Brisbane cruise port is located in Southeastern Queensland. It is the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast gateway. The city is Australia's 3rd most populous - after Sydney (New South Wales) and Melbourne (Victoria), and is followed by Perth (Western Australia) and Adelaide (South Australia). Trends show that the Australian cruising market is growing at a rapid pace. It has some of the industry's highest penetration rates nationally. The Australian cruise ports' strongest competition today comes only from Singapore and Hong Kong (China).
Brisbane is geographically the only cruise port from which can be operated 7-day roundtrip Queensland cruise itineraries that visit 2-3 Australian ports of call (like Airlie Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas). The shorter the itinerary - the lower the price, which means more potential customers able to afford a Queensland cruising vacation. The city's location additionally gives an year-round good weather, plus large number of local residents living within 4 hours drive from the cruise port.
Cruise itineraries to and from Brisbane Australia
Follows a list of destinations visited by cruise ships leaving out of Brisbane:
- World Cruises – from Brisbane are offered around the world voyages by bigger luxury lines (mainly by Cunard, P&O, Princess). Full-length itineraries (eastbound or westbound) can be up to 110+ days round-trips and usually start from the UK (out of Southampton). On those, Australia is only a mid-itinerary destination offering one-way departures from Fremantle-Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane back to Southampton (disembarkation port). The length of such segment itineraries is up to 2 months (UK disembarkation). Smaller segments offer between 14-30+ days long itineraries to ports in Asia (Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai) or eastbound to USA (San Francisco, Los Angeles). Longer segments may end in some of the biggest Mediterranean ports (Piraeus-Athens, Venice, Civitavecchia-Rome, Barcelona) and on eastbound routes – in the USA (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, NYC New York).
- Eastbound world cruise segments from Brisbane may include Panama Canal transition and even Transatlantic crossing to Europe (UK). Segments with westbound routes may include Suez Canal transition.
- Longer (up to 2-weeks) itineraries between Brisbane and Singapore (or extensions to Hong Kong) usually visit ports in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines.
- "Circle Australia" cruises are longer (up to 15-days) one-way itineraries between Brisbane and Fremantle.
- "Around Australia" cruises with round-trips from Brisbane are up to a month long and do a full circumnavigation of the continent. The itinerary includes most of the Australia's big ports plus Hobart Tasmania (overnight stay), New Guinea, and often Indonesia.
- Themed "Barrier Reef Discovery" and "Queensland Cruise" itineraries are round-trips from Brisbane to Airlie Beach, Yorkey's Knob, Cairns, Willis Island (Coral Sea), Hamilton Island, Port Douglas, and of course - the Great Barrier Reef itself.
- Round-trip Australia to New Zealand cruises out of Brisbane are 14-days in length, with Auckland NZ as turnaround port.
- "South Pacific Islands" itineraries are mostly 7-day round-trips (some up to 12-days) visiting ports in New Caledonia, Fiji, Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo, Papua New Guinea.
- Cruise to Nowhere Brisbane deals are on 3-day round-trip itineraries without any ports of call along the route. Generally, these are themed voyages with themes like "food and wine", comedy, sports, wellness, music, "Australia Day", etc. There are onboard pre-scheduled theme events and activities like parties, concerts, meetings, presentations, tastings, etc.
- Short-break ("Mini Cruises") visit Moreton Island (3-4-day), Airlie Beach (4-day), Hamilton Island (4-day), Moreton Island and Gladstone (4-day).
- Australia repositioning cruises are considered most of the one-way itineraries between Australia and Asia, and also when ships change their Australian home ports. The latter include short one-way cruises between Sydney-Brisbane-Melbourne, also Adelaide and Fremantle. Brisbane to Sydney mini cruises are offered as 2-day relocation itineraries.
- For all current and future (scheduled) cruise itineraries, lines and ships to and from Brisbane, see at the port's "Schedule" section above (located to the right of the "Map" button).
Brisbane cruise port
- (statistics) In 2006 (first year of operation), the Brisbane cruise port handled 55 ships and 45000 passengers, making it the Australia's second largest - after Sydney. In 2014, passenger numbers increased by 207% in comparison to 2006 - up to 138000.
- (statistics) in the period between October 2013 and April 2014, Brisbane cruise port was visited by 24 unique ships (from a total of 71 ship calls). Those cruise ships disembarked here over 138,000 passengers plus over 50,000 crew.
