Cruises to Cairns



Bounded by the glorious Coral Sea on one side and lush rainforest hinterland on the other, Cairns is a gorgeous Australian cruise destination like no other. Once a sleepy town surrounded by beautiful yet almost impenetrable nature, a booming sugar industry after the Second World War ignited the region’s transformation into a thriving world-class tourist destination. Today, Cairns is renowned around the world for its famed natural wonders such as the World Heritage Listed Wet Tropics of Queensland, which includes the Daintree Rainforest, and the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Ideal for lovers of nature and culture alike, Cairns promises a cruise holiday experience like no other.

A cruise destination that’s steeped in history

Initially established as a township in 1876, Cairns was once home to a bustling port and gold fields. Nearly a century and a half later, visitors can discover the region’s rich culture and heritage by visiting its many World Heritage Listed sites on a P&O Shore Tour . Enjoy breathtaking views of the rainforest as you glide above the canopy on a Skyrail, Kuranda and Scenic Railway Tour, or go white water rafting on the Barron River in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. After dark, fill up on damper by firelight at the Cairns Night Zoo.

Experience nature like never before

Nature lovers will love every second of a P&O cruise to Cairns, which gives you an opportunity to experience some of the best that Far North Queensland has to offer. Swim, snorkel, and discover intricate coral gardens in the Great Barrier Reef, and get up close and personal with reef sharks, dolphins, turtles, and schools of brightly coloured tropical fish. Or, head inland and board the Kuranda Scenic Railway to immerse yourself in rainforest-clad mountains, sheer cliff faces, and panoramic views of the Coral Sea and Cairns

Find a P&O Cruise to Cairns

P&O cruises to Cairns all year round. Join the 7-night Barrier Reef Discovery cruise from Brisbane or the 10-night cruise from Sydney.

At A Glance


156,169 (2011 cenus)






Australian Dollar

Cairns Shore Tours

Most Popular

Guest favourites, the most booked Shore Tours at this port

Must See

Our handpicked Shore Tours are a must for any guest.

What To See in Cairns

P&O Cruises Australia - Cruises to Cairns

Great Barrier Reef

One of the most popular Cairns holiday attractions is the Great Barrier Reef, and with good reason. There are plenty of activities, tours, and cruises to choose from which cater for ages, tastes and fitness levels.

Take a look around town

Enjoy a dip in the man-made swimming lagoon on The Esplanade, where you’ll also find The Pier Marketplace, walking trails, and an amphitheatre. Or, learn about local Indigenous culture by dropping into Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Smithfield, to the north of the city.

Skyrail and Kuranda Scenic Railway

Glide just metres over the rainforest canopy onboard the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and enjoy spectacular views over Cairns and the surrounding World Heritage Listed tropical rainforests. Alternatively, join the famous Kuranda Scenic Railway and take a scenic journey through the mountains.

More About Cairns

P&O Cruises Australia - Cairns


Your ship will dock at the Cairns Cruise Terminal. Clothing and souvenir shops, restaurants, supermarkets, and cafes are all within close walking distance from this point.

Getting Around

Taxis are widely available throughout the city.


Gourmet lovers will delight at the fabulous array of dining experiences, which ranges from fine restaurants and cafes to bistros, bars, pubs, and takeaway outlets. Follow your taste buds around the city centre and along The Esplanade, making sure to sample some local seafood and Queensland’s tropical and exotic fruits.

Please note that quarantine authorities do not generally 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.


The compact downtown area offers almost all the shopping opportunities you need, including designer stores and boutiques at The Pier Marketplace and The Esplanade. You’ll also find Aussie beach wear, bush clothing, and contemporary arts and crafts in stores and galleries around the city. Looking for Indigenous art and objects? The Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is a great place to find magnificent paintings, jewellery, clothing, and artifacts.


The tropics are typically subject to a wide range of weather extremes. The dry season starts in May and stretches to October, and typically sees a drop in humidity and milder temperatures that rarely dip below 20 degrees. Summer marks the beginning of the wet season, when rain can fall in torrents and the humidity rises. Nonetheless, there are usually still long stretches of sunshine and cooling sea breezes during this time. The temperature in summer can sometimes exceed 29 degrees.

Credit Cards

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


Public telephones are available throughout the city, and mobile coverage is generally available.

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 sunscreen, insect repellent, an umbrella or waterproof jacket, and bottled water.

Shore Tours

Our Shore Tours can help you make the most out of your time in Cairns. 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. Please also note that as with most of Australia’s beaches, blue bottles can visit Cairns occasionally in the summer months, and exercise caution when swimming. During your time ashore, we also ask that you dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.

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