For those wishing to travel to Tasmania, the Australian island state 150 miles off the southern coast of the mainland without flying, one of the most spectacular ways for you to travel is via boat. You can travel aboard a vehicle-ferrying cruise ship and choose your own traveling preference—a deluxe cabin with a queen bed or a budget-conscious reclining chair. Either way, the onboard amenities of the Spirit of Tasmania I and II are at your disposal.
Benefits of Traveling by Boat
The ferry is perfect for any travelers who prefer to tour Australia by road with their own vehicle or bring their pets from the mainland and vice versa.
For those in a hurry, a plane would be the best mode of travel. But, if you prefer a scenic, more relaxing trip, book a sailing on one of these two cruise ships that traverse the Bass Strait. The trip takes on average from 9 to 11 hours going to and from Melbourne and Devonport on the Tasmanian north coast.
The cruise ship aspect makes the trip to or from Melbourne feel like a vacation. Amenities like private sleeping accommodations, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, saunas, nightclubs, casinos, shops, free wifi, and activities for children, can make the 11 hours fly by (perhaps sooner than you wish).
For a more high-end option, the deluxe cabin might be the best choice. Suitable for two adults, these queen bed cabins are located at the front of the ship, with large twin porthole windows allowing you to take in the spectacular views.
These cabins include your own private bathroom and television. If you are traveling with young children, you can book an infant cot to be brought to your cabin free of charge.
Other room options—all with private bathrooms—are a two-twin bed cabin, a four-bed, bunk bed cabin with a porthole, and an inside (no window), four-bed bunk bed cabin.
You can also share a room with other solo travelers.
For most daytrippers, a room is not necessary. Recliners offer comfort at great value. Located in a private lounge surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, you can simply sit back, relax and enjoy the magnificent view.
Be sure to check the online timetable or consult with a travel agent before booking as times do fluctuate. Most sailings are done overnight, however, between September and May, the Spirit of Tasmania operates a number of day sailings in addition to its regular schedule. These sailings depart each port in the morning and arrive at their destinations in the evening, meaning you get to experience all that Spirit of Tasmania has to offer from dawn until dusk.
Tasmania is an isolated island known for its vast, rugged wilderness areas, which are largely protected within parks and reserves. On the Tasman Peninsula, the 19th-century Port Arthur penal settlement is now an open-air museum. In Hobart, the port capital, Salamanca Place's Georgian warehouses now house galleries and boutiques. Its Museum of Old and New Art has a contemporary edge.