- (statistics) Queensland is the country's second-largest cruise market that supports over 2100 jobs. In 2015 it generated around AUD 590 million in direct/indirect local expenditure from 239 ship calls and 442253 passenger days at port.
- In March 2013, the City Council approved a new cruise port terminal plan at Myrtletown Precinct. It will be capable to welcome the world's largest cruise vessels.
- In November 2014, "Portside Wharf Hamilton" cruise ship terminal welcomed its millionth passenger.
- During season 2015-2016, Queensland was visited by a record number of cruise ships - 329, ranking it Australia's most visited state.
- In April 2015, Princess Cruises (second largest Carnival Corporation brand) announced that for season 2016-2017 the company homeport 5 ships in Australia - Emerald, Golden, Sun, Sea and Dawn. The new deployment expanded the company's capacity by 20%. The vessels were deployed for departures from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Each of the Princess Cruises Australia deals offers two optional "Land and Sea Vacation" packages. The "Australian Outback" package offers the opportunity to immerse in the Aboriginal culture and tradition on cruises to Great Barrier Reef and Uluru (aka Ayers Rock, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park). The "Ultimate Australia" package includes Sydney city tour, visiting Great Barrier Reef, port Darwin, plus the "Australian Outback" package inclusions.
- In February 2016, PBPL (Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd) confirmed the Queensland Government's approval for building the new Luggage Point cruise ship terminal. The new facility (at the mouth of Brisbane River) allows longer ships to dock in a location closer to the city. Bigger vessels currently berth at the multiuse (grain) terminal, which is a cargo area. Currently, the port has no place where large ships (longer than 885 ft / 270 m) can be berthed. By year 2020, the port's new passenger terminal Luggage Point will be able to accommodate even the world's biggest cruise vessels, which will represent ~60% of all calls. The new terminal will also act as a gateway to South East Queensland for many thousands of additional tourists every year.
- In 2016, Royal Caribbean (world's second largest cruise ship owner) increased its Australian passenger capacity by 20%. Scheduled were more than 90 AU departures (by the company's 3 brands - RCI, Celebrity and Azamara). RCI deployed Legend of the Seas in Brisbane. However, in mid April 2016 was announced that with the Legend's re-deployment from Australia to Europe (2017), Royal Caribbean will discontinue offering Brisbane departures as the bigger-sized RCI ships can’t dock at the Portside terminal. The company will not offer cruises out of Brisbane until the new "Luggage Point" terminal (east of Gateway Bridges) is constructed. Also, due to a lack of appropriate transportation to the city centre, many passengers prefer to stay on the ship rather than going downtown. Unfortunately, Legend was the only one RCI ship small enough to berth at Portside.
- In 2016 December, here arrived the RCI's newest Quantum-class ship Ovation of the Seas. In 2017, NCL Norwegian deployed Norwegian Star ship for regular departures out of Brisbane and Auckland NZ.
Highlights: River, Botanical Gardens, Parliament House, People's Palace,Gold Coast
Brisbane cruise terminal
Brisbane cruise port terminal is in service since August 29, 2006 and it is the second biggest Australian cruise port. The terminal building was part of an AUD 750 million development project by Brookfield Multiplex.
Luggage Point cruise terminal (new)
- status - building project (constriction started in 2016), planned complition by 2019
- location - near Myrtletown (across Fisherman Island, southeast of Multiuser Terminal), on the Gateway Bridge's ocean side, near Brisbane Airport
- With berth length 1130 ft / 345 m, at the new facility will be able to dock some of the world's largest cruise liners - like the RCI's Quantum-class ships (4100 passengers) and the Cunard's QM2 (3100 passengers).
- In March 2013, a plan for a new cruise ship terminal at Myrtletown Precinct was approved by the City Council. The land (owned by Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd /PBPL) was designated for the future terminal and included in City Plan 2014.
- In February 2016, Southeast Queensland PBPL (Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd) confirmed it had received first stage of approval from Queensland Government to build a USD 100 million facility at Luggage Point, at the mouth of Brisbane River (CruiseMapper news).
- The final agreement between Port Brisbane and the Queensland government over the new terminal's construction was announced on April 9, 2017. The facility will be privately built.
- After its completion, in the first 5 years the terminal will handle a projected 1,8 million passengers. By 2020, mega liners will represent approx 60% of all ship calls.
