World Wonders Cruise Diary – Day 53 – Thursday Island, Queensland, Australia

Cruise day 53 – Feb 26

This stop takes the cake as the shortest cruise stop we’ve ever experienced – four hours!  To make it even shorter the ship was anchored, meaning almost an hour of that time was spent going back and forth to the island on the tenders.  But on the plus side, we got in a good long walk around the small island as we checked it out.

A beautiful north Australian sunrise started our day
Thursday Island, colloquially known as TI, is noteworthy for being the most northerly town in Australia and is located between Wednesday Island and Friday Island.  I didn’t make this up!

The temperature was well into the 80’s with matching humidity numbers as we reached land, which brought on an immediate heavy sweat.  There were a couple of short optional excursions available, but we decided to just stretch our legs and look around for a couple of hours.

The water was a gorgeous teal color, and apparently quite shallow since the ship had to anchor a long way from the dock.  No swimming allowed, the crocodiles – nicknamed “salties” – are known to linger underwater here in far northern Queensland.

There’s crocs in them thar waters, maties!
For real!
She said her buns are toasted by the heated turtle

We followed a concrete walkway along the quiet main road that circled the island.  Between stretches of ocean views, we passed mangrove trees, saw and/or heard several wild birds and visited a historic cemetery.  But what really caught our eyes were the many huge and conspicuous cathedral termite mounds.

These mounds can grow as high as 22′ and last up to 80 years.  They are part of the ecosystem and improve soil quality by bringing subsoil up to the surface, while the deep subterranean tunnels help aerate lower soil layers:

One of many cathedral termite mounds in this area
Thursday Island Cemetery contains the graves of many different nationalities, including an old section for Japanese pearl divers
She just had to do it

About halfway around the island’s perimeter, we took another road across to the dock and our tender.  That’s all we had time for, and drenched in sweat we were ready for a cold beer and a shower (in that order).


How about that!

Typical of Viking, they thoughtfully handed out umbrellas to protect us from the scorching sun as we waited for the tenders…
…and this guy distributed cold towels for us to wipe ourselves down with – our hero!

I spent a while on deck and watched the process for removing the tenders from the water and securing them.  As that was happening I noticed several large sea turtles surfacing periodically for air – very cool!  I couldn’t get a picture of them because they disappeared almost right away, but it was fun watching their show from the 7th deck.

Even the pool area on the ship was humid
The last tender approached on a calm and beautiful sea
The main course was waiting for us at the World Cafe
Yes, she knows everyone!
The new Classical duo was very good
Another great performance by the Viking Sun Vocalists late night show




  1. At last, an offering from the culinary staff that didn’t make my mouth water, That huge fish with juice pooling around it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea! The water color is fantastic, the photo with the orange tender seemingly suspended in it was great!

  2. That water is so beautiful and so appealing for a swim…until you mentioned the crocodiles. 😦 Eighty percent humidity combined with temps in the 80s sounds like Florida in the summer. Ugh. The termite mounds are fascinating! And it’s interesting that they do good things for the environment because here in Florida they eat houses. (Can you tell we’re ready to leave Florida, LOL?)

  3. You certainly did make the most of your short stop at TI. Those termite cathedrals were amazing…and gross. The water is gorgeous. Love the teal color. I imagine that cold beer really hit the spot.

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