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Cruises to Melbourne

1 Award
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

77 Night
World CruiseDetails

383 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Oct 4, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Regatta
Regatta

24 Night
Australia CruiseDetails

383 Reviews
Leaving:Singapore
Cruise Line:Oceania Cruises
Nov 27, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Viking Orion
Viking Orion (Photo: Cruise Critic)

91 Night
Grand Pacific ExplorerDetails

474 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Sep 17, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Westerdam
Westerdam

14 Night
Australia & New Zealand HolidayDetails

1,067 Reviews
Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Dec 20, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

14 Night
Australia & New ZealandDetails

790 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Mar 11, 2023
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Cruise Critic Favorite

120 Night
120 Night Viking World JourneysDetails

1,056 Reviews
Leaving:Los Angeles
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Jan 6, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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28 Night
New Zealand & South Australia Discovery CollectorDetails

1,067 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Nov 8, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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13 Night
Australia & New ZealandDetails

790 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Jan 14, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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6 Night
Melbourne & Hobart CruiseDetails

1,513 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Jan 27, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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92 Night
Grand Pacific ExplorerDetails

474 Reviews
Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Feb 13, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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39 Night
New Zealand & South Pacific Crossing CollectorDetails

790 Reviews
Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Mar 25, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Australia & New ZealandDetails

790 Reviews
Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

14 Night
Australia & New ZealandDetails

474 Reviews
Leaving:Auckland
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

14 Night
Australia & New ZealandDetails

474 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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137 Night
137 Night Viking World CruiseDetails

1,056 Reviews
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
Dec 20, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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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
We did a wonderful private tour with Mark’s Private Tours of Melbourne.Read More
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Alohashirl
Port Melbourne is easy to walk off ship & head to the tram 109 which goes directly into Melbourne centre. It runs 24hrs, easy to travel back to ship, need an MYKI card or risk a huge fine. Read More
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delightful_de
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
We lived in Melbourne for a few years , lovely city easy to get to city 10 minutes walk to tram and when you get to the city there is a free tram that takes you round the city edges so you can get on and off and see Read More
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