Forget about traffic and sore feet and see the sights of Melbourne from the comfort of a boat.
Getting around Melbourne, seeing the sights or celebrating a special occasion doesn’t have to be done on land, thanks to the Yarra River and a great choice of Melbourne cruises.
Boogie your way along with an on-board DJ, soak up the sights, sip champagne or tuck into a high tea.
From all-inclusive lunch and dinner cruises to whale watching, there’s something for everyone. You can celebrate most occasions on board an organised cruise, and why not? Mother’s Day, Christmas, Melbourne Cup or New Year’s Eve – Melbourne’s cruise companies have them all catered for. Some river cruises operate multiple times daily and others on select days. See our travel section for cruises leaving Melbourne.
What types of Melbourne cruises can I book?
- Lunch cruises
- Corporate cruises
- New Year’s Eve
- Private cruises
- Melbourne Cup
- Dolphin watching
Dolphin and seal watching
What you can see on a Melbourne river cruise
Departing Southbank Promenade or the Docklands, you can cruise your way along the Yarra River on a number of routes.
Highlights of Melbourne city cruises include historic sailing ships and cruise ships in dock, the Docklands, the CBD skyline, Federation Square, the Royal Botanic Gardens, parklands and famous sporting arenas.
Some go further afield taking you to the seaside suburb of St. Kilda, Herring Island or Port Phillip Bay. There are also ferry services between Melbourne, Williamstown, Queenscliff, Sorrento and the Mornington Peninsula.
Lunch and dinner cruises in Melbourne
These are a popular choice for visitors to Melbourne or just a special treat for the locals, with lots of deals to be had. Some of the river cruise companies operate floating restaurants or run regular themed lunch and dinner cruises. Food is either buffet style or gourmet meals served on board. There’s often a drinks package and/or a bar on board for true relaxation.
Wildlife cruises from Melbourne
Another highlight of a visit to Melbourne is a Phillip Island cruise for watching the penguin parade at sunset. Tours normally include hotel transfers to the port and the chance to see dolphins and seals. Whale and dolphin watching cruises are also a must during migration season.
Melbourne boat charters
A Melbourne cruise is a unique way to organise your own special event such as a wedding, birthday or a corporate event. You can hire a self-drive boat or go all out and charter a luxury boat or yacht with skipper. These cruises can be personalised for intimate groups or huge functions, with or without catering.
Melbourne cruise guide: Who offers what?
Whether you book through an online activities site or a daily deals website, here’s a guide to some of the key cruise companies in Melbourne. The cruises typically last 1-4 hours.
|Company||Sightseeing||Lunch||Dinner||NYE||Special events||High Tea||Private hire|
|Melbourne River Cruises||X||X||X||X||X||X|
|City River Cruises||X||X||X||X|
|Williamstown Bay & River Cruises||X||X|