Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The not so new ferry

It was Saturday and the last day of my work leave. We shopped in the morning and were at a loose end in the afternoon. We could have cleaned something but R asked if I wanted to go out in the afternoon. I did, and made a few suggestions. He went for the easy option of a late lunch and coffee at Station Pier, or Beacon Cove if you like.

It was very busy but as we weren't staying long, we parked in a rare one hour free space. There was a cool breeze blowing and we sat in the sun, rare for me, while we had some food and coffee. There were kiddies with red balloons out and about. What was going on?

We ascertained it was an open day for The New Spirit of Tasmania. I knew about the change to the ferry that makes a daily, sometimes twice daily, journey to our state of Tasmania a while ago. It was decided that the ferry would not be replaced until 2020 but the exiting one (ones) renovated.

R has travelled on many of the ferries to Tasmania, The Empress of Australia, The Princess of Tasmania, The Abel Tasman and The Spirit of Tasmania. One experience had him sitting overnight in a deck chair for the overnight crossing. I have travelled on none. When we visited Tasmania, it was cheaper to fly and hire a car than take the car on the ferry.

So, the ferry was open for inspection, with its new interior. We managed to get into the last group to be allowed on at 3.00. We missed the exhibition area as it was packing up. We followed the red arrows around the ships, changing decks often. It was very interesting and there were so many different public areas.

So Margaret, here a few photos to show you the ferry so that you know what to expect for you next visit to this northern island. I have no idea what it was like before, so I can't compare. I did not have the camera with me, so they are only phone photos, which oddly seem better than the photos I take with my camera.


Lifeboats are essential.









Most of the cabins were twin, but there were some suites with an occasional table and seating and more space along with quite nice bathrooms.


 

Looking out the front bit of the boat, ok, bow.


Funnels, not cannons.

Somewhere, and I can't find it, is the very top of The Highrise. The top couple of floors have views to Station Pier.


Illuminated seating must look quite trippy at night.





We did.


21 comments:

  1. I have travelled on the Spirit of Tasmania and it looks much the same as I remember with the exception of those spacey seats. We travelled overnight on New Years Eve ~ a fun thing for a young family.

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    1. Carol, that must have been fun on NYE. I hope there was a party of sorts.

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  2. I can't get over how big it is. Which shows how naive I am. I still think of ferries as small. I know that they aren't, but that it the way I think of them.

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    1. EC, it looks big, until a cruise ship comes into port and dwarfs the Spirit.

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  3. I'm not a ferry person but this one does look spacious.

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    1. Marie, it certainly was spacious and rather nicer than the el cheapo ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam.

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  4. I use ferry from france to england but yours are much more comfortable

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    1. Gosia, I think crossing the channel is a short journey. This ferry takes about 12 hours to make the trip.

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  5. Thanks for the link Andrew...
    The cabins x 4 bunks which only have 2 people as in a couple to sleep in them, they have not been renovated as yet.
    The decor is lovely and i took photos only on the 7th deck. Next time will go further a field.
    A deck chair to sleep in is cheap at times but we always sail at night and have a 4 berth cabin ( 2 people only).
    It is costly but Tasmanians who wish to own and take a caravan to travel the rest of their country, have no other choice. If going for 6 weeks or longer it's cheaper going by ferry and taking the van than Motels or hotels accommodation. We did do the latter a few times before having a caravan.
    It's fun doing a 'cruise' it's like another holiday before the big holiday.
    I wondered where your highriser was when waiting at the pier.

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    1. Margaret, it is not a cheap trip. I remember when it was subsidised by the federal government and even then it was not cheap. I don't understand the deck chair thing. I will at the Spirit website.

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  6. Spouse and I did the ferry trip over to Tasmania last year and it was fantastic. Every minute was filled with cinema, restaurant meals, a concert, play areas for the children, deck walks and socialising over drinks.

    I do recommend that families book a private room (with four bunk beds). It gives the adults and the children somewhere to lie down, change clothes or even read in a private space.

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    1. Hels, was that a day trip then? Otherwise you fitted a lot in for an overnight trip. At our age, we are past sitting up in a chair all night.

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  7. How long does the trip across take? I'm wondering why they need cabins.
    Are the tickets expensive? Are there different classes? First class, cattle class, hang off a rope behind the boat class? I ask because my friend J is moving to Tassie the first week in November and I might like to visit once in a while.

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    1. River, it is less than twelve hours. I can't remember exactly. You would need to get to Melbourne, then the ferry. I expect it would be far cheaper to just fly from Adelaide.

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  8. It sounds a good way to travel but I wouldn't like it if it got rough. Nice place to go for lunch.

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    1. Diane, modern ships have stabilisers which work really well. Bass Strait is quite rough at times and I think it copes well with heavy seas.

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  9. I love boats and, especially, ferries. That one is especially classy. I keep planning to take our little ferry to the next town. A very short trip and nothing like what you'd experience on your ferries.

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    1. Mitchell, that would be such fun and so much better than walking. We only have the one ferry, but Sydney does have a lot of commuter ferries.

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  10. You just mentioned two words above that will ensure I never step aboard this ferry Andrew.. rough and heavy dead :)

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    1. Grace, it is a wonder you ever leave Perth, with your aversion to flying and to sailing.

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  11. BTW That was heavy seas :)

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