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The Australian Cruise Market (Which Lines Sail There, When To Go and Much Much More…)

In this short article, we learn more about the Australian cruise market, and what cruise options you have if you want to sail there.

I have never been lucky enough to travel to Australia on a cruise, but it is definitely on my bucket list!

Australian cruising is dominated by two Carnival Cruise brands that operate out of Australia all year round.

P&O Australia

  • P&O Australia dates its heritage back to the 1930s.
    • They started offering cruises on ocean liners, doing turn arounds between its voyages between the UK and Australia.
    • They offered short cruises to the South Pacific
  • P&O Australia bought Sitmar Cruises in the 1980s.
    • The Sitmar Fairstar – the most famous ship in the Australian cruise market operated until the 1990s
  • They currently have three ships, the Pacific Adventure, Pacific Encounter and Pacific Explorer.
    • All of these are former Princess Cruise line Ships.
    • P&O Australia has never had a new ship, it always sails second-hand ships transferred from within its parent company
  • P&O Australia sails to New Zealand and the South Pacific.

P&O Australia offers fun and casual cruising. There is lots to enjoy – Bars, Shows, Cruise Lectures, a Spa, Pools, and Adventure Courses on the top decks.

Pacific Adventure (Who previously sailed as Golden Princess) – Image P&O Australia

Carnival Cruise Line

  • Carnival has two ships sailing in Australian waters at the moment. These ships are Carnival Splenda and Carnival Luminosa.
  • Both of these ships have had “Australianised” refits to suit the Australian Cruise Market.
  • They sail out of many ports. These include Sydney and Brisbane’s new cruise terminal.

Carnival also offers a relaxed approach to cruising. Expect shows, bars, water slides and a fun cruise experience.

Carnival Luminosa (who previously sailed as Costa Luminosa) Image – Carnival

P&O Australia and Carnival sail from Australia all year round.

Other ships in Australian Waters

  • Other cruise lines – such as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity also offer voyages from and to Australia – but in the Australian Summer season only. (October to March)
  • Ships that only visit Australia during peak seasons will charge onboard in their local currency – i.e. American Dollars
  • P&O Australia and Carnival use Australian Dollars onboard to suit the Australian market.

Other Smaller Australian Cruise Lines

Other, smaller, home-grown expedition cruise lines, such as Coral Cruises operate out of Australia. They focus on trips to small ports and itineraries that the larger cruise ships can’t visit.

Coral Discoverer – Image Coral Expeditions

Now you have an idea of the options available if you want to cruise from or to, or around Australia!

Before You Go

You may be wondering when is the best time of year to cruise to different destinations. Find out more here:

Cruise Destinations and Timings (Peak Seasons, Popular Itineraries and Weather)

Find out when is the cheapest time to book a cruise to get the most for your money in the article below:

When is the Cheapest Month to go on a Cruise? (Real Examples) – Where and When I Travelled

Free Insiders Cruise Line Guide

Ever wondered how the mainstream cruise lines compare? Cruise lines won’t tell you this, but I will.

This FREE guide shows you everything you need to know to find your perfect cruise line.