Cruises from Cairns: Deals and top picks for 2017-2018

A detailed guide to cruises departing from Cairns, their itineraries and the places they sail to.

Are you planning a cruising holiday? Ships from Cairns can take you to Cape York, Malaysia or the Pacific Islands to explore pristine beaches and tropical wonders.

With the Australian 2017/18 cruising season gaining momentum, this may be the perfect time to book a cruise for your next relaxing vacation.

Cruise itineraries from Cairns come with a wide range of destinations, duration and fares. In this easy guide, we've laid out useful information about cruises from Cairns to help you make an informed choice.

Cairns cruise ship deals

Up to $800 off Carnival cruises + free upgrade

Deal expires

Valid for cruise on select dates. Destinations include South Pacific, New Zealand, Australia and more. T&C's apply.

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Up to 38% off Sydney tall ship cruise

Deal expires

Valid for cruise every Friday until 31 March 2018. Also valid on Australia Day, subject to availability. Includes overnight cruise, breakfast and dinner. T&C's apply.

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Up to 72% off P&O Cruises Valid on select cruises in Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific Islands including Fiji, New Caledonia. Sample discounts include 72% off a 3-night cruise from Brisbane, 85% off a 2-night cruise from Sydney to Melbourne and 56% off a 10-night South Pacific cruise from Sydney.

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Places you can cruise to from Cairns

Cruises leaving from Cairns sail around Australia and New Zealand, as well as the Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and South-East Asian destinations such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Cruise durations range from three-day trips to Willis Island to three-week trips covering Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia.

Which cruise lines sail out of Cairns?

Cruises from Cairns to Papua New Guinea

Embark on a cruise from Cairns to explore the unspoiled natural beauty and diverse culture of Papua New Guinea.

Due to its proximity to North Queensland, a wide range of cruise itineraries depart from Cairns. Almost every itinerary is available as a round trip or continues further to another destination.

Cruise duration ranges from a 4-day round trip to Alotau to a 17-day circumnavigation around the whole island before reaching Darwin.

Cruise lines that offer sailings from Cairns to Papua New Guinea:

Our picks: Top cruises from Cairns to Papua New Guinea

Journey to Alotau Cairns with P&O from CruiseAway


  • Cruise on Papua New Guinea with Pacific Eden
  • Roundtrip cruise from Cairns
  • Calls in at Alatau
  • Departure in August 2018

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A Voyage from Cairns to Darwin with Silversea from CruiseAway


  • Cruise on Asia with Silver Discoverer
  • From Cairns to Darwin
  • Calls in at Alotau, Kafure, Tuam Island, Sepik River, Vanimo, Jayapura, Padaidori Islands, Aru Islands, Pulau Roon, Raja Ampat Islands, Teluk Berau, Triton Bay, Aiduma Island and Kai Islands
  • Departs on June 2018

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Solomon Sea Adventure with P&O from CruiseAway


  • Cruise on Australia with Pacific Eden
  • From Cairns to Townsville
  • Calls in at Alotau, Kitava, Rabaul, Ghizo Island and Honiara
  • Departs on August 2018

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Cruises from Cairns to Darwin

Discover the tropical north of Australia with cruises from Cairns to Darwin. Itineraries range from 11-25 days.

Cruises of shorter duration leave from Cairns and stop at a few places in North Queensland and the Northern Territory, or Papua New Guinea. Longer cruises circle around Papua New Guinea or sail to Malaysia, calling in at the Philippines, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Cruise lines that offer sailings from Cairns to Darwin:

  • Azamara Club Cruises
  • Coral Expeditions
  • Silversea

Our picks: Top cruises from Cairns to Darwin

Cape York and Arnhem Land Exploration with Coral Expeditions from CruiseAway


  • 11-night cruise with Coral Expeditions I
  • From Cairns to Darwin
  • Calls in at Lizard Island, Stanley Island, Forbes Islands, Cape York, Thursday Island, Nhulunbuy, Elcho Island, Port Essington, Darwin and Melville Island
  • Departs on March 2018

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Explore Asian Treasures and Aussie Jewels with Azamara Club Cruises from CruiseAway


  • Cruise on Asia with Azamara Quest
  • From Cairns to Singapore
  • Calls in at Thursday Island, Darwin, Komodo, Benoa, Surabaya and Semarang
  • Departs on March 2019

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Cruises from Cairns to Cape York

Sail to the northernmost point of the Australian mainland on a luxurious cruise to Cape York from Cairns.

Cape York is a stopover for cruises from Cairns sailing to the Philippines and Darwin.

The journey lasts from three to five days depending on the number of stops en route. Some itineraries to Cape York include stopovers in Lizard Island, Stanley Island and Forbes Island.

Cruise lines that offer sailings from Cairns to Cape York:

  • Coral Expeditions

Our picks: Top cruises from Cairns to Cape York

Ancient Wonders of Papua & Spice Islands with Ponant from CruiseAway


  • 11-night cruise with Le Laperouse
  • From Cairns to Darwin
  • Calls in at Cape York, Agats, Triton Bay, Kai Islands and Banda Neira
  • Departs on May 2019

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Cruises from Cairns to Vanuatu

Vanuatu is renowned for luxurious resorts with access to sea, sun and sand along with picturesque tropical islands. Cruises to Vanuatu take your luxurious and relaxing holiday to a whole new level.

There’s only one itinerary on our list for cruises departing from Cairns to Vanuatu. This cruise sails to New Caledonia over 16 days with multiple stopovers in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Cruise lines that offer sailings from Cairns to Vanuatu:


Our picks: Top cruises from Cairns to Vanuatu

In the Heart of Oceania with Ponant from CruiseAway


  • 15-night cruise with L'Austral
  • From Cairns to Noumea
  • Calls in at Alotau, Tufi, Kitava, Rabaul, Guadalcanal, Santa Ana Island, Solomon Islands, Ureparapara Island, Espiritu Santo, Tanna and Nouméa
  • Departs on 8 December 2017

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Cruises from Cairns to Brisbane, Fiji, New Zealand, Whitsundays

Cruises from Cairns generally don't sail to Brisbane, New Zealand and the Whitsundays though do depart from other major Australian ports such as Brisbane or Sydney.

Where do cruises depart from Cairns?

Cruises from Cairns leave from Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal in the Port of Cairns. The cruise terminal is within easy reach from Cairns Airport. The Line 121 bus from the airport takes 15-minutes and drops you half a kilometre from the terminal.

Cairns airport transfers

If you want to be dropped right at the terminal, you can take a taxi, shuttle or Uber and reach the port within 10 minutes. You can pre-book one of the following shared shuttle services from Cairns Airport to the port, which also stops at several hotels in Cairns CBD. Shared transfers start from $15 and can be booked straight away through Viator

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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