I once was very good friends with a Hobart lady in her nineties. As with friends in that age bracket, she’s no longer with me. But one day she quietly told me a story. She was a young girl, back when there wasn’t a highway between Launceston and Hobart – she’d never been to the north of the state. But this adventurer, she saved her pennies and took a ship to London, even though she’d never even crossed the midlands of Tassie. This ship voyage- it captivated me.
I’ve always been lulled by the romance of travelling by sea. Perhaps it’s my father’s Navy blood, or the allure of the voyage. Whatever it is there’s something magic about travelling on the Spirit. Of course, you can hop on a one hour flight to zip across the Strait, but air travel has lost the charm it once possessed. Dressing up and taking to the skies has been replaced by squishing in with 200 other angry folk who have been delayed.
That first time I hopped on the Spirit I felt a childlike sense of excitement. This whole ship was mine to explore, 600 feet of leg room, and so much to uncover. It’s little wonder I noticed wide-eyed kids on board (who don’t pay
adult prices) looking as though they’d just discovered hide and seek heaven!
I could watch a movie, find something tasty or step out into the night air and have my own Titanic moment. I won’t forget the first time I stood beneath sparkling stars and looked out across the dark waters below. I was exhilarated. I felt tiny in this vast Bass Strait and yet safe in the hands of 29,388 tonnes of Spirit, forging me toward my destination with precision and power.
My holiday had begun before I even got there. The car was overflowing with fishing rods, board games, and all manner of things I wouldn’t contemplate stuffing in a holiday suitcase. Reckless abandon was afforded to my packing. And on board I could organise national parks passes and muse over all the wonderful things on offer at the other end.
It was an adventure. An adventure topped off by a sunrise that revealed my holiday destination. Nothing like cruising in to dock with a light breeze on your face, feeling relaxed and listening to the excited chatter of fellow passengers.
My voyage might not have taken me to London as it did my dear friend. But it sure was an unforgettable way to travel. And for $299 each way with twin cabin and car filled to the brim with holiday fun, why not roll off the ship and into your next break?
Book your $299 deal today
Words: Alice Hansen
Photos/video: Courtesy of Spirit of Tasmania
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