As cruising becomes increasingly popular, so does Melbourne as a point of arrival and departure. The majority of cruises from Melbourne depart during the warmer spring and summer months, with Tasmania, New Zealand, and coastal Mainland Australia ever-popular.
Melbourne’s cruise ship passenger terminal, Station Pier, is located only four kilometres from the CBD. Many prestigious cruise ships visit Melbourne, and the pier is also home to the Spirit of Tasmania, a passenger and car ferry that travels between Melbourne and Devenport.
Station Pier facilities include:
- lounge area
- visitor information services
- shuttle bus, taxi and coach services
- accessible toilets
- gift shop
Are you interested in watching arriving and departing cruise ships? Cruise ships will pass through Port Phillip Heads roughly 3.5 hours from the estimated time of arrival at Station Pier and will leave 3.5 hours after the estimated time of departure. The yearly cruise ship schedule can be found on the Port of Melbourne website’s Cruise ship schedule 2014-15-16 pages.
Cruise ships arriving in the next few months:
- Sat 21 Feb Seabourn Odyssey Sat
- 21 Feb Pacific Jewel (T) Sun
- 22 Feb Silver Spirit
- Mon 23 Feb Silver Spirit (T)
- Tue 24 Feb Dawn Princess (T)
- Tue 24 Feb Pacific Pearl
- Wed 25 Feb Pacific Pearl
- Wed 25 Feb Diamond Princess
- Thu 26 Feb Pacific Jewel
- Fri 27 Feb Pacific Jewel (T)
- Sun 1 Mar Diamond Princess
- Mon 2 Mar Pacific Jewel (T)
- Tue 3 Mar Aurora
- Wed 4 Mar Oosterdam
- Thu 5 Mar Crystal Serenity
- Sat 7 Mar Pacific Jewel
- Sun 8 Mar Pacific Jewel (T)
- Mon 9 Mar Dawn Princess (T)
- Tue 10 Mar Pacific Pearl
- Fri 13 Mar Pacific Jewel (T)
- Sat 14 Mar Pacific Pearl
- Wed 18 Mar Pacific Pearl
- Wed 18 Mar Costa Deliziosa
- Fri 20 Mar MSC Orchestra
- Sat 21 Mar Radiance of the Seas
- Sun 22 Mar Dawn Princess (T)
- Tue 24 Mar Oosterdam
- Thu 26 Mar Voyager of the Seas
- Fri 27 Mar Queen Mary 2
- Tue 14 Apr Radiance of the Seas
- Fri 17 Apr Oosterdam
- Sun 24 May Sea Princess
- Thu 25 Jun Gemini
Check the linked website for arrival, departure and berth information, and don’t forget to bring a camera.
Melbourne’s maritime history
Station Pier, originally known as Railway Pier, has played a key role in the history of Victoria since it opened in 1854. From settlers heading to the Goldfields, troops embarking battle ships, and migrants coming to Australia to begin a new life, Station Pier has seen it all, and the historic district is now a tourist destination of its own accord. Today, the Pier, nestled against Port Phillip Bay, is once again in demand with ocean going travellers, this time onboard mega cruise ships.
Options for cruising from Melbourne in 2015 are varied, with everything from quick trips to round-the-world voyages. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- Princess Cruises: New Zealand Cruise for 13 nights on the Dawn Princess
- P&O: Southern Discovery Cruise for 9 nights on the Pacific Jewel
- Cunard Line: Melbourne to Cape Town for 22 nights on the Queen Mary 2
- Princess Cruises: New Caledonia and Vanuatu Cruise for 14 nights on the Golden Princess
Transport to Melbourne CBD
There are several public transport options available. A shuttle bus operates on weekdays, running between the terminal and the Flinders Street Station arts precinct. Trams are the iconic Melbourne transport option, and the route 109 tram (wheelchair accessible) departs the Beacon Cove terminus and takes passengers into the heart of the Melbourne CBD. Beacon Cove is a short stroll from Railway Pier, with shuttle bus service operating on cruise ship visiting days.
Spend a day or two in Melbourne and you will soon realise why it is considered one of the world’s most liveable cities. Melbourne is considered the Australian cultural and sporting capital. There are an abundance of museums, theatres and galleries to discover, along with funky and trendy neighbourhoods. Take the free Tourist Shuttle Bus for a snapshot of what Melbourne has to offer. From high-end boutiques to outlet store bargains, Melbourne is a shoppers paradise.
Melbourne is a melting pot of cultural influences, especially noticeable in the restaurant and cafe scene. Passengers with a day or two to spare before cruising from Melbourne are certain to discover a uniquely Australian city, and the perfect way to begin their journey.
Featured photo by David Wallace