Docking at 6am, the Spirt of Tasmania then departs Melbourne, Victoria at 9am for the 9 hour sail across to Devonport, Tasmania. A trip that goes a bit like this.....! It’s around 4am in the morning and we are leaving our Melbourne accomodation. With little traffic on the roads, the trip was fairly simple before needing to wait around at the dock. Just avoid the very low bridge on Montague Street....you get no real warning, until it’s too late. A practice run the previous day, ensured we were not caught out.
Getting to the port early ensures getting on the boat first, no long queues and the friendly staff are not in a rush, and are up for a chat. For those with a pet, there is a lovely grassed area outside the ports gates. This means your furry friend can have. A walk, do their business and be ready for the trip - hopefully accident free.
First stop port side is the quarantine check point where no fruit, vegetables, fish or undeclared animals are permitted past. With a thorough search through the vehicle including bonnet and boot, as well as the caravan; checking for loose gas bottle as well as the fridge, freezer and most compartments for prohibited food. With the staff being friendly, giving us information and checking our carry on food bag, we were sent on our way to board the ship!
We were luckily first on the Sport of Tasmania when boarding time began. The crew giving you easy to follow directions and signals ensuring your safe parking arrangements. They also gave us the option to leave Diga dog in our caravan, with water as he may feel more secure, warm and less scared. We also realised that he may not have been comfortable in the kennel - even the large ones looked to small for his bed. We were told we could stay with him as long as needed, or until it was time to lock down the decks.
Boarding time began, we ensured that we disconnected the 12 pin plug and Anderson’s plugs from the van. This was to ensure that the van didn’t drain the car battery, and we could disembark without drama.
We left our car and went to find our cabin. We booked the deluxe suite for comfortable, two person sleeping arrangements, chairs, table and bar fridge as well as a television and our own entertainment and an en-suite, without dealing with the mass crowds lazing around the deck levels. We also save dollars by taking our own lunch and snacks on board. Yes, our hotdogs in a thermos, were our savour here.
Cinemas, cafes, restaurant and gaming rooms / kids entertainment were all found on the Spirt of Tasmania. The ship was quite comfortable to enjoy 12 hours of our day in, and surprisingly we got 4g Telstra reception for most of the journey. Our day sail journey, to Tasmania from Melbourne docked at around 7pm in Devonport.
We had an awesome experience and look forward to our return trip to the mainland in April on an overnight trip - where we have a four bunk room booked. Tasmania, our home for the next 4 extraordinary months, will be jam packed full of awesome new adventures and amazing sights to see.