With the balmy weather, waterfront Esplanade and world renowned Great Barrier Reef on its doorstep, it’s easy to see why an increasing number of cruise lines are adding tropical Townsville to their itineraries. Sometimes referred as the unofficial capital of Queensland, this city welcomes all its guests with friendly smiles, live music, and volunteers ready to help with directions, tips and/or information regarding their visit. The near-new cruise ship terminal adds to this welcoming atmosphere, providing top-quality facilities and excellent service.
Main Cruise Ships Departing Townsville
Major cruise brands that depart from Townsville
P&O Cruises is Australia’s largest cruise line visiting over 30 port cities, towns and islands. Enjoy cheap fares and nonstop fun from the cruise line’s range of five great ships.
Azamara Club Cruises
Azamara Club Cruises are designed for travellers who like to indulge in a bit of luxury and prefer an intimate setting.The two boutique vessels are smaller than the mainstream cruise lines and offer all-inclusive voyages off the beaten path.
Regent Seven Seas
Regent Seven Seas cruises offer “six star” luxury voyages on their 4-ship fleet travelling around the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. Guests relax on the all-inclusive ships whose fares include shore excursions, specialty restaurants, open bars and more.
Seabourn Cruise Line
Seabourn’s lavish voyages cover most corners of the globe on their 3-ship fleet. The line’s comparatively small vessels offer unique destinations with all-inclusive pricing at the luxury level.
Silversea Cruises are the boutique hotels of the sea. With exceptional service and all-inclusive amenities, passengers love the adventurous itineraries and luxurious ships that carry a maximum of 500 guests.
Destinations - Where can you cruise from Townsville?
Cruises visiting Townsville include voyages within Australia as well as to the South Pacific, Asia and beyond. Find out where you can sail next from Townsville:
Australia - Most ships depart from Sydney or Brisbane and journey north along the east coast visiting the best coastal spots in Queensland. Visit Airlie Beach (The Whitsundays), Cairns, Hamilton Island, Townsville and more depending on your route. After exploring the Great Barrier Reef, the majority of voyages will return to the port of departure.
New Zealand - After visiting Townsville, cruise south with stops in New South Wales before crossing the Tasman Strait to circumnavigate New Zealand’s North and South Islands. Cruise through stunning Milford Sound, where waterfalls cascade from every direction and enjoy views of the breathtaking Southern Alps.
Asia - Cruises visit Townsville before and after exploring Indonesia’s exotic islands such as Bali and Komodo Island. Travel to Singapore, a multicultural metropolis famous for its captivating city garden.
Passenger numbers - How many Australians cruise out of Townsville?
Although Townsville is a smaller port and visited less frequently by major cruise lines, the city has a fantastic opportunity to succeed in the industry with Queensland being the second largest cruise shipping market in Australia, after New South Wales. It was announced in May 2017 that partial turnarounds would be made in the Townsville port starting in 2018, so passengers can get onboard there for their cruise holidays.
Australians on the whole are booking more cruise holidays than ever before. Passenger numbers hit the one million mark in 2015 with a 14.6% increase from the year before. In that same year 4.5% of Australia’s population took a cruise. Compare that number (1,058,781) to 12 years ago when only 158,415 residents holidayed by cruise ship. Domestic cruise numbers are skyrocketing with a growth of 42% from 2014 to 2015 making it clear that Australians are enjoying touring their own country with a view to the ocean.
Asia and the South Pacific follow as the next two favourite cruise destinations and the sampler cruises, four days or less, are proving to be very popular with a 25% increase in 2015. In that year, most Australians opted for 14 days or less at sea.
Capacity of ports - Where is Townsville’s cruise terminal located and what is its capacity?
The Townsville Port provides world class facilities and hopes to be a venue for ‘homeporting’ by 2021.
Townsville Port at Quayside Terminal - The nearly new Quayside Terminal offers exceptional views and provides top-notch service. Upon arrival, enjoy perks of the welcoming party who are ready to assist you with any questions for your visit to Townsville. The port is within walking distance to the city centre and the Esplanade where you can relax along the boardwalk at restaurants, cafes and bars. Bring your swimsuit to take a dip in the lagoon or play at the Strand waterpark, a favourite spot for the kids. Head up Castle Hill to enjoy 360 views of the city and ocean.
Cool down in the fully air-conditioned terminal located only a short distance from seaside restaurants, shopping and the beach. Enjoy uninterrupted views of the city and Magnetic Island from the main hall’s glass walls or relax outdoors in the shade at the undercover meet and greet area. A convenient passenger pick-up and drop-off facility is located in front of Quayside Terminal. Catch a taxi here or enjoy a 20-30 minute stroll into the city.
For parking at the terminal, use the parking lot on Creek Street only 400 metres away opposite Fantasea Cruising Magnetic Island.
How to get to the Quayside Terminal at Townsville Port
The Quayside Terminal is conveniently located 2 kilometres from Townsville CBD on Lennon Drive in south Townsville. Walking can take up to 30 minutes if you don’t mind the heat, otherwise hail a taxi for the quickest route.
Getting there from Townsville airport
Walking from the CBD
Weather - What is the best time to cruise out of Townsville?
Townsville is in the dry tropics region with warm temperatures year round and 320 days of sunshine. The climate allows ships to sail at any given time of the year. While some cruise lines only spend their summers in the Oceania region, cruises in the Queensland territory prosper all months of the year.
If you have time...
Hit “The Strand,” the city’s man-made pristine beach and boardwalk featuring a free swimming lagoon (the Rockpool) and water park plus oceanfront restaurants and bars. If you value staying dry above snorkeling or scuba diving, visit The Reef HQ Aquarium that showcases marine life and coral from the Great Barrier Reef and has a sea turtle hospital on site. Make friends with Aussie’s favourite furry creatures at the Billabong Sanctuary wildlife park or book an excursion out to Magnetic Island when you book a cruise from Townsville.