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Cruises to Busselton

Busselton (Photo:loneroc/Shutterstock)

About Busselton

Busselton was bustling with energy when it welcomed its first cruise ship in November 2014. It had been a long time between drinks, so to speak. The once busy port shut down in 1973, but residents once again eagerly welcome the arrival of visiting cruisers.

A gateway to the famous Margaret River wine region, the coastal playground of Busselton is located on the sandy shore of Geographe Bay, 140 miles (220 kilometres) southwest of Perth on the west coast of Western Australia (WA). With large areas of national park, state forests, ancient caves and a bevy of beautiful beaches, Busselton is a popular seaside holiday spot, and its population of 25,000 swells with visitors over the summer season. The region is renowned for agriculture and viticulture, and with a growing younger population, Busselton is slowly shrugging off its image as a retirement destination.

One of the earliest settlements in WA, it was named after the Bussell family who established a cattle station in the area in 1834. The town serviced the surrounding agriculture industry before becoming a major port for the timber industry in the mid-1800s. The Busselton Jetty, the only remaining from this period, is the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere, jutting 1.1 miles (1.8 kilometres) into shallow Geographe Bay, and serves as a tourist attraction with its Cultural Heritage Museum and Underwater Observatory.

Like arms outstretched in a welcoming embrace, Geographe Bay's curving expanse of sweeping white beaches extend as far as the eye can see. Crystal-clear water and grassy foreshores shaded by towering Norfolk pines beckon swimmers, picnickers and fishermen alike, while a short distance over the headland, you'll see some of Australia's finest surf beaches, including Yallingup, host to the Malibu Classic surf competition. Head south, and an array of culinary delights and artisan products await in the Margaret River region. Indulge with olives and cheese, chocolate and nougat, beer and berries and vino and venison.

On the migration route for humpback, southern right, blue and minke whales, Busselton operates whale-watching tours from September to November, though dolphins can be seen all year.

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DAY 1: Singapore

20 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Singapore
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Bali, Broome ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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61 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Los Angeles
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Astoria, Oregon, Seattle ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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116 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Los Angeles
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Honolulu, Kauai ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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DAY 1: Miami

116 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Miami
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Ocho Rios, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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36 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Tokyo
Visiting:
Nagoya, Kobe ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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100 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Los Angeles
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Honolulu, Kauai ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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86 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Los Angeles
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Honolulu, Kauai ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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18 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Sydney
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Melbourne, Adelaide ...
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Cruise Line:
Silversea Cruises
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102 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Miami
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Ocho Rios, Cartagena ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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12 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Singapore
Visiting:
Bali, Geraldton ...
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Cruise Line:
Azamara
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15 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Sydney
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Melbourne, Adelaide ...
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Cruise Line:
Silversea Cruises
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19 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Bali
Visiting:
Broome, Exmouth ...
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Cruise Line:
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
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16 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Melbourne
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Adelaide, Penneshaw ...
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Cruise Line:
Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
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25 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Melbourne
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Kangaroo Island, Port Lincoln ...
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Cruise Line:
Silversea Cruises
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3 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Perth
Visiting:
Busselton ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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18 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Auckland
Visiting:
Tauranga, Picton ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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21 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Bali
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Exmouth, Geraldton ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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14 Night
Cruise to Busselton

Leaving:
Perth
Visiting:
Busselton, Adelaide ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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Why go to Busselton?

Pros:

Wine and whale watching are two of this recently revived port's standout attractions

Cons:

Busselton's beaches are lovely, but be on the lookout for stinging jellyfish

Bottom Line:

This port is a true tourist destination, but it offers some unique and interesting attractions

Busselton Cruise Port Facilities?

Busselton Foreshore is the epitome of the town's beachside vibe, with playgrounds, barbecue facilities, picnic areas, toilets, showers and a network of pathways for walkers and cyclists. It takes on a fairground feel when cruise ships are in town -- with actors in period costume, vintage car displays, a mobile rock-climbing wall and bike and Segway hire services.

