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Cruises to Port Douglas

26 Reviews
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.

  • More about Port Douglas

  • Why go to Port Douglas?

  • Port Douglas Cruise Port Facilities?

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Royal Princess
Royal Princess

10 Night
Australia CruiseDetails

1,714 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Oct 23, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Majestic Princess
Majestic Princess TA Listings Page Image

11 Night
Australia CruiseDetails

658 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Feb 24, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite
Celebrity Solstice
Celebrity Solstice (Photo: Celebrity)

13 Night
Australia CruiseDetails

2,160 Reviews
Leaving:Singapore
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Mar 27, 2025
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Brilliance of the Seas
Brilliance of the Seas

11 Night
Great Barrier Reef CruiseDetails

1,521 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Dec 8, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

10 Night
Great Barrier Reef CruiseDetails

650 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Jan 25, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Great Barrier ReefDetails

650 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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22 Night
Australia & Pacific CruiseDetails

580 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Cunard Line
Jan 22, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

10 Night
Great Barrier Reef CruiseDetails

1,872 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Feb 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Australia CruiseDetails

658 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Mar 31, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
Australia CruiseDetails

1,565 Reviews
Leaving:Melbourne
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Mar 17, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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11 Night
Great Barrier Reef CruiseDetails

650 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Feb 25, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Australia CruiseDetails

1,014 Reviews
Leaving:Brisbane
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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25 Night
Indonesia & Australia Discovery 25d Boa-melDetails

121 Reviews
Leaving:Bali
Cruise Line:Windstar Cruises
Nov 26, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Australia CruiseDetails

658 Reviews
Leaving:Sydney
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Jan 31, 2024
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Australia CruiseDetails

658 Reviews
Leaving:Brisbane
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
Feb 27, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Port Douglas

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
I did the ship excursion to the Wildlife Sanctuary where we were given morning tea and then free time to wander round the park and get close up with our native wildlife. You could get your pic taken with a koala, snaRead More
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Yaya_in_Oz
Slow tender. Ship excursion to Great Barrier Reef. One sales pitch after another. Not what was expected. Photos, helicopters, helmet dive, underwater scooter. There was a snorkel pen that was crowded. This was atRead More
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ckone
Terrible tender service to Port Douglas from the big ship. Princess needs to pay for more than 1 berth for tenders to be able to quickly offload passengers, instead of waiting for hours in the heat on crammed life rRead More
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Sedat
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
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Thisissilly

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