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Cruises to Darwin

Darwin (Photo:Emma Jones/Shutterstock)
Darwin (Photo:Emma Jones/Shutterstock)

About Darwin

Darwin is a departure point for visits to Australia's Kakadu and Nitmiluk national parks but this modern city in the Northern Territory also has plenty of attractions for the one-day cruise visitor.

Its streets are lined with Aboriginal art and craft galleries, boutiques selling locally cultured pearls, and restaurants and cafes where the ethnically diverse cuisine highlights Australia's bountiful produce and seafood.

From feeding crocodiles in the central business district (CBD) to historic World War 2 oil storage tunnels and a lively waterfront wave pool, Darwin offers an enjoyable day out for travellers with a variety of interests.

The city was named after naturalist Charles Darwin, who stopped there aboard HMS Beagle in 1839. As home to a growing population of 132,000, it is the smallest Australian capital city. Closer to the capitals of five countries in Asia than it is to Canberra, the capital of Australia, Darwin is a modern mix of Aussie and Asian culture -- at least in its food options. Many buildings also look relatively new as the city was rebuilt after it was largely levelled by Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Eve in 1974.

Kakadu is too distant to reach on a shore excursion, but if you're looking for natural beauty, you should have enough time to squeeze in a day trip to Litchfield National Park. Just a 90-minute drive from Darwin, this delightful park is noted for its waterfalls cascading into swimmable pools as well as trails through lush tropical forests and giant termite mounds, many two metres (6.5 feet) high or taller.

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DAY 1: Singapore

16 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Surabaya, Bali ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Miami

117 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Antigua, St. Lucia ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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164 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Kauai, Honolulu ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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120 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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28 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Whitsundays ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

14 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Darwin, Cairns ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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17 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Semarang, Surabaya ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Mooloolaba ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Townsville ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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113 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
New York
Visiting:
Southampton, Tenerife ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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111 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kona ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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56 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kona ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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108 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Hamilton, Port Canaveral ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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111 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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20 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Melbourne
Visiting:
Eden, Sydney ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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59 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Tenerife, Cape Town ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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97 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Montego Bay, Puerto Limon ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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70 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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99 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Southampton
Visiting:
Tenerife, Cape Town ...
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Cruise Line:
Cunard Line
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56 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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16 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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35 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Townsville ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Darwin, Cairns ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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17 Night
Cruise to Darwin

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Semarang, Surabaya ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Why go to Darwin?

Pros:

A lively tropical city with a great mix of cultures and food

Cons:

It's very hot and humid during the wet season

Bottom Line:

Darwin's colourful character makes it well worth exploring

Darwin Cruise Port Facilities?

Cruise ships dock close to the main town centre in an area called the Wharf Precinct -- a drinking and dining hub with a modern convention centre.

The Darwin Cruise Ship Terminal waterfront precinct has seaside walkways and shady parklands. Visitors can swim in the wave pool or a swimming lagoon with a floating children's play zone. The area is lined with outdoor restaurants, bars and souvenir shops.

A 750-metre path links the terminal to the Smith Street Mall and Visitor Information Centre. Don't miss the glass observation lift, which offers panoramic views of the whole precinct and Stokes Hill Wharf while connecting you to a gently climbing walkway.

Good to Know?

December through to March is known as 'The Wet' and it pours buckets late in the afternoon and at night. Temperatures top 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) and humidity reaches extremely high levels. The land turns green, but it could also flood, and some trips to outlying areas will be washed out by impassable roads. Air-conditioned venues, such as Darwin's shops and museums, then become the most sensible destinations.

Getting Around?

By Foot: The walk to town takes about 15 minutes. Once there, the centre is walkable in about 25 minutes, from end to end.

By Taxi: Taxis will be available at the pier.

By Ride Share: Uber is available in Darwin but some of the newer rideshare options have limited drivers.

By Bus: A shuttle service operates from the Darwin Cruise Ship Terminal to the Visitor Information Centre in the CBD. The Darwin Bus Interchange is located on Harry Chan Place, off Smith Street, at the end of the main shopping street, near the port. Timetables are available, and drivers do give change. The Darwin Airport Shuttle meets all flights and provides direct transfers to all hotels.

By Car: Car rental agencies give good value for three to five people. Try Hertz (Mitchell Centre, 55 to 59 Mitchell Street), Europcar (77 Cavenagh Street) and Budget (corner of Smith and McLachlan streets).

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the Australian dollar. Money can be exchanged at banks and bureaus, and ATMs are found all over the city. Credit cards are widely accepted in Darwin except at local markets (such as the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets) where cash is often preferred. Outside Darwin, in remote areas, there are limited banking or credit card facilities.

Language?

English is spoken with a variety of Australian accents and often with lots of abbreviations and colloquial expressions. When it comes to ordering a beer, a "stubbie" is a small beer, while a "Darwin stubbie" is a very, very large beer.


Darwin Cruise Reviews

Carnival Splendor
Eugene A
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Love Darwin - had a chance to catch up with some great friends... Read More
Carnival Splendor
shellz37
Sail Date: Nov 2019
We did our own walk around the town, but was too hot to stay in Darwin for to long... Read More
Carnival Splendor
Sonexxx
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Ship docked so experience getting off the ship and walking around Darwin was excellent.... Read More
Carnival Splendor
best day ever
Sail Date: Nov 2019
First time in Darwin and found it to be a lovely city . The locals were friendly and it looked very safe and well looked after .... Read More
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