Cruises to Port Arthur
Situated near the southern tip of the wild and magnificent Tasman Peninsula, Port Arthur is a historic and picturesque Australian cruise destination. Once surrounded by inhospitable dense forest and ocean, the historic town was formerly one of the most impenetrable penal colonies in the country. Today, it’s a major heritage attraction, with plenty of preserved sandstone buildings telling the history of Australian convicts to a new generation of travellers.
Cruise to this unique holiday destination and take your pick of a wide range of P&O Shore Tours, from day trips through the Tasmanian countryside to excursions that let you get up close and personal with Tasmanian Devils.
Explore a cruise destination that’s rich in history
While plenty has changed since Port Arthur was an operational penal colony, evidence of this time in its history remains throughout the popular Tasmanian destination. Join the Port Arthur Behind the Scenes tour and step back in time as you explore one of the world’s best-preserved penal sites on foot. A local guide will take you through the World Heritage Listed Port Arthur Historic site, where you’ll marvel at the convict built settlement and accompanying tales.
Then, visit Government Gardens and the collection processing library to view unearthed relics, and walk through the eerie, infamous Separate Prison. Once you’ve had your fill of historical sites, join the Devil Tracker Eco Tour and get an insight into the mysterious world of wild Tasmanian Devils.
Treat your tastebuds
Food lovers and wine connoisseurs alike will enjoy the gourmet food holiday of a lifetime by booking into the Tasman Food & Wine shore tour. Enjoy good food, good wine, and good times on a drive through Tasmania’s stunning countryside, before exploring the farm, distillery, and gift shop at the Port Arthur Lavender Farm.
Then, let the laughter and good will flow freely as you visit Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed, the most southerly vineyard in the world. From there, head to Eaglehawk Neck for lunch, and enjoy the perfect vantage point to view the impressive rock formations of Devil’s Kitchen, Tasman Arch, and The Blowhole.
At A Glance
249 (2011 census)
Find a P&O Port Arthur Cruise
P&O Cruises can take you to Port Arthur onboard the A Taste of Tasmania cruise, which departs from Sydney and Melbourne. Cruise from Melbourne in 5, 7, or 8 nights, or join a 5 night cruise from Sydney. Certain departures also offer an overnight stay in Hobart, for those wishing to see more of the historic Tasmanian capital.
Port Arthur Shore Tours
Guest favourites, the most booked Shore Tours at this port
What to See in Port Arthur
Learn about Port Arthur’s convict past
A visit to the World Heritage Listed Port Arthur historic site paints a vivid image of the lives of the thousands of convicts who were incarcerated there. The site is unlike anything else in Australia, and has an uncommon amount of ruins in near-perfectly preserved condition.
Visit the Isle of the Dead
Take a cruise to the Isle of the Dead, located in the harbour off Port Arthur, and tour the cemetery in which 1000 people were interred between 1833 and 1877. Here, you’ll gain an insight into the many people who lived and died at Port Arthur.
See the spectacular Tasman Peninsula
Journey along the dramatic Tasmanian coastline and enjoy spectacular views of Tasman Arch, Devil’s Kitchen, and The Blowhole, amongst others. Then, visit Eaglehawk Neck, the thin strip of land bounded by water that separates the peninsula from the rest of Tasmania.
More About 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. However, 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. 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.
A variety of souvenirs themed around the Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur’s fascinating history can be purchased from the Visitors Centre.
The Tasmanian climate can vary greatly. There are four distinct seasons in the state, 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, and ATMs 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, lightweight clothing, and a hat. You are also advised to bring sunscreen, bottled water, an umbrella and a warm jacket in case the weather turns cool.
Our Shore Tours can help you make the most out of your time in Port Arthur. Tours can be booked before departure via Cruise Control or onboard at the Shore Tours desk, and are subject to availability.
During your time ashore, we ask that you dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.