What To Expect When City Cruising In Melbourne

What To Expect When City Cruising | Yarra River Cruise

For those who have never been on a cruise, planning for one can be a bit daunting.

You may have several questions regarding what items to take along, what are the rules for disembarking and embarking, and others. That’s why we decided to come up with this informative guide covering all the important aspects.

We’ve done our best to answer all questions regarding city cruising in Melbourne and included some tips that you might find helpful. So, make sure to read until the end to be better prepared for your upcoming trip and have the most wonderful time!


What To Expect When City Cruising | Yarra River Cruise

City Cruising In Melbourne

Do You Need To Get Off The Cruise Ship When It Calls On Port?

Whether you want to go exploring on the shore or spend time onboard relaxing by the pool, the choice is yours. Those who wish to get off the ship can take solo excursions or join group tours, while spa treatments and other activities are available for those staying onboard.  


How To Get Off The Ship?

A cruise ship generally arrives at its destination in the morning, and you can disembark once the port officials give the signal. Usually, the cruise director will announce when the passengers can go ashore and provide directions to various exits.

The top-tier loyalty program members are allowed to disembark first, along with passengers who have booked sponsored tours. This list also includes passengers who have paid for priority debarkation. 

Larger ships generally have an assembly area meant to prevent crowding at the exits. In such cases, you may need to reach the specified area, where instructions regarding the disembarking process will be provided.

Depending on the port and the water depth, the ship will be docked at a pier or an offshore anchor. If it is docked at a pier, you can use the gangway to walk off the vessel onto dry land. On the other hand, if it is anchored offshore, you will need to take a tender, the small boat that ferries passengers to the shore. If you have mobility issues, visit the customer service desk onboard beforehand to make arrangements to get off the ship. 

Additionally, boats are legally required to keep track of their passengers, which will is done using the cruise ID card when you disembark and embark. 


What Are The Things Required To Go Ashore?

Make sure to carry your cruise ID card at all times, as you will not be able to leave the ship or return to it without the card. However, most ports do not require your passport, so you can leave it onboard but make sure to carry a photo ID and some cash for emergencies. 

You should also have the necessary details like the ship number, cruise line, the port agent, and the nearest Australian embassy or consulate. Besides these essentials, you may want to carry other items such as snacks, a camera, a map and a water bottle on a city cruise

The selection of items depends upon the area you plan to visit. For instance, some sunscreen and a towel may be required for a beach trip, while you may need to carry some insect repellant for a hike through a rainforest. If unsure about what to take, consult the shore excursions desk. And make sure to avoid taking unnecessary valuables or large amounts of cash with you.


Is A Visa Required And How To Get One 

Check with the cruise line before setting sail to know about the visa requirements of the various ports. In most cases where ports might need a visa, the ship will make the necessary arrangements, but there may be some exceptions. In such cases, you will need to arrange for a visa yourself. 


How Much Time Will You Have In Port?

The time for which a ship will dock at a particular port depends upon its itinerary and the cruise line. Some may stop for as little as 15 minutes at some ports, while others may stay overnight. Generally, the standard docking interval lasts between five and nine hours. 


Does The Ship Dock In Town?

This varies depending on various factors, with some ships dropping passengers off close to major attractions and sites, while others may dock at an industrial site. In the latter case, you may need to take a taxi to visit various places of interest. Some might even dock at towns and cities situated at some distance from the nearest attractions. 


Is It Possible To Come And Go-Between The Ship And The Port?

Yes, you can come and go as you like between the ship and the shore, but you may have to wait in line if it is tendering passengers ashore. 


What Are The Activities To Take Part In At The Port?

While every port is different, most offer several restaurants, souvenir shops, bars, historical sites, and other attractions. You can either check them out on your own or take a shore excursion. These excursions may include a walking tour, a sightseeing tour by bus, or activities like hiking, biking, etc. 

Also, they may be ship-sponsored or independent, with the former being booked through the cruise line. 


Will The Ship Wait For Late Passengers?

In most cases, the ship waits for a reasonable time for all passengers to return, but this depends on various factors. These include the schedule, the time allowed for docking, and the mood of the officials. Generally, boats wait longer for delays caused by sponsored excursions rather than independent ones.

If the ship leaves without you, contact the cruise line as soon as possible to let them know. You may have to meet it at the next port or return home.


Final Words

These are just some things you should keep in mind when on a city cruise. Just make sure to carry all your essentials, such as a photo ID card and some cash, with you for emergencies. Also, check with the cruise line customer service about the stops the cruise will make to make sure you have all the arrangements made for the trip. 

On that note, we’ll sign off for the day. Until next time!

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