Cruises to Port Arthur
Port Arthur is situated near the southern tip of the wild and magnificent Tasman Peninsula.
In 1830, Port Arthur was selected by the British colonial governor as a penal colony because of its remote and unique location. Virtually surrounded by inhospitable dense forest and ocean, escape from Port Arthur was thought to be impossible. Port Arthur ceased operation as a penal colony in 1877. Since then, many of the buildings, including a church, were destroyed or damaged by a succession of bushfires. Fortunately many still remain in excellent condition.
At A Glance
249 (2011 census)
Port Arthur Shore Tours
Guest favourites, the most booked Shore Tours at this port
Cape Pillar and Port Arthur Scenic Flight
Our handpicked Shore Tours are a must for any guest.
What To See
Learn about Port Arthur’s convict past
A visit to the World Heritage Listed Port Arthur historic site evokes the past and recalls the lives of the thousands of convicts who were incarcerated there. There is nothing like it anywhere else in Australia. Ruins are not common anywhere, especially in the condition and concentration found in Port Arthur. Visit the penitentiary, hospital, guard tower, a convict-built church and the model prison.
Visit the Isle of the Dead
Take a cruise to the Isle of the Dead, located in the harbour off Port Arthur. A tour of the cemetary will reveal the place where around 1000 burials took place between 1833 and 1877. This trip is sure to give you a fascinating insight into the people who lived and died at Port Arthur.
See the spectacular Tasman Peninsula
Join our “Geological Panoramas of the Peninsula” tour for a journey along the dramatic coastline of Tasmania. View Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen and the blowhole; and enjoy spectacular views from Pirates Bay Lookout. You’ll also visit Eagle Hawk Neck, a thin strip of land with water on both sides that separates the peninsula from the rest of Tasmania. Located here is the historic officer’s quarters and dog line where savage dogs once guarded the isthmus to prevent convicts escaping from Port Arthur.
Your ship will anchor offshore and the ship’s tender boats will transfer you to Port Arthur jetty.
Taxis and other public transportation are not available. Port Arthur’s town and Visitor Centre is only a short walking distance from the pier.
A café and restaurant are located within the historic site. 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.
A variety of souvenirs themed around the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur’s fascinating history can be purchased from the Visitors Centre.
Tasmania’s maritime climate can be quite changeable. There are four distinct seasons and summer is usually mild, with only the occasional hot day. Winters are chilly and wet, but not as cold as might be expected.
Major credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted. Automatic teller machines can provide currency to foreign card holders.
Public telephones are available at the Port Arthur Visitor Centre. Mobile coverage is generally available.
WHAT TO WEAR ASHORE
To make your day ashore as enjoyable as possible, please wear comfortable flat soled shoes, layered clothing (to allow for changes in temperature) and a hat. You are also advised to bring sunscreen, bottled water, an umbrella and a warm jacket in case the weather turns cool.
There are a range of tours available for you to really get the most out of your time in Port Arthur. Tours can be booked onboard at the shore tours desk and are subject to availability. Passengers are required to meet at a specific location for each shore tour departure. Please refer to your tour ticket for the correct time and place.
Please dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.