There's no better way to see the Murray River and a slice of the hauntingly beautiful and dramatic Australian outback, than on this 7 day cruise from Captain Cook Cruises. See unique flora and fauna, and the rich legacy of old riverside ports and indigenous culture.
Captain Cook Cruises offers a unique historic and nature-based adventure, and an authentic paddle-wheel experience, through some of the driest parts of South Australia. Pass mallee scrub and ancient red gum forests, through towering gorges and ochre-coloured limestone cliffs. Along the way visit historic ports and lush vineyards as the PS Murray Princess navigates the Murray's locks and big river bends.
You can hike around a boardwalk trail or take a guided nature walk. Take a small boat safari of the pristine wetlands, visit a riverside village, or take a nocturnal eco-tour before a riverside barbeque. Sample some of the local produce at the cellar door, or take a camera and catch some memorable scenes of the abundant birdlife. You can also choose to extend your cruise with an optional full day tour of Australia's richest and best known wine making regions - the Barossa Valley.
All 60 cabins and staterooms are approximately 12 square metres in size.
All Cabins Feature: Private bathroom ensuite, Air conditioning, Electric blankets, Soap, Shampoo and Towels Serviced daily
Stateroom: (6) Located on Randell & Cadell Decks, all open onto the outside deck. Feature a fridge and tea & coffee making facilities. Bedding is 1 Double Bed + 1 Single Bed.
Outside Cabin: (45) Located on Randell and Cadell Decks, all open onto the outside deck with picture windows. Bedding is 2 Single Beds OR 1 Double Bed + 1 Single Bed.
Inside Cabins: (9) Located on Chaffey Deck, all open onto an inside passageway with portholes. Bedding is 2 Single Beds OR 1 Double Bed.
Dining aboard Murray Princess includes delicious table d'hote menus, Captain's Dinner and buffet dining with a special campfire barbeque. Breakfasts are buffet style. The Dining saloon is designed to accommodate all passengers at a single sitting.
Day 1: Mid-afternoon the PS Murray Princess departs historic Mannum, birthplace of the Murray River trade and communication, and heads downriver while you enjoy pre-dinner drinks and a Welcome Dinner. As you cruise under floodlight to the overnight mooring at Mundarra you may see nocturnal wildlife on the riverbank. Watch for grey kangaroos, hair-nosed wombats, Murray long-necked tortoises, spoon-beaked egrets and many other species. The on-board entertainer provides music for the night owls.
Day 2: In 1879 the first bridge to span the Murray River was built at Edwards Crossing, which quickly became the bustling township of Murray Bridge. After a hearty breakfast, join a guided tour of the town's historic landmarks and local attractions. This afternoon begin the journey upriver. Tonight moor at Salt Bush Flat, where after dinner you can be entertained by the talented crew.
Day 3: All ashore for the guided nature walk where your guide will share the secrets of the local flora and fauna. It's a great way to get in a little exercise before Murray Princess departs for the big river gorges and 90 metre cliffs of the upper river. Mid morning view a special presentation in the Sturt Dining room on the bounty of food & wine produced in the riverlands. Just after Fromms Landing, turn and head downriver to River View Lodge where your discovery vessel awaits for a backwater wildlife tour. Travelling in small, personalised groups, explore the maze of backwaters, creeks and lagoons. The bird life is amazing. Watch for darters, herons and egrets feeding along the river's muddy edges. Late afternoon, photography enthusiasts have a great opportunity to capture a spectacular river sunset, before joining the Captain and Officers for pre-dinner drinks and the finale Captain's Dinner and Dance.
Day 4: After breakfast, PS Murray Princess arrives at Mannum where you will join a coach tour to the famous Barossa Valley, the beautiful 'valley of the vine' and source of about a quarter of Australia's world-renowned wines. You'll visit three premium wineries and enjoy lunch before returning to your ship at Mannum. Depart 4.30pm and moor overnight at Caurnamont.
Day 5: Daybreak and time for the keen photographers to be out to capture the special light and the morning movement of wildlife. Prolific bird life includes pelicans, blue wrens and black swans. Enjoy a leisurely morning and lunch cruising upriver to Blanchetown . This afternoon visit Burk Salter's vineyard on the banks of the river and enjoy wine tasting at the cellar door. Tonight enjoy all the fun and excitement of the Murray River Cup.
Day 6: After breakfast, cruise down river to Swan Reach. The town was first settled in the 1850s and was originally the largest of five sheep and cattle stations in the area. The original Swan Reach homestead is now the Swan Reach Hotel. Join the guided walking tour and visit the Swan Reach Museum. Cruise downriver after lunch and take in the tranquillity as the landscape slides by or enjoy a lifestyle and info-cruising presentation. Arrive at Sunnydale. All ashore for the Woolshed Sound & Light Show as you see a recreation of a typical Australian woolshed history. Later, visit the Native Wildlife Shelter where some of South Australia's most interesting native animals are cared for. And then, of course, there is the great Aussie Barbecue - cooked and served in a bush setting on the banks of the mighty Murray River. An optional Nocturnal tour is available after dinner.
Day 7: After breakfast the ship cruises slowly downstream past magnificent cliffs scoured by the river over millions of years. Reach Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Reserve, one of Australia's most significant archaeological sites, for a step back in time - tens of thousands of years - for a guided boardwalk to view ancient rock carvings and to learn about aboriginal history in the area. Return to the ship to cruise downriver to Younghusband. Along the way, adventure seekers can also take a speed boat ride. Pass large billabongs, open expanses of water, surrounded by cliffs and reeds. Tonight the Captain and his officers host a spectacular Farewell Captain's Buffet. Dress up and dance if you wish.
Day 8: Leave Younghusband & head home to Mannum.
*This itinerary is based on the Friday departure. For a Monday departure please reverse the order of itinerary Starting on Monday afternoon with the Barossa Valley Tour offered on Friday. Itinerary is sample and is subject to change*
Tonnage 1500 tonnes, Length 67 metres, Beam 15 metres, Draft 1.2 metres, Speed 6 knots.
Facilities: Free WiFi, Spa, Sauna & Gym, Sun deck, Bar & 2 Lounges, Dining saloon, Speed boat, Gift shop, Library (includes DVDs), Lift, Guest laundry, 24-hour tea and coffee facilities.
Departs: 4.30pm Monday & Friday from Mannum
Returns: 9.00am Monday & Friday
Coach transfers depart:
1.30pm from Adelaide Central Bus Station, 85 Franklin Street
1.45pm from Stamford Plaza Hotel, 150 North Terrace
2.00pm from Mercure Grosvenor Hotel, 125 North Terrace
Coach Returns every Friday and Monday 12 noon - 12.30pm
Children: 2 years and under are free of charge, however not recommended. Children 3 years and older are charged at the adult rate
Excludes: Drinks, optional tours, personal purchases
What to Bring: Soft soles shoes for walking, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, smart casual clothing
Cancellation Fees: Apply to bookings cancelled inside 60 days of travel
Fit to travel: A Certificate of Fitness to travel by the clients doctor is required for passengers over 75 years of age and/or passengers with limited mobility
Operated By: Captain Cook Cruises