Billed as the most European of Australian cities, Melbourne is best known for its handsome public buildings, wide boulevards, cute laneways, great shopping and ritzy bars and restaurants. Sport plays a major role in the life of Melbourne and its citizens follow cricket, soccer, tennis, hockey, rugby league, Australian Rules Football (AFL) with equal fervor. While many of the attractions, such as Federation Square and the MCG, are concentrated in the city centre, Melbourne’s suburbs such as Fitzroy, South Yarra and Prahan are also worth exploring. Despite its groovy urban image Melbourne offers plenty of outdoor fun. There’s swimming at St Kilda, cycling in the Royal Botanic Gardens, and scuba diving in Port Phillip Bay.

Who goes there: Carnival Cruises Australia, Costa Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Costa Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Holland America Line, Cunard, Princess Cruises, P&O Cruises.

Cruisers like: Whether you are interested in food, fashion, culture or sport you’ll find plenty to enjoy in Melbourne. Highlights include the National Sports Museum, Federation Square, Royal Botanic Gardens, Old Melbourne Goal, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne Cricket Ground and the National Gallery of Victoria. Apart from these iconic locations, Melbourne offers plenty of outdoor adventure – everything from golf to scuba diving – and a plethora of dining and bar hopping experiences. Long known as the design capital of Australia, Melbourne offers the country’s best shopping ranging from high-end fashion brands to street labels. For an overview catch the elevator to the top of the 297m high Eureka Skydeck.

Best for: Sports fanatics, art lovers, caffeine addicts, museum goers, kids, couples and older cruises.

Getting around: The city centre is easily accessible from Port Melbourne. Guests can choose from a number of options, including trams and taxis. A myki card allows travel on buses, trams and trains within Melbourne. Melbourne is an ideal city for walking and cycling – a free bike hire scheme operates across the downtown area.