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Unleash the Adventure: 8 Ultimate Carnival Cruise Destinations

Whether you are seeking a tropical paradise or a fun-filled adventure destination, good times await on a Carnival Cruise Line holiday! Here are some of the incredible places you could visit on your next family cruise

Exploring a beach on Lifou Island in New Caledonia on a Carnival Cruise Line holiday. Image The Blonde Nomads
Exploring a beach on Lifou Island in New Caledonia on a Carnival Cruise Line holiday. Image The Blonde Nomads

1. Mystery Island, Vanuatu's hidden gem

Visit Mystery Island in Vanuatu on a holiday with Carnival Cruise Line
Visit Mystery Island in Vanuatu on a holiday with Carnival Cruise Line

This island in Vanuatu’s south is dotted with coconut palm trees lining white sand beaches. Its pristine marine reserve is brimming with turtles, colourful fish and rays, curious to meet snorkellers and stand-up paddleboarders. While the island is uninhabited, residents of neighbouring Aneityum journey across on days that cruise ships visit to set up market stalls selling handmade arts and crafts and offering hair braiding and soothing massages.

2. Epic adventure awaits at Tangalooma Island Resort, Queensland

Holidaymakers exploring shipwrecks off Moreton Island on a Carnival Spirit cruise. Image TakenbyTim
Holidaymakers exploring shipwrecks off Moreton Island on a Carnival Spirit cruise. Image: TakenbyTim

From tobogganing down dunes to snorkelling amongst shipwrecks and hand feeding wild dolphins, an epic day awaits at Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island! Around 25km off the coast of Brisbane, Moreton Island is the third largest sand island in the world. 

Snorkel in pristine lagoons during a holiday with Carnival Cruise Line
Snorkel in pristine lagoons during a holiday with Carnival Cruise Line

Fifteen vessels were sunk just metres from the shore in 1963 to create a break wall for small boats, and have become a great attraction for snorkellers, while up to 10 hungry bottlenose dolphins visit Tangalooma Island Resort’s jetty each evening. Adventurous passengers can also try quad biking or go four-wheel driving along its gorgeous beaches.

3. Explore the paradise of Lifou Isle, New Caledonia

Fun times on Lifou Island in New Caledonia on a Carnival Cruise Line holiday
Fun times on Lifou Island in New Caledonia on a Carnival Cruise Line holiday

Crystal clear waters, white sand beaches and coral reefs welcome guests at this destination in the Loyalty Islands group, around 100km east of New Caledonia’s main island. Visit a secret grotto, tour a vanilla plantation, hike through lush vegetation, or snorkel in the marine reserve. You can also visit Notre Dame de Lourdes, a historical chapel constructed by Catholic missionaries in 1898, and the village of Hnathalo, where you’ll see the largest chief’s hut in New Caledonia.

4. Discover the beauty of Whitsundays, Queensland

An aerial view of Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays
An aerial view of Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays

Stroll along the world-famous Whitehaven Beach collecting shells with the kids on a shore excursion from Airlie Beach, known as the gateway to the Whitsundays. Or partake in a glass bottom boat tour on the turquoise waters of the Coral Sea, or a high-speed catamaran joy ride. 

Family on a Carnival Cruise Line holiday
Family on a Carnival Cruise Line holiday

Families with little ones should look no further than Airlie Beach Lagoon – a large, free public swimming pool with barbecue facilities. You can also meander along the Bicentennial Walking Track between Airlie Beach and Cannonvale.

5. Uncover the diversity of Maré Island, New Caledonia

New Caledonia Loyalty Islands Male Island Coral Reef in Wabao Bay
New Caledonia Loyalty Islands Male Island Coral Reef in Wabao Bay

Each beach on this island, which is the most easterly in the Loyalty Islands group, is different. Some feature the pure white sand and turquoise waters of your dreams, while others have dramatic cliffs. The inland is just as spectacular, with forests, caves, and natural pools beckoning. The 42km-long island is the second largest in the Loyalty Islands group, and is home to around 7000 people, mostly of Melanesian heritage.

6. Port Douglas: the ultimate tropical experience in Queensland

Go drift snorkelling with Back Country Bliss on the Mossman River from Port Douglas
Go drift snorkelling with Back Country Bliss on the Mossman River from Port Douglas

This popular port in Tropical North Queensland makes the perfect base to explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree rainforest. Visit the magnificent Mossman Gorge, take a day tour to Cape Tribulation, try fishing for barra or go drift snorkelling down the Mossman River. 

Four Mile Beach at Port Douglas
Four Mile Beach at Port Douglas. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland

You can also hop on a catamaran to visit the Great Barrier Reef to go snorkelling, view the colourful coral and fish from the underwater observatory theatre at the Agincourt Reef pontoon, or ride on a semi-submersible vessel. Or just enjoy the laidback town, which also has beautiful beaches to discover.

7. Experience the Melanesian and French fusion in Noumea, New Caledonia

View of Noumea New Caledonia
View of Noumea New Caledonia

Known as the Paris of the Pacific, the New Caledonian capital is a thriving South Pacific Island city, fusing French and Melanesian culture. Ride The Tchou Tchou Train to see the key sights, go on a thrilling zodiac ride, kayak down the Dumbea River, or embark on a treetop adventure among the canopy of the Koghis Forest. You can also take a high-speed ferry to the beautiful Amedee Island, which is home to countless turtles and a lighthouse that offers stunning views over the lagoon.

8. Explore the natural wonders of Cairns, Queensland

Cairns Lagoon. Image Tourism and Events Queensland
Cairns Lagoon. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland.jpg

Soar over the rainforests and waterfalls of Barron Gorge on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway en route to the mountain village of Kuranda, take a tour to historic Cooktown, or board a catamaran to Green Island to swim amongst coral gardens teeming with marine life, or in the resort’s pool! 

Young boy on WaterWorks waterslides
Young boy on WaterWorks waterslides

For families with younger kids, the manmade Cairns Esplanade Lagoon on the Trinity Harbour foreshore is the perfect place to while away an afternoon – and don’t miss the fantastic Muddy’s Playground!

More Information

Carnival Splendor sails from Sydney year-round. Carnival Luminosa sails from Brisbane from October to April.
Check Carnival Cruise Instagram and webpage.

In partnership with Carnival Cruise Line Australia

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