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Cruises from Brisbane: Queensland's Cruise Hub

Published on Mar 01, 2014

Cruises from Brisbane: Queensland's Cruise Hub

Cruises from Brisbane: Queensland's cruise hub

Brisbane is a modern, bold and growing city in Australia's sunny Queensland state. Its semitropical climate and proximity to the Gold Coast brings visitors in droves, and it is fast becoming a major cruise port as Queenslanders take to the big-ship holidays. Ships departing Brisbane, or arriving, dock at the Portside Wharf or at the Multi-User Terminal, both on the Brisbane River.


The Port: Cruise from Brisbane

Most cruise holidays out of Brisbane depart from and return to the Cruise Terminal at Portside Wharf, a world-class terminal and retail development on the north side of the river. It can take ships up to 270 metres in length, provided they fit under the Gateway Motorway Bridge. As well as all the necessary infrastructure for boarding and disembarking cruise ships, the Portside precinct is home to restaurants, markets, shopping and cinemas. It is a ten minute drive from the Brisbane CBD.

If there is more than one cruise ship in Brisbane on a given day, or a ship is too big for the upriver terminal, the alternative terminal is the Multi-User Terminal near the mouth of the river. The facilities here are more limited, with just a small cafe which accepts cash only. There is no ATM at the terminal, and no public transport to and from it, but there is a taxi rank, and parking available for friends and families of departing cruisers. The drive into Brisbane central takes around 20 minutes.


The City: Sunny Queensland Meets the World

The state capital of Queensland, Brisbane offers a great place to explore for cruise passengers who have a day or two to spare before or after their cruise from Brisbane. It is a forward-thinking, diverse and creative city, and is also laid-back and friendly in keeping with the warm Queensland climate.

  • The city centre is the hub of business and tourism for Brisbane. Queen Street Mall is a premier shopping destination, and there are several parks amongst the downtown shops, restaurants and bars, including the Royal Botanic Gardens. Across the river from the CBD is South Bank, one of Brisbane''urban villages'. This eclectic area has many ethnic restaurants, museums and art galleries and a great inner-city manmade beach on the riverbank.

  • Other urban villages (suburbs) in the Brisbane area include Bayside with beautiful foreshores and esplanade, Fortitude Valley which is home to Brisbane's chinatown and a great nightlife scene, bohemian West End, and many more. To the west, Mount Coot-tha rises above the city and is a great place for a scenic drive. Paddington is known for boutique shopping opportunities.

  • A bit further afield, Moreton Island is a very popular day trip destination from Brisbane. P&O Cruises have picked up this gem of an island as their newest destination, and it is only a 75- minute ferry ride from the city. 4-wheel driving, camping, angling and whale watching as well as general sightseeing are common practice for visitors.

  • Another popular day trip is the hour-long drive to the Gold Coast.  This stretch of coast is a mecca for fun-lovers, complete with an assortment of theme parks. Golden beaches and manmade waterways line the Coral Sea from Southport through to the famous Surfer's Paradise down to Coolangatta, with high rise apartment buildings, shops, restaurants and entertainment overlooking the sand. The Gold Coast is often referred to as Australia's Riviera.


Cruises Departing Brisbane: P&O and Beyond

Cruise out of Brisbane are on the rise. P&O's Pacific Dawn cruises from Brisbane exclusively, and the Sea Princess currently is operating a series of cruises from Brisbane. Other ships seen using Brisbane for embarkation include Holland America's Volendam and all 3 of Cunard's Queens. Many of these ships take on passengers in the city for a leg of a greater World Cruise. The small luxury ship MV Orion also cruises from Brisbane to New Zealand.

Pacific Cruises are popular from the city. Brisbane is in close proximity to New Caledonia and Vanuatu, two very popular cruising destinations. These French Melanesian islands offer both deserted white-sand beaches and friendly, tropical towns where you can experience the unique blend of native and european cultures. Slightly further into the Big Blue from Brisbane is Fiji, another great nation with plenty of idyllic ports of call. New Zealand lies just across the Tasman Sea, and it is a wonderful and scenic cruising playground in the southern summer months. To the north, within easy reach of cruises out of Brisbane, are tropical northern Queensland and Papua New Guinea, a stunning country which has just recently been opened up to visits from cruise ships.

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  • Oct 17, 2016 by Julie Rankin

    Emerald Cruise Ship why does it not leave from Brisbane port? Need to know ThankYou Julie 😊