While Murray River cruising may be off the charts right now, it’s set to come back bigger and better in 2023. Voyaging on a full river, brimming with wildlife, will be one of the most popular holidays you can take, so why don’t you book ahead now to enjoy the stunning river scenery on a leisurely cruise?
The great stature of the PS Murray Princess provides the best and safest way to traverse our magnificent Murray River, taking in the fully flourishing environment along the way.
Kick things off with a three-night Easter cruise, enjoying the traditional long weekend break with a short holiday. There will be a few Easter-themed events and activities, but you’ll mostly get the chance to sit back, relax, and take in the view between Mannum and Blanchetown.
On the cruise, you’ll be treated to delicious breakfasts, a la carte lunches, and specialty dining – all without the clean-up! Relax in one of the two lounges or hang out on the sun deck at the top of the vessel – all options boast spectacular views.
When you’re not soaking up river life on the deck, you’ll be exploring our region’s wonders through a series of fun adventures like these:
Departing historic Mannum, the Princess cruise will provide a view of the township and low-lying areas – and after this flood, we expect it will be one to behold. Taking the brunt of the high flows, the town is making drastic changes and build levees to hold back some of the water, this will be a once in a lifetime event to witness.
As the cruise pulls in under the historic twin bridges, the town of Murray Bridge offers the best in dining and shopping. On land – the breathtaking views from the newly-transformed the Bridgeport Hotel can’t be beaten, sit on the deck and enjoy a meal or a drink. Just across the road is the historic Round House, one of the oldest buildings which played a significant role in the early history of the town. Located in the heart of the historic rail and wharf precinct, and a short stroll to the CBD and cafes, the Round House is a key attraction, with many tours on offer.
Monarto Safari Park is a short 5-minute drive from Murray Bridge, where roaring excitement awaits. This is one of the more popular excursions for those who choose a Princess cruise. The animal experiences offer an unmatched glimpse into the wild world of these beautiful creatures. Mingle with Meerkats, leap into the Land of Lemurs, or lure a Lion with the famous 360 experience. The Monarto Safari Park Wildlife Tour is optional, but definitely worth the time!
A guided nature tour of Salt Bush Flat is ideal for the nature lover; see the big river gorges and towering sandstone cliffs.
Continue to get up close to the river birdlife, this time on board the Dragon-Fly flat-bottomed boat. Offered to all Murray Princess customers, you can travel in small, personalised groups, with onboard commentary. You’ll learn about the Murray River as you watch out for darters, herons and egrets feeding along the river’s edge. And with all the water around, we’re expecting this to be the best year to see the birdlife yet! The captain will also carefully guide the vessel beside the magnificent, towering limestone cliffs, close to the unique birdlife habitat so you can snap the best shots to share with friends back home.
If a long weekend isn’t enough on board our regal paddlesteamer, why not extend your trip. Another four nights will get you a whole lot more fun and adventure, maximizing your experience of the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong.
Other Standard Cruises include:
During these cruises you can also discover a unique wildlife experience with an authentic Woolshed Show and visit to the Native Wildlife Shelter at Sunnydale’s Big Bend By Night. Here you’ll get up close and personal with Australia’s most interesting native animals.
*Please note that Big Bend By Night are currently closed due to flooding, but you can book ahead for your mid-2023 travels!
This will flow onto the riverbank for a quintessential Aussie barbeque, where you’ll enjoy a delicious and relaxing feast, as you watch the sun set against the iconic ochre cliff face (make sure you have your camera ready for this incredible moment!).
The fun doesn’t stop after sunset either, with a Nocturnal Tour available (in a comfortable purpose-built cart). Spot kangaroos, wombats, bats, and owls in their natural environment, then take a special detour to stellar viewing spots of the night sky like you’ve never seen it before – all within the core zone of the world-recognised River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve. This reserve is recognized by astronomers and astrophotographers at having some of the best views of the Milky Way in Australia and the world, and was the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
In the morning, indulge in a Bush Tucker Breakfast overlooking glassy river views to a backdrop of singing kookaburras (it doesn’t get more authentically Australian than that!). Taste your way through a banquet of Kangaroo sausage, scrambled egg with boobialla seasoning and ground saltbush, Aussie Dukka toast with assorted jams and much more.
After an awe-inspiring cruise down river, step back in time with a tour of Ngaut Ngaut Conservation Park. The traditional landowners, the Nganguraku people, will guide you through this culturally and historically significant archaeological site, showcasing ancient rock carvings and Aboriginal Dreaming stories.
If Easter isn’t the perfect time for you, there are many other event cruises to pick from. If good music is your thing, why don’t you hop aboard the Hot August Night Cruise, entertained by popular singer and musician Dave Freeman. His ‘OMG Neil Diamond Sounds Like Me’ tribute show is a hit, followed by a repertoire of songs including Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, The Eagles and much more.
The Mannum to Loxton cruise is another option, taking in the Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Reserve, Sunnydale Woolshed Show and Native Wildlife Shelter, Morgan and Waikerie town and museum tours, and more. And before you know it, they’ll be taking a full contingent on a Christmas Cruise.
Listed as the number 1 experience in the Top 10 Winter Escapes in the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong last year, now is perfect time to book ahead. Not only will it secure a relaxing cruise on the grandest vessel on the Murray, but it will help reinvigorate our river communities affected by the flood.