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Cruises to Port Douglas

Port Douglas (Photo:Martin Valigursky/Shutterstock)
Port Douglas (Photo:Martin Valigursky/Shutterstock)

About Port Douglas

Sandwiched between reef and rainforest, this tropical seaside village is an upscale playground for nature lovers, foodies and water babies. Located an hour's drive north of Cairns in Far North Queensland, Port Douglas is the gateway to that World Heritage-Listed double act: the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest.

The seas off Four Mile Beach are usually pancake-flat as the reef protects the coast from the waves. You will get a feel for the flow of time -- it's a very laidback place -- if you take a walk along the beach. Port Douglas is located in the heart of the tropics so expect the skies to open if there's even the slightest change in the weather. This is a good thing: one of the best places to be when it rains in Tropical North Queensland is in the rainforest as these dramatic downpours makes the surrounding forest and emerald-green vegetation come alive.

While Port Douglas has long attracted a blend of backpackers, bikers, business folk and bohemians, the untrammelled oasis also performed a pivot in the 1980s in order to broaden its appeal to everyone from diving devotees to grizzled yachties, yogis and celebrities. While Port Douglas still thrives on its booming snorkelling and adventure industry and proximity to reef and rainforest, a suite of lavish hotels and a buzzing restaurant and shopping scene have helped transform it from a sleepy 1960s' fishing village into one of Australia's favourite resort towns.

Two golf courses, revitalised low-rise resorts, a botanic garden, a rainforest habitat display, farmers' market, Heritage-listed buildings and diverse range of atmospheric restaurants, character-filled pubs and bright, breezy cafes help make Port Douglas a stylish place to chill pre- or post-cruise.

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DAY 1: Sydney

11 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Port Douglas, Australia ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Sydney

11 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Airlie Beach, Cairns ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Sydney

12 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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DAY 1: Sydney

10 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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139 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama City ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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11 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Newcastle, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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123 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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111 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Maui ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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8 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Brisbane
Visiting:
Airlie Beach, Cairns ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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10 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Brisbane, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Brisbane
Visiting:
Airlie Beach, Cairns ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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18 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Brisbane
Visiting:
Airlie Beach, Townsville ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Brisbane
Visiting:
Airlie Beach, Cairns ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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14 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Melbourne
Visiting:
Sydney, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Brisbane
Visiting:
Sydney, Airlie Beach ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Brisbane
Visiting:
Airlie Beach, Cairns ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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10 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Sydney
Visiting:
Airlie Beach, Cairns ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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8 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Brisbane
Visiting:
Airlie Beach, Cairns ...
see more
Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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127 Night
Cruise to Port Douglas

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama City ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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Why go to Port Douglas?

Pros:

Ideal starting point for discovering the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest

Cons:

Tours can be expensive for those on tight budgets

Bottom Line:

Tick off two World Heritage-listed natural wonders in one stop

Port Douglas Cruise Port Facilities?

Cruise ship passengers disembark at Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina after being delivered to the wharf by tender. The cruise ship generally pulls up offshore outside of Low Isles and the passengers arrive at the marina via tender.

All the cruise ships are met by members of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree and a team of local volunteers. The welcoming committee are on hand to provide maps and share their local knowledge and passion for their seaside town. Local tour operators also set up shop on the wharf to sell tours that are designed for the cruise market and tailored to the amount of time passengers will have in the region.

There are toilets located at the marina, including accessible facilities and a baby change station. The marina is located on Wharf Street in Port Douglas and is a short walk -- just 850 m -- to Macrossan Street, which is the main street of town

Good to Know?

Port Douglas has a tropical climate throughout the year so don't forget to pack some light sun-smart clothing, especially during the months from March to November. It's also helpful to wear thongs (flip-flops) as rain can be random. Also, if you do take a trip out to the reef know that a cloudy day increases the risk of sunburn so be sure to slip (on a shirt), slop (on some sunscreen) and slap (on a hat).

Getting Around?

On Foot: Macrossan Street is a short five-to-10-minute stroll from the marina, depending on your fitness level. Four Mile Beach is at the very end of Macrossan Street and a very accessible walk down the main street. The streets are mainly flat with wide footpaths so it is easy to walk around.

By Bus: The local shuttle bus stop is located out the front of the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina and departs every five minutes or so. The cost for the shuttle can vary, but it is usually no more than $10 for a return fare.

By Taxi: Taxis are available but are very limited within the Shire of Douglas. You can book a ride by calling 131 008. Uber is also available in Port Douglas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

By Rental Car: There are several car rental companies in Port Douglas and all only a short walk from the Marina. Try Avis (7 Warner St, Port Douglas; 07 4099 4331; open Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 1 pm, Saturdays and Sundays, 8.30 am to 1 pm), Thrifty Car Rental (Shop 16, Coconut Grove, 50 Macrossan St; 07 4099 5555; open Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 8 am to 12.30 pm), Comet Car Hire (3/54 Macrossan St, 07 4099 6407; open Monday to Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, 8 am to 3 pm) and Budget Car Rental (7 Warner St; 07 4099 4702; open Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 8.30 am to 1 pm.)

*Editor's Note: If travelling in peak season (between May and November), book a car in advance. *

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency in Port Douglas is the Australian Dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted. Use an online currency converter to access the latest rates. There is an ATM located at the wharf as well as several others along Macrossan Street. Cash can be exchanged in nearly every bank.

Language?

English is spoken in Port Douglas, though Australians are said to speak at a faster rate. If someone asks, 'How's it garn?' (How's it going?), you can say, "It's a ripper of a day, ay?" (All's good.) The seaside village also has a permanent transient population so expect to hear a range of languages being spoken.


Port Douglas Cruise Reviews

Pacific Dawn
fnryan
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Port Douglas was great. We rented a car and drove up to the Daintree area which was awesome... Read More
Sea Princess
Midolo60
Sail Date: Feb 2020
Took the daintree river cruise and discovery tour it was very well organized. Cooled off at mossman gorge... Read More
Majestic Princess
Thisissilly
Sail Date: Nov 2019
To hot to commit to a lengthy excursion off the ship, but found a great one hour tour offered on the dock in an air conditioned mini coach. This was very good.... Read More
Majestic Princess
Sabristella
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Amazing experience we went to the outer reef the highlight of our trip... Read More
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