Get us in your inbox

An island paradise
Photograph: Supplied

Five great and affordable cruises you can take with Carnival

Set sail to a beautiful tropical destination with cruises to the South Pacific, the Great Barrier Reef and more

By Melissa Woodley for Time Out in association with Carnival Cruise Line

Picture yourself cruising through crystal-clear waters, lounging on deck chairs and sipping refreshing cocktails as you soak up the sun. Dreamy stuff right? Carnival Cruise Line is all about the idea of having fun and recharging your batteries with voyages from Sydney and Brisbane to the Great Barrier Reef, the South Pacific, New Zealand and more. 

The adventure starts the moment you and your family walk, skip or conga aboard the ship, with ’80s theme nights, a comedy club, an adults-only retreat, kids' clubs, thrill slides, dive-in movies and delicious food like pizza, burgers and of course, ice cream. Each stop on your journey is the start of even more fun where you can swim or snorkel turquoise seas, roam pristine beaches on horseback, shop ’til you drop, or explore local cultures and cuisines.

Whether you're looking for a short weekend getaway or an eight-night escape, Carnival is bound to get your spirits soaring. Looking for some travel inspo? Set sail with five of Carnival's best and most affordable escapes…


Find more Carnival here.

Return to hub page here or read 10 tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Carnival experience.

There are few places in the world as breathtaking as those you’ll visit on a Carnival South Pacific Island cruise. Soak up the white sands, marvel at the marine life and traipse the tropics on this nine-day Christmas cruise departing from Brisbane. You can enjoy over 45 onboard activities over the first three days, as you sail to Vanuatu for moments of paradise at Port Vila and on Mystery Island. Don’t waste a minute of your holiday, whether it be scuba diving, riding on a glass-bottom boat or trying the local cuisine, because before you know it, you’ll be swept away for another day of sunshine in Noumea, New Caledonia. On the three-day adventure home, make the most of the onboard spa, rum bar, games, art auctions and relaxing poolside deck chairs.

When: December 17-26, 2023

Spend your holidays cruising the largest coral reef in the world with a ten-day Carnival Great Barrier Reef cruise this October. Departing from Circular Quay, this holiday offers an unforgettable opportunity to explore some of Australia’s World Heritage listed sites including the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest. Activities onboard include dive-in movies, a 1980s rock’n’roll glow party and an 11.3-metre freefall waterslide. However, the fun continues on land where you can stroll along the white sands of Whitehaven Beach, enjoy a Port Douglas or Airlie Beach reef cruise, go on a crocodile adventure, or get wild with a river tube ride.

When: October 8-18, 2023

Take in the wonders of the South Pacific with a nine-day South Pacific cruise aboard Carnival Splendor in October. Your Pacific adventure begins at Circular Quay where you’ll embark on a two-day journey to Noumea filled with lots of fun and relaxation. Noumea has more sunshine days than any other Pacific Island capital and offers a fusion of French and Melanesian flavours. On day five, you’ll visit the uninhabited Mystery Island, famous for having some of the best snorkelling in the region, followed by a cruise to the tropical paradise of Lifou on day six. Look forward to Deal or No Deal games nights, a white-themed party and a Seuss-a-palooza parade on the trip home. 

When: October 18-27, 2023

This eight-day adventure from Sydney to New Caledonia is the perfect balance between the bustle of a thriving South Pacific island city and the relaxation of a Carnival Splendor cruise. You’ll get ample time over the first three days to soak up the sun by the pool, snuggle up on the lounge for a movie under the stars and unwind in the Cloud 9 Spa. However, the real adventure begins on day four as you dock in Noumea: a sun-soaked paradise with white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and stunning French and Melanesian cuisine. A boat ride Lifou awaits on day five, where you can snorkel in the marine reserve, visit a secret grotto and tour a vanilla plantation. Finally, soak up the sights and sounds of Noumea one last time, before heading home to Sydney. 

When: September 4-12, 2023

Experience the best of the South Pacific in one week with a Carnival Luminosa cruise from Brisbane in January 2024. It’s impossible not to relax when you land on Maré Island with its dark forests, mysterious caves and natural pools brimming with sea life. You’ll be in full relaxation mode by day five, as you embark on a Lifou boat trip where you can snorkel in the marine reserve, hike through tropical vegetation and relax overlooking the crystal waters. The New Caledonia adventure concludes in the lively capital of Noumea where you can practise your French, take in the Kanak culture, marvel at the features of main island Grand Terre, and swim at Lemon Bay beach.

When: January 21-28, 2024


    More on getaways

      You may also like
      You may also like