devonport on the island state of Tasmania. Melbourne's nearby skyline is well within view.

  • Why go to Melbourne?

  • Melbourne Cruise Port Facilities?

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Regatta
Regatta
Regatta

77 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

398 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
$15,749*pp
$205/night • outside Cabin

Oceania Cruises

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Oosterdam
Oosterdam
Oosterdam

39 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Norwegian Spirit
Norwegian Spirit
Norwegian Spirit

12 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

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Regatta
Regatta
Regatta

20 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Singapore
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises

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Regatta

14 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises

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Oosterdam

14 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Oosterdam

32 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
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Oosterdam

14 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Holland America Line

Holland America

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Silver Shadow

15 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
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Sapphire Princess

18 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Adelaide
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises

Princess

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Sapphire Princess

13 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Melbourne
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises

Princess

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Queen Mary 2 (QM2)
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Silver Muse

16 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
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Silver Muse

16 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
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Silver Muse

14 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
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Viking Orion

14 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises

American Discount Cruises

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Silver Shadow

15 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Cairns
Cruise Line:Silversea Cruises
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Seabourn Ovation

32 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Seabourn Cruise Line
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Viking Orion

14 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
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Azamara Journey

16 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Melbourne
Cruise Line:Azamara Voyages
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Viking Orion

14 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Viking Orion

14 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
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Crystal Symphony

27 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Melbourne
Cruise Line:Crystal Cruises
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Queen Elizabeth

18 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Melbourne
Cruise Line:Cunard Line
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Queen Elizabeth

13 Night
Cruise to MelbourneDetails

Leaving:Melbourne
Cruise Line:Cunard Line
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Why go to Melbourne?

Pros:

Free trams allow easy exploration of city and laneways lined with quirky venues

Cons:

During winter, the weather is often cold and rainy

Bottom Line:

A fun city to discover great dining, small bars, art galleries and boutiques

Melbourne Cruise Port Facilities?

Station Pier located in Port Melbourne is the home of the city's main cruise terminal and is becoming more common as a turnaround port with various cruise lines.

It is also the port for the Spirit of Tasmania, the overnight ferry that sails daily to Devonport, Tasmania.

There are porters to assist on cruise embarkation days and a baggage drop plus Waterfront Welcomers in blue shirts on hand to provide helpful information.

There's comfortable seating in the terminal hall, restrooms, ATMs, a small cafe and gift shop. There are no storage lockers or dedicated free Wi-Fi.

There's a lively atmosphere around Station Pier with cafes, pubs and restaurants within walking distance of the terminal. Head out along the palm-fringed walkways for a seaside stroll or hire a bike and discover the area's charm. For last-minute essentials, Coles Supermarket is located at 203 Bay St Port Melbourne. There are speciality shops in Bay Street and department stores in the city -- just a short taxi or tram ride away.

Good to Know?

Be sure to observe what is called a hook turn at intersections where cars wanting to make a right turn across the tram tracks must move into the far-left lane when entering the intersection and then proceed with the green light of the cross street. Also, watch for the vertical white signal light that gives trams priority at intersections while car traffic may be stopped.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Melbourne Greeter Service matches visitors with a local resident and volunteer guide for free two- to four-hour walking orientations; 24 hours' notice is required, and tours leave at 9:30 a.m. from the Melbourne Visitor Hub at Town Hall.

By Tram: One of Melbourne's famous city tram routes has a terminal at Port Melbourne, a five-minute walk from Station Pier. Myki cards (a debit card that you can replenish as needed) for tram and bus travel need to be purchased before embarking. Melbourne's many trams cover the city and suburbs and, if not, buses and trains are available. The ride from Port Melbourne to the city centre takes 20 minutes, and once there, lots of the best sites are within walking distance. The central district also has a free City Circle tram, route No. 35, which operates daily in both directions every 12 minutes. It makes a large loop along the perimeter, bounded by Flinders, Spring and Latrobe streets and the Harbour Esplanade at Docklands. A complete circuit takes about an hour. These vintage trams provide commentary, are maroon in colour, marked "City Centre" and provide a good overview.

By Taxi: Melbourne taxis can be found in designated spots outside hotels and at the two railways stations -- Flinders Street and Southern Cross. If you see a taxi with the rooftop light illuminated, it's empty, and you can hail it from the street. Taxis are metered, and drivers do not expect a tip, though sometimes rounding up the fare to the next dollar is appropriate. Surcharges only apply between midnight and 5 a.m. A ride to the central business district from the cruise terminal at Station Pier will cost about $20. To and from the airport, it will be about $60. Ubers are also available.

By Train: For trips into the suburbs and outlying cities, trains leave from Southern Cross Station or Flinders Street Station, both located in the city centre. Flinders Street Station, completed in 1911, is a fabulous mustard-coloured pile of Edwardian Baroque architecture, decorated with arches, domes and a clock tower facing Federation Square. Southern Cross, with its soaring train shed, handles the V-Line country trains, long-distance trains and coaches, and the Skybus to and from the airport.

By Bus: The red Skybus links Melbourne's airport (international and domestic terminals) with Southern Cross Station every 10 to 15 minutes, and the journey takes about a half hour. A free shuttle links most hotels with the Skybus at Southern Cross Station. For information on public transportation by train, tram or bus, visit ptv.vic.gov.au/.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Bank ATMs are available all around the city.

Language?

English is spoken with various Melburnian accents. For the record, the name of the city is pronounced Mel-b'n not Mel-born.


Melbourne Cruise Reviews
Melbourne was one of our tour highlights. We had Made. previous email connections with fellow Melbourne Aussies on our land tour of Spain/Portugal/Morocco to have lunch when we made port on our cruise. We dined with... Read More
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dicknash
No excursion...leaving from Melbourne.... Read More
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Caszie87
So much to do in Melbourne, so little time! We went to the central business district by trams 109 and 35, including Chinatown. It was OK. Then after lunch I went to St Kilda - pretty fun if you like to do... Read More
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roothy123
We used trams and online Melbourne tram information.... Read More
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familycruiser3X

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