You could spend the whole day watching artists in residence in the Visitor Centre and taking in the 360 degree views from its lookout and exploring Busselton Jetty's Interpretive Centre, Cultural Heritage Museum and Underwater Observatory. How about taking a dip in the swimming enclosure, tanning on the sands or relaxing over a meal and glass of wine.

The Visitor Centre features an ATM and free Wi-Fi, and nearby culinary offerings include an ice cream kiosk/cafe and two great cafe/restaurant/bar/takeaway venues with views across the bay. The more traditional Equinox is nestled under huge fig trees, while the more contemporary Goose Beach Bar & Kitchen sits right on the edge of the sand with a lovely long veranda and offers free Wi-Fi. Simmo's, selling ice cream "born, bred and frozen in WA" was voted as one of the top 15 ice creameries in the world.

Good to Know?

At certain times of the year, small transparent jellyfish called "stingers" may be present in the water. While they are not lethal, they can give you a painful sting. Check with residents or the lifeguards on patrol if you are worried.

Getting Around?

On Foot: The main road, Queen Street, runs from the Vasse River right to the beach, near where cruise passengers disembark. It is a five-minute walk to the centre of town. The terrain is flat, so it is very easy to stroll and check out the town's historic buildings, shopping precinct and foreshore.

<p>By Bike: The area around Busselton is ideal for cycling with a flat landscape and an excellent network of meandering, coastal bike paths. Bicycles are available for hire from the Busselton Visitor Centre (+61 8 9752 5800) and Electric Bike Hire (+61 0428 522 133).

By Shuttle Bus: A free shuttle bus from Busselton to the small town of Dunsborough, 14 miles (24 kilometres) away, operates on days cruise ships are in port. It leaves every half-hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and departs from behind Simmo's ice cream bar.

By Taxi: For taxis and maxi-taxis, contact Busselton Taxis (+61 8 9752 2730).

By Hire Car: If you want to go further afield or take a self-guided drive, hire cars are available. Call Avis (+61 8 9754 1175), Dunsborough Car Rentals (+61 8 1800 449 007) or Hertz (+61 8 9791 8911).

By Charter Bus: Numerous charter companies offer small-group tours of the region, from set itineraries to bespoke tours. Make arrangements through the Busselton Visitor Centre (+61 8 9752 5800).

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The currency is the Australian dollar. Visit www.xe.com or www.oanda.com for exchange rates. ATMs can be found in Busselton's main street, Queen Street, and there is one in the Visitor Centre on Busselton Foreshore adjacent to the swim jetty where cruise passengers disembark.

Language?

English is the official language. One local term you might become familiar with, depending on the season, is the "Busselton wave." No, it's not a new dance move or a friendly gesture. Visit in spring, and you may find yourself doing it involuntarily in an attempt to swat the pesky bush flies that can be a nuisance. If flies are around, volunteers offer fly spray to passengers as they disembark on the beach.

Where You're Docked?

Geographe Bay is shallow, so ships anchor and tender passengers ashore. It's a beautiful ride across the sparkling clear waters of the bay, alongside the historic jetty with its photogenic boatshed-style buildings. Passengers alight at the Cruise Landing Jetty, known as the swim jetty, from where a temporary boardwalk stretches across the sand to the foreshore to ensure visitors do not get sand in their shoes. This is Busselton Foreshore, the town's main beach, so there is no cruise terminal. The Visitor Information Centre, shaped like a lighthouse, is located there, and it's an easy five-minute walk to Queen Street, which runs between the beach and the Vasse River.


Busselton Cruise Reviews

wasatreas
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Very lively WA summer holiday town... Read More
Citrusbreeze
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Ngilgi Cave and Cape Naturaliste Excursion. Wonderful experience! Great cave walk with ample time to enjoy.... Read More
JenniferFree
Sail Date: Mar 2018
Sadly our cruise had to miss Busselton due to heavy seas in the Great Australian Bight delaying us by 6hrs. We did however visit Port Lincoln in South Australia which is known for its seafood. A lovely place which... Read More
ozlovers
Sail Date: Dec 2018
River boat cruise that was quite enjoyable and we saw a sea lion, not seen in the estuary for about 5 years so locals very excited. Very pleasant trip.... Read More
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