Cruises from Melbourne
Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, is also known as the cultural, culinary and sporting capital of Australia. Set on the Yarra River, the city is home to world-class sports facilities, museums, galleries and theatres and many revered restaurants. The Central Business District (CBD) has become renowned for its tiny laneways, boutique shopping, street art and impeccable barista-made coffee. When exploring by day, be sure to collect a cup of your favourite brew and meander the CBD’s easy-to-navigate grid of streets. Melbourne’s iconic trams are free in the city and provide an accessible way to explore the various precincts such as South Bank, Chinatown, Bourke St. Cruise ships dock at Station Pier, approximately 4km from the CBD, with the tram network connecting the port to the city (you'll need to purchase a Myki travel card at the terminal to hop on from here). A melting pot of cultures, English is spoken virtually everywhere with locals and tourism volunteers happy to assist with directions. At Federation Square you’ll find the Melbourne Visitor Hub, which offers multiple tour options and inspiration for your stay. Venturing out of the city, you’re spoilt for choice. In summer, St Kilda is a popular haunt as it’s nestled on the beach (of Port Phillip Bay), and dotted with grungy nightlife and eateries. Heading north instead, hipster Brunswick Street offers plenty of quirky cafes and boutiques or head east to Chapel Street for upmarket boutiques.
For those with a little more time to spend in Melbourne, there are many easy day trips to enjoy beyond the city limits by guided tour or with a hire car. Not even an hour from Melbourne, you’ll find Australia’s best-preserved steam train Puffing Billy - the historic railway puffs through the leafy Dandenong Ranges. The Mornington Peninsula offers first-rate wineries, local cuisine, and both bay and ocean beaches. To get up close with native fauna, a trip to Healesville Sanctuary will give you a fix - the beautiful, bushland-set sanctuary gives you the chance to cosy up with koalas, kangaroos and wombats as well as lesser-known Australian animals.
Daylesford is an historic country town that boasts a vibrant artist and artisan community and more mineral springs and natural spas than any other locale in Australia. Melbourne is known for its temperamental weather and locals are usually equipped with an umbrella, sunglasses and a jacket to cover the ‘four seasons in one day’ that the city can put on. January and February are typically very hot and dry months, although the city is particularly through January with the Australian Open tennis tournament attracting big crowds. March to May and September through November are usually warm and dry and the choice of a busy event calendar. The vast majority of cruise ships will dock at Station Pier, however on occasion ships also dock southwest of the city at Geelong (75 km) and south east of the city at Phillip Island (140 km).