This week saw an important announcement in Australia’s return to cruising – another ship is bound for Brisbane. The new Carnival Luminosa will start her inaugural voyages from November from the Sunshine State.

Having recently been christened by the arrival of Pacific Explorer, the battle for the new state-of-the-art Brisbane International Cruise Terminal has just begun. 

Princess has the Coral Princess also homeporting and November will also mark the first sailings of Quantum of the Seas, with the Royal Caribbean ship offering sailings from November 1.

Meanwhile, P&O’s Pacific Encounter will already be settled in, with sailings starting from August 27.

Here’s who is heading to Brisbane.

Royal Caribbean


Royal Caribbean offers everything from quick three-night sea escapes to longer 18-night sailing getaways. For something in between in the six to eight night range, you could take a seven-night Queensland cruise which will take you to essential Queensland stops such as Airlie Beach and Cairns, offering opportunities for a taste of the Great Barrier Reef. You can also head in the direction on an eight-night Tasmania cruise, with stops in Sydney, Eden and Hobart. There are also plenty of South Pacific cruise options in this range, with eight-night sailings available for less than $1000. If you’re looking for something longer, there’s a 13-night New Zealand cruise leaving on March 14, or a 17-night Transpacific Cruise leaving on April 12.


Quantum of the Sea is filled with a host of Royal Caribbean favourite complimentary dining spots, with the American Icon Grill, Windjammer Cafe, Cafe Promenade and Sorrento’s, just a few of the highlights. There are also nine specialty restaurants, from cheaper options like Noodle Shop up to indulgent dining experiences such as the five-course wine pairing dinner at Chef’s Table or the fantasy gourmet of Wonderland.

Activities and entertainment

It’s hard to beat Royal Caribbean for activities. There’s skydiving at sea on IFLY, the highest views at sea from up on North Star, you can have your cocktails made by a robot at Bionic Bar, enjoy family fun at SeaPlex, watch outdoor movies and so much more. There are also of course curated theatre shows and productions, don’t expect a dull moment on Quantum of the Seas.



For a taste of cruising with Princess, you can sail as briefly as a three-day Australia Seacation, but there are plenty more options for longer escapes. To head to the Great Barrier Reef you can jump on a seven-day Queensland cruise with eight different departure dates available from now until February, for something even more spectacular you can instead opt for a 12-day exploration of Queensland and the Conflict Islands. For a deeper dive into Papua New Guinea, you can try this 11-day Papua New Guinea Cruise, or to instead head south, you can try this one-off seven-day New South Wales Coast trip, departing on August 5, 2022.


Coral Princess has five included dining options, Chocolate Journeys, International Cafe, PRincess Pizzeria, The Bar & Grill and Horizon Court. If you instead go for the specialty dining you can treat yourself at Bayou Cafe & Steakhouse, indulge in Italian at Sabatini’s or truly spoil yourself with the Chef’s Table experience.

Activities and entertainment

Princess doesn’t quite have all the fun of some of the other major lines, but there’ll still always be plenty happening whether you’re trying your luck at the Vegas Style Casino, enjoying the pools and hot tubs or playing to win at the sports courts. There’s more on offer when it comes to entertainment with open-air cinema, original musicals and plenty of parties and dancing.



Just like the other lines P&O has plenty on offer for those looking to get to the Great Barrier Reef, with plenty of departures on their Barrier Reef Discovery adventures up for grabs, where the cruises port at Airlie Beach, Cairns and Willis Island. If you’re looking for a laugh at sea, you can hop on a three-night comedy cruise and look forward to shows from some of Australia’s premier comedians. For another option there’s series of four-night Whitsunday itineraries, for a quick escape to Airlie Beach and the beautiful surrounds.


For complimentary dining, Pacific Encounter has all the P&O favourites with the pan-Asian at Dragon Lady, contemporary Australian of The Pantry, Italian cuisine of Angelo’s and the classic Waterfront Restaurant. 

However, if you want to taste the delights cooked up by celebrity chefs Johnny Di Francesco and Luke Magnan, you’ll have to head to the specialty restaurants, with the acclaimed chefs having tow and three eateries on board respectively.

Activities and entertainment

Pacific Encounter has plenty to keep you entertained. You can walk the plank out to sea at P&O Edge Adventure Park, try your hand at a number of Deck Games, take a mixology class, take the kids to the waterpark, sing your heart out at karaoke and plenty more. 

When it comes night time you can expect memorable parties with exotic performances and dress ups, an adults-only comedy club, original production shows, plenty of live music and the level up arcade for those younger or not looking for a nightlife experience.

Carnival Cruise Line

Right now it remains a bit of a mystery as to what Carnival’s offering out of Brisbane will look like. The cruise line has confirmed itineraries will begin from November, but exact details are still yet to be revealed. 

The line did reveal that itineraries will visit the Great Barrier Reef and Airlie Beach and soon also the South Pacific. 

We know Carnival Luminosa won’t have all of Carnival’s known spaces and eateries, however, we do know the ship currently has seven pools and hot tubs, 12 bars and lounges and five eateries. 

Knowing Carnival you can assume there’ll be a strong emphasis on family fun and it’s been confirmed that the ship will be crewed by Carnival staff members, so you can expect Carnival’s quality of service.

The current look of Costa Luminosa.