Cairns Sunset Cruise: Drinks & Nibbles on the Harbour

cairns sunset cruise
Be social

It’s a beautiful balmy tropical evening and you’re wondering where to go in Cairns. One option is to take the Cairns Harbour Sunset Cruise, a great way to explore the waterways behind the city with a glass of wine or beer in hand as the sun goes down.

We arrived at the Reef Terminal for a 5.30pm departure, just as all the daytrippers were arriving back from a day out on the reef, snorkelling, diving or island hopping.

While many of them were looking sunburnt, windswept and a little exhausted, we were feeling laid back and ready to chill out on our cruise up the Trinity Inlet.

Cairns Sunset Cruise

One of the things we really loved about this cruise was the relaxed vibe. It didn’t feel crowded and you could sit inside upstairs or downstairs, on the top deck or stand out on the lower front deck (although standing room only).

sunset cruise inside the boatWe spent most of the cruise out on the deck taking photos and enjoying the views with a glass of wine in hand.

After leaving the marina, the captain’s voice came over the microphone and provided some interesting history about the development of the marina and the sights we passed as the boat slowly cruised past moored catamarans, an old shipyard and mangrove-lined inlets.

The landscape began to change as we left the ocean inlet and followed one of the waterways through the mangroves in the hope of spotting some wildlife. This is perfect saltwater crocodile habitat but unfortunately we didn’t see any.

cairns harbour sunset cruiseThen as the sun set, we watched the Cairns skyline change as the harbour lights came on and we slowly cruised back to the marina.

As part of the cruise you receive a welcome drink and some antipasto nibblies.

The cruise arrives back in the marina at about 7pm. From there it is only a short walk to a number of waterside restaurants.

We went to Dundees for a three-course meal as part of our Cairns Sunset Cruise and Dinner package.

Dundees Restaurant

cairns sunset cruiseDundees is a well-established and popular restaurant with locals. This boardwalk eatery has a huge menu and it’s the kind of place where you can guarantee that the food will always be fantastic.

For those on the cruise package you get to choose from a set menu.

The entree choices include soup of the day, calamari, seafood chowder, Caesar salad or an ‘Aussie Connection’, which includes kangaroo and crocodile.

The mains on offer were wild barramundi, chicken breast, sirloin steak, linguini carbonara and pasta ricotta ravioli. We had the steak and it was the best we’ve eaten so far in Cairns.

The dessert choices were either vanilla ice cream with strawberry coulis and almond biscotti or marshmallow pavlova with passionfruit syrup. The pavlova was definitely the better presented of the two dishes and my favourite.

If you’re going along with kids there is also a great menu for them with the usual favourites of fish and chicken through to sausages, steak and calamari. Most of the dishes came with chips although there was the choice of mashed potatoes.

Overall, the Cairns Sunset Cruise & Dinner package is a really enjoyable way to spend an evening in Cairns. It’s the best of both worlds with pre-dinner drinks and nibbles aboard one of Cairns’ most reputable cruises and then dinner overlooking the water.

A Cairns sunset cruise is definitely worth doing.

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