Emphasizing the Brisbane port's growing importance for the Australian ship cruising market, Port Authorities considered a new cruise terminal at the mouth of Brisbane River. In January 2016, the Queensland Cabinet opened a discussion about the port's proposal to allow building of a new cruise ship docking facility at Luggage Point. It will be an USD 100 million investment plan by Carnival Corporation (via its Carnival Australia subsidiary) and RCCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd). The project is 100% privately-funded, meaning taxpayers will not have to contribute to its financing. The construction will take up to 5 years (2017-2022). The new cruise ship terminal at Luggage Point could be finished by 2019's end. When built, the new terminal will also take ships that currently can't dock in Sydney due to its own infrastructure challenges.
- The proposed new facility is at no risk to the Government and will potentially triple the size of the Queensland cruise industry over the next 20 years. There will be over 3750 new jobs. Annually are expected over 766000 cruise ship visitors annually, contributing ~AUD 1 billion in gross output to the state's economy.
- Among the new terminal's features are sufficient berth overall length and turning basin, deep water frontage (minimizing dredging costs), separation from the port's main cargo-shipping, location close to the airport, avoiding air draft issues (Sir Leo Hielscher bridges restrictions).
- A second swing basin (ship turning basin) could be needed after year 2022. It should be closer to the mouth of Brisbane River (where it's deeper), with minor impact to the nearby mangroves. The current swing basin can support up to 150 cruise vessels planned for the new terminal.
- The port's road infrastructure will also be upgraded. New roads to Luggage Point will be built (project cost USD 10 million) to upgrade its road connections (Main Beach Rd, Pipe Rd and the roads leading into the cruise terminal).
(new) Gold Coast Cruise Ship Terminal (Wavebreak Island)
In April 2014, Wave Break Island was proposed as the place for the Brisbane's new cruise ship terminal and casino complex. The project was officially named "Broadwater Marine Project" (the below photo /click to enlarge). Among the 12 bidders is the consortium ASF Group. ASF is an Australian investment company (ASX-Listed) joint venture between Australia and China. ASF wants to build an AUD 7,6 billion Gold Coast development project, without digging an underwater tunnel. Such channel was previously planned to connect Wavebreak Island with The Spit. The no-digging plan saves the Doug Jennings Park.
According to the plans, cruise ships will dock on the island's north-eastern side, where the cruise ship terminal and the casino complex will be positioned. The idea is supported by the 1640 ft / 500 m turnaround circle (swing basin south of Gold Coast Seaway).
- By this project, Wavebreak Island will be expanded, a new (man-made) island will be created and the north of Southport Spit will be developed.
- Land dumping options were estimated at AUD 365 million. Project's total cost was estimated at around USD 450 million (AUD 610 million), to be entirely funded by private investments. An environmental impact study will be completed by the end of 2018.
- On the new island (called "Moon Island") will be constructed a total of 35 resort villas plus a clubhouse. Its total commercial space will be 333,680 ft2 (31000 m2) plus twice that size retail space.
- Landscape plans for the island show as centrepiece a 50-story tower building and a large marina (south), plus several smaller towers on the island's north side. Among the project's features are luxury hotels, modern casinos, yacht marinas, waterfront parks.
- Approvals are expected to be granted by 2017. By the new plans, the construction is set to finish in 2026.
- Plan updates revealed that the Gold Coast cruise terminal is unlikely to be built before 2019.
- The Broadwater Marine Project will be delivered in 9 stages. Stage 1 (by July 2019) includes canal dredging, environmental offsets, eco-marine park and part 1 of the Wavebreak's integrated resort. Stage 2 (by January 2021) includes the resort, “southern Spit Hotel” and residential developments. Between Jan 2021 and July 2026 on the Wavebreak island will be built residential and commercial buildings, retail district, leisure attractions (incl international street, art museum and school).
- The Gold Coast Cruise Ship Terminal (at the top-page photo) and the adjacent resort will generate full time jobs for over 12,000.
The Wavebreak Island was artificially created in 1985 as part of the Gold Coast Seaway to protect the Broadwater's western foreshore and to stabilize the entry.
Gold Coast is a port city located approx 66 km (41 ml) south-southeast of Brisbane.
