Cruises to Airlie Beach


Airlie Beach

Photo Credit: Jules Ingall

Discover picturesque sights and dive into crystal clear waters at Airlie Beach. This bustling cruise destination is the hub of The Whitsundays, a stunning 74-island archipelago that spans the jewelled beauty of the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef. From the second you arrive at this stunning holiday destination till the moment you leave, you’ll see why water lovers and yachties worldwide call the area the “100 Magic Miles”.

A beach holiday experience like no other

Our wide range of P&O Cruises Airlie Beach Shore Tours offers the perfect holiday experience for everyone. Whether you want to snorkel along the spectacular Knuckle Reef, swim through clear, sapphire blue waters, or simply recline on the white sand of Whitehaven Beach and soak up the sun, there’s a P&O Shore Tour to suit every budget and interest.

Once you’ve had your fill of activities on the water, explore Airlie Beach from a different vantage point by taking a seaplane flight, joining a crocodile safari, or exploring the rainforest. Want a more low-key holiday experience? Head down to the Airlie Beach Pier and browse the nearby markets, or walk along the main street and enjoy its many shops, restaurants, and bars.

Find a P&O Cruise to Airlie Beach

P&O Cruises to Airlie Beach and the stunning Whitsundays all year round. Cruise to Airlie Beach from Brisbane onboard the 7-night Barrier Reef Discovery, which gives you the opportunity to explore the Great Barrier Reef from the three stunning ports of Airlie Beach, Cairns, and Port Douglas. From Sydney, the 10-night departure visits the same stunning locations.

Alternatively, book onboard a 4-night one-stop Short Break cruise departing from Brisbane and spend a day exploring Airlie Beach.

At A Glance


7,868 (2011 census)






Australian Dollar

Airlie Beach Shore Tours

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What to See in Airlie Beach

Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef

Beautiful Whitehaven Beach

No Whitsundays holiday is complete without a visit to world-famous Whitehaven Beach, on the eastern half of uninhabited Whitsunday Island. Jump onboard our half day Shore Tour, where you can laze in the sun on the beautiful white sands of one of the best beaches in the world.

Go on a sailing trip around the islands

Depart from Airlie Beach Marina and set off on a sailing trip around the Whitsunday Islands. With numerous tours leaving each day, it’s a sightseeing opportunity that can’t be missed.

Take a trip to the Great Barrier Reef

There are plenty of ways to experience this magnificent natural wonder. Whether you take a glass-bottom boat ride, visit an underwater observatory, or swim and snorkel around the reef, you’re in for an unforgettable day.

More About Airlie Beach

Whitsundays beaches Photo Credit: Matt Glastonbury


Your ship will usually anchor at Abel Point. From there, a regular tender and/or catamaran service will operate to Abel Point Marina in Airlie Beach. Airlie Beach Ambassadors will be at the pier throughout the day to hand out maps and other useful tourist information.

Getting Around

A taxi rank is located on Shute Harbour Road, an approximate two-kilometre walk from the pier. There is also a shuttle service available for a small fee, payable as you board.


Whether you just want a great espresso, a tasty light snack, or a gourmet meal, there are plenty of Airlie Beach dining options. You’ll find most of them around the Waterfront on Shute Harbour Road (also known as The Esplanade).

Please note that quarantine authorities generally do not allow food such as fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat products, and sandwiches to be taken off the ship. However, commercially packaged confectionery, chips, and bottled drinking water are allowed subject to inspection.


Airlie Beach has a range of stores and boutiques selling everything from tropical and outback clothing and high-end fashion to souvenirs, opal jewellery, and designer goods.


The Airlie Beach climate is tropical. In summer it can be particularly hot and humid, though refreshing rain showers and a sea breeze from the Reef help to cool things down. Be sun safe and keep hydrated and sheltered from the sun.

Credit Cards

Major credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted, and ATMs can provide currency to foreign card holders.


Public telephones are located near the taxi rank on Shute Harbour Road. Mobile coverage is generally available, and internet cafes are available in Airlie Beach. WiFi is also available at some restaurants.

What to Wear Ashore

To make your day ashore as enjoyable as possible, please wear comfortable flat soled shoes, lightweight clothing, and a hat. You are also advised to bring biodegradable sunscreen, insect repellent, an umbrella or waterproof jacket, and bottled water. And don’t forget your swimming gear! Snorkelling equipment is available for hire or purchase onboard the ship.

Shore Tours

Our Shore Tours can help you make the most out of your time in and around the Whitsundays. Tours can be booked before departure via Cruise Control or onboard at the Shore Tours desk, and are subject to availability.


Coral is an extremely precious marine organism. In an effort to preserve its natural beauty and habitat, please avoid touching it in all circumstances. During your time ashore we also ask that you dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.

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