Cheapest Way To Tasmania – Spirit of Tasmania is the ideal mode of transport when traveling with families and children, this guide covers everything you need to know. The ship is a link between Tasmania and the rest of mainland Australia. This is a huge passenger ferry equipped with all the latest features and amenities to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. We traveled with Oliver when he was eleven months old who was surprised to blow himself up on the ship, although it took him a little longer to fall asleep in a different environment. We sailed overnight which in my opinion is good and gives the best of both worlds, enjoyed the ship and came to rest in the morning. Yes, you can fly, but that’s fun. Also in this way, you can bring absolutely everything you need for an amazing road trip, without fussing with the airport, car rentals and rental places.
Spirit of Tasmania sails between Port Melbourne, Victoria and Devonport, Tasmania. Since there are no roads between the two countries, ferries are the only option for transporting passengers, vehicles and goods on land. As the cost is the only option, the cost is subsidized by the Australian government, which only lowers the fare.
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The ship passed through Port Phillip Bay and crossed the narrow sea between the two countries, Bass Strait. The total trip is 429 km, or for keen sailors, 232 nautical miles.
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The travel time is between 9 and 11 hours. This difference in travel time takes into account maintaining a comfortable journey in different weather conditions.
You must also check in at least 45 minutes before departure time, but departure can take up to 30 minutes.
The Spirit of Tasmania is like a yacht, it has many comforts and features! With lounge games for movie theaters and restaurants, there isn’t much else you might want to have aboard an interstate cruise. There are two similar ships, Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II. Both size 194m is impressive and consists of 11 decks and 222 cabins, they can accommodate up to 1,400 passengers and 500 vehicles.
Both options have their pros and cons, but in our opinion, the hand is crossed for the night. You can still benefit from the comforts of the ship, but if you get tired, you can retire to a cabin or lounger and sleep off the rest of the trip with ease. This is especially useful if you are traveling with children. This not only makes the time go by faster, but also saves you an overnight stay. Plus, you’ll arrive refreshed and ready to start your trip early in the morning, better than arriving only to retire at night with nothing to see!
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Then again, at night you don’t get to enjoy the view from the deck, though to be honest
Being such a large ship, you have a variety of options for how you spend your time on board to suit all budgets and travelers.
The lounge chairs are in their own rooms and are very similar to the seats you’d find in business class on an airplane. In the night screen, you can use them for free to sleep at night, but if you want to rest in the day screen, you pay $39. Blankets are also available in the night screen. The lounge chairs are located in their own part of the ship and look out through an ever-changing view through floor-to-ceiling windows. If your child is traveling you won’t be able to use the seat, which is honestly probably the best thing out there!!
All cabins have been fully renovated and are elegantly furnished in a bold new color scheme. In addition, they have air conditioning/heating with adjustable controls, powerpoint, wall reading light, hanging table, desk with chair and wall mirror. Bed linen, towels and soap are provided.
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If you book a child, the cot will be placed in the room. But to be honest, we recommend you bring your own travel hut to familiarize yourself with (as long as it’s small, we have a Babybjorn and it fits). Having a cubicle makes all the difference in waking up fresh and being able to shower before the day starts. Or on sailing day it’s just a great place to relax!
Prices vary between day and night cruises and time of year so it’s best to check the booking page to get an idea of when you want to go.
As a guide, we recommend you book Spirit of Tasmania 4-6 months in advance to ensure availability and get the best price. During peak hours, spaces fill up early, especially for taller vehicles.
You must then notify Spirit of Tasmania of your passenger and vehicle details. It is important to enter correct vehicle information as vehicles of different sizes are stored in different areas of the ship depending on their size. If you are bringing a caravan or trailer, you will need to measure the total length to ensure you have a suitable parking space.
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Then choose whether you want to go on a day or night cruise, a choice of accommodation and everything is ready!
Port Melbourne is smack dab in the middle of the CBD, so be sure to account for any traffic you may encounter. Devonport on the other hand is super quiet.
Check-in opens 2.5 hours before sailing and closes 45 minutes before departure. On both sails, we took our time and arrived when check-in opened. This allowed us to settle into the cabin, explore and start eating before we started our trip, to ensure Ollie could go about his sleep routine.
The entire check-in process was super smooth. First, you will drive through a quarantine checkpoint where they will check your vehicle for fresh fruit or vegetables, as well as butane/LPG cylinders and portable guns. Tasmania has strict biosecurity laws that limit the amount of fresh produce imported to protect the natural ecosystem. Your car will be marked as having passed inspection.
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You will then proceed to the check-in desk where you will hand in your quarantine badge electronic ticket. You get your boarding pass and key card in your cabin and told where to go! After driving to the ship you will be directed to the car park, after which you will take your overnight bag and go up on deck to explore.
Make sure you take everything you need for the trip as the ship is leaving, you won’t have access to your car.
Also pick up one of the flyers in the stairs when you drop off your car that tells you where your car is parked. We weren’t on our first trip and had trouble finding the car again in the morning haha!
From there it was until we found our cabin. We were surprised as we walked down the hall how much we felt like we were in the land of the hotel. A quick swipe of our key card and we were in a private cabin, with a window overlooking the sunset over Port Phillip Bay.
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If traveling without a cabin, there are plenty of seats around the ship, but it’s best to find a good spot to apply before all the good spots are taken!
It’s no surprise that a large ship like the Spirit of Tasmania has so much to do on board and the journey is taken seriously! Here are just a few amenities to keep you occupied:
There are two cinemas with comfortable seats and offer the latest children’s and adult films. It’s a great way to kill a few hours, especially on a sailing day. You need to buy tickets after boarding at the kiosk, but be warned that seats sell out quickly, so try to get yours as soon as possible. We recommend that you bring children to try to save the movie viewing until the second half of the trip when you have fully explored the ship.
Ollie may not be there yet, but as soon as he sees the playroom, he holds his hand up to let him in! The Galactica game room is full of classic arcade games you love like car racing, pinball and the usual claw machines! James and Ollie ride together in the motorcycle game and keep winning over and over, and apparently Ollie is now a motorcycle fan haha! Make sure you bring some gold coins to have fun here!
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In the other part of the ship you will find four separate TV and Xbox setups! Every time we walked past they were all in use, so it was very clear
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