Portside Wharf Hamilton cruise terminal
- address - "Port Office, 3 Port Central Avenue, Port of Brisbane QLD 4178, Brisbane, Australia"
- location - on Brisbane River (upstream from Gateway Bridge, at the river's north bank), at approx 6 ml / 10 km drive distance from the city's center and 4,5 ml / 7 km from CBD (central business district). The terminal offers easy access to Gateway Motorway leading to Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast (both at 1 1/2 hours drive distance). The cruise ship terminal is also close to the Brisbane International Airport.
- Located across the Brisbane river is a working dry-dock facility.
- 1 berth (max ship length 886 ft / 270 m)
- River channel depth (and berth depth) is 30 ft / 9 m (max draft).
- jet bridge gangway
- The terminal (max capacity 3000 passengers) was privately developed. Its owner and operator is Brookfield Residential. The facility was inaugurated in August 2006. Its construction cost was USD 750 million.
- Hamilton Portside cruise terminal is part of a retail and dining precinct (Hamilton being one of city's most luxurious suburbs). Portside Wharf is the commercial international cruise ship terminal. There is an adjacent car park, a large taxi area, a bus dedicated area (capacity 40 tour buses). The area also has a luxury residential and retail shopping precinct with restaurants, boutiques, cinema complex (Dendy Portside), public plaza, fish shop, supermarket. The precinct's visitors are mostly cruise passengers, but also locals arriving from Bretts Wharf by CityCat ferries.
- Portside Wharf attracts some of the world's top-rated luxury vessels. Once a week (on average), here dock also expedition cruise ships, as well as mega yachts.
- Across the Brisbane River there is a working dry-dock shipyard.
(Grain) Multiuse Terminal (for large cruise ships)
Gateway Bridge has a height restrictions and because of that larger ships berth at the Multiuse Terminal (the Grain Berth at Fisherman Islands) or Pinkenba Wharf.
- location - at the mouth of the Brisbane River, at ~ 16 ml / 25 km drive distance from CBD, (central business district) and at ~ 14 ml / 23 km drive distance from Brisbane Airport. The nearest train station (Wynnum North) is at 10–15 min drive distance. From there to go to the city takes around 30 min. The Brisbane port's Visitors Centre (3 Port
Central Ave) is at 5-min drive distance from the Terminal. The Centre is open Monday to Friday (between 8.30 am - 3 pm) and offers educational displays, port tour program, Observation Cafe (with panoramic views).
- This terminal is also at 15‐min drive from the Wynnum and Manly suburbs, both offering multiple shopping and dining options and beautiful parks overlooking Manly Boat Harbour and Moreton Bay.
- 3 berths are available (total length 2300 ft / 700 m), berth max depth is 46 ft / 14 m
- Due to Gateway Bridge's height restrictions (185 ft / 56,4 m clearance), large cruise liners can not to pass underneath to proceed and dock at Portside Wharf. Instead, they dock either at Pinkenba Wharf (QLD) or at Port of Brisbane (Multiuser Terminal, Grain Berth) at the Fisherman Island's Cargo Terminal. The Pinkenba suburb (in the city's eastern part) is on Brisbane River (northern banks, some 6 ml / 10 km from the CBD district).
- The Multiuser Terminal is equipped only for periodical day ship calls, which means it has limited facilities in comparison to the Hamilton cruise terminal at Portside Wharf. There is only a small cafe bar for coffee, tea, cold beverages and light snacks (no EFTPOS facilities, public
telephones, postal office, ATM, car-rental). The closest ATM machine is at Caltex Truck Stop (Port Drive), at 5‐min drive distance from the terminal.
- The facility (Australian Customs) operates 24/7 (CCTV onsite security). Road access is from Port Drive. The terminal has ability to handle general cargoes (excepting dry and wet bulk). The machinery includes a Gottwald mobile crane and a Deer Park gantry crane.
- The Multiuser Terminal doesn't offer regular public transportation services. For cruise passengers are available the following options: pick up / drop off by family/friends (free parking), taxis (waiting at the terminal;s taxi rank) and shuttle bus arrangements (must be made by Shipping Agent).
Cruise ship terminal directions & parking
- (to Multiuser Terminal) - follow the street signs to "Port of Brisbane". Continue along Port Drive. Look on the left for tall grain silos. Turn left into Seafarers Str. Security will guide to the Grain Wharf's entrance gate. For dropping off / picking up cruise passengers, the onsite security will assist and direct through to the terminal's parking area.
