If you are considering booking a night sail on the Spirit of Tasmania then you need to read our top 10 tips to ensure you have a fun and relaxing trip.
1. Book a cabin. If you can afford it and have kids and even if you don’t have kids, this is a must! The recliner area is set up just like aeroplane aisles and it’s very cold and depressing! The cabins are small but having a bed, proper linen and a private toilet and shower is definitely worth the extra dollars.
2. Get to bed early. Make sure you head to bed before the ship gets to the heads / rough waters. It’s all smooth sailing for the first couple of hours and then you can barely stand without wobbling and falling all over the place!
3. Take motion sickness medication. If you are prone to seasickness and even if it’s predicted to be a smooth trip, pack the medication. Take it as a precaution. Believe me, once the boat starts rocking you will be very glad you did! We suffer badly from motion sickness and asked our doctor to prescribe us some strong nausea wafer type tablets!! Thank goodness we did!!
4. Families of 5 – take an extra mattress. The cabins sleep a maximum of 4 and the beds are very narrow so you do not want to have to share if you can avoid it. There is room on the floor for a small mattress. We packed a rolled up yoga mat into our bag but a blow up one would fit too. We also packed a pillow and a doona for our little guy but if you book for 5 people you also get the use of one recliner. On your recliner there is a small pillow and blanket. You can ‘borrow’ it to take back to your cabin if you need to.
5. Food. Contrary to popular belief the food on the Spirit of Tasmania is actually very good and also reasonably priced. For example, there are small pizzas for $12 or the full buffet including delicious roast carvery, soft drinks, coffee and dessert for $29.90 per adult. Kids under 5 eat free. Get to Deck 7 early, grab a table near a window, stuff yourself full and enjoy the view as you sail off into the sunset. Just remember that the seas can get rough so don’t eat too much! 🤢🤢
6. Remember where you parked your car. Driving onto the Spirit is an easy and finely tuned process. Once you are directed into position, remember the Deck number and whether it’s starboard or port side so you can find your car again in the morning. They even have little flyers near the closest lift / stairwell that you can take in order to remember where you parked.
7. If you are towing a caravan, consider your fridge. Depending on the setup you have, think about unplugging the anderson plug on your vehicle so as not to flatten your car battery! We saw a few people get caught out by this on the drive off. Luckily the staff are very helpful and ready to assist in this case.
8. Book a return ticket!! As this was our first stop on our Big Lap we wanted to keep it as unplanned and carefree as possible, so we decided to book a one way ticket on the Spirit of Tasmania. We booked 3 months ahead which was great as we got a cheaper price. We decided to see how we liked Tasmania before deciding on an exact return date. We predicted we’d probably stay for between 4 and 8 weeks. About a week before our trip over (out of curiosity) we checked the Devonport to Melbourne return availability. No return availability for a caravan for a whole 2 months!! We had a choice of either staying 4 weeks or 10 weeks!
After much consideration and disappointment in our very limited options we decided upon the 4 weeks. We also put ourselves on the Spirit of Tasmania waiting list for around the 5 week mark but their system only allows you to choose one wait list day with no guarantee of availability or comparable cost. Luckily for us the wait list became available and we got 5 blissful weeks in Tasmania!
9. Be flexible with your dates. The Spirit of Tasmania rates vary day by day so make sure you check out their website and compare the prices for each day around the time you want to travel. Check out Spirit of Tasmania fare comparisons here.
10. Stay as long as you can. This is not particularly about the Spirit of Tasmania but believe us when we say, although Tasmania may be small it is absolutely beautiful and has so much to explore! Our advice is to stay as long as your budget / time frame allows. After all, the Spirit of Tasmania crossing isn’t exactly cheap!
To see exactly what our family experienced on the Spirit of Tasmania check out this fun video uploaded to our daughter’s YouTube account @ Awesome Travels with Kylah. For more helpful information of where to stay and what to do in Tasmania please check out our Website and Facebook and Instagram pages. Feel free to drop us a line and ask us any questions. We will try to get back to you as soon as possible.