Cruises to Albany (Australia)

8 Reviews
Albany (Australia) (Photo:Galore777/Shutterstock)

About Cruising to Albany (Australia)

Albany might be Western Australia's oldest settlement, but there's nothing staid about the township. Just make sure you pronounce it correctly -- residents say Al-bany (as in Al Pacino), not Awl-bany.

Located approximately 400 kilometres (250 miles) southeast of Perth on the state's southern coast, Albany sits at the northern edge of Princess Royal Harbour, part of the much bigger King George Sound. The main drag, York Street, runs toward the harbour, making for picturesque views as you explore the town.

The surrounding coastal scenery is dramatic, with rugged rocky shores, sweeping white beaches and national park headlands, so if you miss it on arrival, make sure to catch it as your ship departs. Ataturk Entrance to Princess Royal Harbour is very narrow, and locals line the northern foreshore to observe cruise ships closely passing by.

Albany was the first European settlement in Western Australia (WA), founded in December 1826, in part to beat the French colonising the area. Consequently, there are many historic buildings in town, which became a reprovisioning port for ships travelling between England and Australia and later a base for the area's whaling industry. With a population of about 34,000, it is now a tourist destination and service centre for the surrounding agriculture, timber and fishing industries.

Consequently, fresh produce abounds, including seafood, fruits, cheeses and bush foods, many produced organically. Connoisseurs will enjoy sampling the region's award-winning wines or visiting a brewery and distillery.

The area is famous, or infamous, for its whaling industry. The Historic Whaling Station pays tribute to these beautiful creatures while depicting the gruesome trade in its heyday. The National Anzac Centre, opened in 2014, is Australia's foremost museum honouring the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) of World War I. Poignantly, the engaging, interactive museum overlooks Ataturk Entrance through which more than 41,000 Australian and New Zealand troops departed for the Great War, many never to return.

  • More about Albany (Australia)

  • Why Cruise to Albany (Australia)?

  • Albany (Australia) Cruise Port Facilities?

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More about Albany (Australia)

Why Cruise to Albany (Australia)?

Pros:

Foodies will delight in Albany's abundance of fresh local foods and the local brewery and distillery

Cons:

The beaches here are stunning, but the surf can be strong and dangerous for inexperienced swimmers

Bottom Line:

Most come for the beaches and scenery, but Albany has a slew of interesting attractions

Albany (Australia) Cruise Port Facilities?

The working port features grain silos, piles of wood chips or silica and no passenger facilities, so there is nothing to do at the pier itself. But turn left out of the carpark and take the foreshore footpath and in a few minutes you'll come to Haz Beanz Finestkind Coffee (5D Toll Place, Albany Waterfront; open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.) on the edge of Albany Marina. This cute little waterfront cafe sells Naked Bean Coffee, which is roasted locally, along with hot pies, delicious cakes, ice creams and sweets. Pull up a stool outside for a view of your cruise ship.

Continue along the foreshore to the Entertainment Centre, where you'll find a footbridge spanning the road and railway line. This bridge is the easiest route to walk into town.

Good to Know?

The beaches here are stunning, but they can be dangerous. If you are not used to surf or are not a strong swimmer, chose more sheltered beaches and swim in the patrolled areas.

Getting Around?

On Foot: The pier is about a 20-minute walk from the bottom of town. Turn left out of the pier carpark and follow the foreshore footpath to the Entertainment Centre, then take the footbridge that spans the railway line. Turn left on Stirling Terrace, which intersects with York Street. You'll spot many historic buildings around town, so pick up a heritage walking trail brochure from the Albany Visitor Centre, housed in the old railway station (55 Proudlove Parade; +61 8 9841 9290), or from their information van located near the free shuttle bus stop on York Street.

By Shuttle Bus: Complimentary shuttle bus service is provided by Southern Ports Authority on days when cruise ships are in port. It operates a circuit between the port and the centre of town. Each circuit to town and back takes about 20 minutes. Albany volunteers, wearing bright blue tops with a yellow "i" (for information) hand out maps of town -- with shuttle bus stops clearly marked -- and can help with directions.

By Taxi or Minibus: Several taxi and minibus companies operate in Albany, including Albany City Cabs (61 8 9841 7000), Eclipse Taxi & Minibus Service (+61 8 9841 3037), Albany Transit Taxis, Maxis & Way To Go Charters (+61 8 9844 4444) and Busy Blue Bus (+61 8 9846 4757).

By Hire Car: Drive yourself around this scenic coastal area with a hire car. Try Avis (+61 8 9842 2833), Albany Car Rentals (+61 8 9841 7077) or Albany Truck & Car Hire (+61 8 9841 8150).

By Motorcycle: Roar around town on the back of a Harley Davidson bike or trike, with Down Under Motorcycle Tours (+61 8 9842 2468). Tours range from one hour to a full day and include free pickup and return from the pier or shuttle bus stop on York Street.

By Classic Car: Turn heads as you do a "yorkie," cruising the town sightseeing in a classic cream 1950s Jaguar via Albany Wedding Cars (+61 8 9841 4939).

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Australian dollar is the currency. Visit www.xe.com or www.oanda.com for exchange rates. ATMs can be found on York Street. Two ATMs are located close to the shuttle bus dropoff point, on the opposite side of the road. ATM locations are marked on the shuttle bus map distributed when you board.

Language?

English is the official language. Local terms you might hear include "yorkie," meaning going for a drive up and down the main street, York Street, and "beachie," taking a drive past the port and Middleton Beach.

Where You're Docked?

Ships dock at the Port of Albany, but they sometimes anchor and tender passengers ashore. As a utilitarian working port, there are no passenger facilities at the pier, which can be busy with trucks coming and going. However, all ships are welcomed alongside by a lone bagpiper, so head to the pier side of the ship as it ties up. The pier is about a 20-minute walk from the centre of Albany.


Albany (Australia) Cruise Reviews
Albany, like many of the stops on this itinerary, is not a glitzy town full of "must sees." It's important to plan an interesting excursion to get the most of it. We once again had a private tour arranged through theRead More
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bahamamama11
I researched pre-trip and found that the Busy Blue Bus was going to offer at least one small bus trip to the Natural Gap, which interested me. The price and time worked for me, so that's what I did. It was fun and Read More
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roothy123
Hardly worth getting off the ship.Read More
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bmwlover
good guide, went to a parkRead More
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kc925trvler

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