- (to Portside cruise terminal) the facility has a taxi rank. It is also at some 10 min walking distance to a City Council bus station and a CityCat ferry stop.
- (from Portside Terminal to the city) Council Bus - walk around 650 ft / 200 m to the Bretts Wharf bus stop and catch bus line 300 (runs every 15 minutes Monday to Friday). Getting into the city takes ~ 25 min.
- (from the city to Portside Terminal) - catch bus line 300 on Adelaide Str (City Hall, bus stop 18) and travel to Bretts Wharf (bus stop.Riverview Tce).
- (by CityCat ferries) - Bretts Wharf ferry stop is around 650 ft / 200 m from Portside cruise terminal. CityCat ferries run every 10-15 min (during all the week). It it takes around 30 min from the Portside Terminal to the city.
- (by train) two train stations (Ascot and Doomben) are at ~ 30 min walking distance from Portside Terminal. Trains run at 30 min intervals (Monday to Saturday only).
- Car parking areas are available at the Brisbane Cruise Terminal and at the "retail and dining precinct". The number of parking spaces is 350 (some shaded). However, both car parks are short-term only and free of charge up to 3 hours.
- The list of available long term car parks in the area (which is close to Brisbane Airport) includes: Portside Parking, Abel Park, Kingsford Smith Parking, Brisbane Airport Parking, Gateway Parking, Alpha Car Parking. Each of those has a website and also offers car cleaning services (for a fee). Some of those even offer car repair services.
Brisbane port, beside its cruise terminals, also has facilities to handle cargo ships (oil tankers, bulk carriers and container vessels) and dry dock facilities for major marine vessel refurbishments and repairs.
- UN-LOCODE (United Nations location code) - AUBNE
- supported by excellent road, rail and air infrastructure
- deep water berths
- sheltered harbor area
- access unrestricted by tides
- Gateway Bridge restricted access (185 ft / 56,4 m clearance)
- In bad weather (15+ knot winds - 17 mph / 28 kph) turning around cruise ships in the Brisbane River is impossible since the ship's side acts as a sail).
- capability to accommodate 2 vessels at a time
- Port pilot assistance is provided by "Brisbane Marine Pilots Pty Ltd" (privately-owned company). Port pilotage is compulsory for vessels of 164 ft / 50 m LOA length or more and also for any vessel when directed by Harbour Master.
- The Brisbane cruise ship terminal doesn't provide shore-to-ship power (shore-side electricity supply) which could reduce significantly the levels of emissions, noise and vibration in port.
- The cruise port is accessible the whole year round – 24/7, 365 days a tear.
- Cruise ships usually arrive in Brisbane in early morning (6 or 8 am) and depart from Brisbane in late afternoon and early evening (at 2, 4 or 5 pm).
Brisbane tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- River cruise: explore the city with a tour by City Cats. The trip is 19 km from Lucia to Hamilton and you can bargain the price.
- Riverlife Adventure Centre: a lot of sun and adventure activities in Kangaroo Point (Brisbane’s inner city).
- Moreton Island: get wild or just laid back, the Island won’t disappoint you.
- Cuddle a koala: go to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and catch a cutie, located half an hour from the city center of Brisbane.
- Brekky Creek Hotel: Queensland’s most popular watering hole. Try amazing steaks and taste “beer off the wood.”
- Stradbroke Island: quiet place with beautiful sand. Explore amazing nature and lakes with fresh water.
- Story Bridge Adventure Climb: you will need two hours and a half to climb to reach the bridge’s eastern side. The view from the top will take your breath away.
- Go to a park: 25% of the area in Brisbane is green. The city is proud of its public gardens and parks (nearly 1,500). Visit the City Botanic Gardens, walk along the Energex Brisbane Arbour to South Bank Parklands or just smell rose aroma at New Farm Park.
- The museum of Brisbane: explore the people, the culture and the heritage of Brisbane. The museum is located at the King George Square in the City Hall, ground floor.
- Queensland Art Gallery/ Museum of Modern Art: you will find one of the biggest Aboriginal and Asian art collections in the world.
- Brewery at Milton: you will go through all the process of beer making and you will have the opportunity to try it at the Ale House bar.
The Brisbane cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Brisbane, Queensland Australia.
If you lose the Brisbane location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
Port Brisbane cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Brisbane, Queensland Australia. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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