Cruises to Portland
One of Victoria’s best-kept secrets, Portland is a town full of history, captivating landscapes and is the gateway to the magnificent twelve apostles and the great ocean road.
Portland’s history begins thousands of years ago, at nearby Budj Bim National Heritage Landscape, home to the only remaining permanent houses built by an Indigenous community in Australia. Portland’s more recent history can be seen at every turn, thanks to the town’s more than 200 beautifully maintained heritage buildings. If you’re curious about the town’s long seafaring history, the Portland Maritime Discovery Centre offers a great insight and the chance to step inside a sperm whale skeleton’s ribcage. Southern right and blue whales - the largest mammal that’s ever lived - regularly drop by Portland’s shore, thanks to its natural deepwater harbour. For a spot of nostalgia and an offbeat way to explore Portland, the Portland Cable Tram links the town’s most popular attractions including the Portland Botanic Gardens, Portland Maritime Discovery Centre and Powerhouse Vintage Car Museum.
At A Glance
10,715 (2011 census)
Portland Shore Tours
Guest favourites, the most booked Shore Tours at this port
Our handpicked Shore Tours are a must for any guest.
What To See
A visit to Portland wouldn’t be complete without a pilgrimage to the iconic Twelve Apostles. Beginning up to 20 million years ago, the stormy Southern Ocean and blasting winds have formed magnificent rock stacks that rise up majestically along the dramatic coastline. Join one of our Shore Tours and you can also tick off a visit to Loch Ard Gorge, the Shipwreck Coast (home to approximately 638 known shipwrecks) and Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Australia’s most awarded maritime heritage precinct. Just 15 minutes away is the Timboon Railway Shed Distillery. This wonderfully-restored building houses a 600-litre copper pot which still bubbles away, distilling award-winning single malt whisky and other spirits. Taste the tipple, meet the distiller and if you’re peckish, the shed houses the produce of more than a dozen local producers, from smoked eel and cheese to Belgian chocolates.
Cape Bridgewater Seals
Join a Shore Tour and head to Seal Point, home to Australia’s largest mainland group of seals. Up to one thousand Australian and New Zealand fur seals can be spotted in and around the water. Get up close and personal with the seals in their natural habitat and watch as they bask in the sun, play and show off to the cameras.
Dating back to the 1800s, this quaint fishing village is filled with more than 50 National Trust buildings. Follow one of the historic walking trails and discover charming, white-washed cottages built by whalers beside Georgian-style merchants’ homes and old stone churches. Or take a walk to the fishing port - one of the busiest in Victoria - and watch fishermen unload their catch of crayfish and abalone. Port Fairy is a town in love with the arts, so don’t miss its collection of boutiques, antique and art stores.
Your ship will dock at the SL Patterson Berth in Portland, just a short walk from the town centre.
The city centre of Portland is compact and many of its attractions can be easily accessed on foot. A local cable tram also operates along the waterfront and tickets are available onboard or at the Portland Cable Tram Depot.
For those wishing to travel further afield, taxi services to and from the Visitor Information Centre are available and a permanent taxi rank is located on Henty Street (between Percy and Hurd Streets).
A number of dining options are within easy reach, from takeaway and cafés to restaurants and pub fare, featuring local produce, great wine selections and some with great harbour views. 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 shops are available in Portland including boutiques, surf shops and a number of local gift and craft shops – all within walking distance.
Portland enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with warm to hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Daily temperatures range from 22 to 23 degrees in summer and 10 to 13 degrees in winter.
Major credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted. Automatic teller machines can provide currency to foreign cardholders.
Public telephones are available throughout Portland. Mobile coverage is generally available as long as global roaming is selected prior to leaving home (where applicable). Wi-fi hot spots are available at a number of cafes within the town centre. Internet and e-mail is available from the Glenelg Shire Council public library, located on Bentinck Street between Cliff and Glenelg Streets.
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 and bottled water.
There are a range of Shore Tours available to really get the most out of your time in Portland. Shore Tours can be booked onboard at the Shore Tours desk and are subject to availability. Guests are required to meet at a specific location for each Shore Tour departure. Please refer to your Shore Tour ticket for the correct time and place.
Please dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.