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Ferry vs flying from Melbourne

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Ferry vs flying from Melbourne

I got so many nice replies to my last query about Tasmania, that I thought I'd throw another out there. I'm coming to Tasmania on Aug. 11th for a short four day trip to Tasmania (flying to Sydney from Hobart late in the afternoon of 14/8).

I can either take the early morning flight from Melbourne (7:45am is the earliest cheap flight) to Launceston, which would entail getting up very early to get to the airport on time. Or I can take the Tuesday evening ferry, which would arrive in Devonport at 6am on Wednesday. When I factor in saving a night's lodging in Melbourne, the cost is about the same either way.

Is the ferry a nice way to get to Tassie in the winter, or am I advised to get up early and take the flight instead?

There is also an evening flight on Tiger Airways, but I did my homework and guess that isn't really worth the risk!

South Pacific
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for Hobart, Tasmania
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1. Re: Ferry vs flying from Melbourne

The ferry trip is about 11 hours and can be good or bad, mostly depending on the wind strength in Bass Strait. In Autumn (Fall) and Spring, the Roaring Forties can make it an unpleasant trip, but in Summer it's usually good.

It is just a very big, public transport ferry, though. It's not a cruise ship.

On balance, I'd decide on the basis of where you want to go on arrival. If Launceston is a good starting point: fly. If Devonport: ferry.

http://www.spiritoftasmania.com.au/

Luigi

Melbourne
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for Melbourne
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2. Re: Ferry vs flying from Melbourne

"Is the ferry a nice way to get to Tassie in the winter"......... I have crossed Bass Strait many times on a ship - in winter, summer, spring and autumn. If you are asking about the state of the seas, then it is just about impossible to predict. Bass Strait can be as smooth as glass one day and very rough the next. But what I can guarantee, is that the weather will be fairly cold in August.

As Luigi has said, the ferry is not a cruise liner, but a large ferry.

melbourne
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3. Re: Ferry vs flying from Melbourne

for such a short time away,id fly,just look at the flight times and prices on offer from Jetstar and VirginBlue,and juggle between the 2 for the best price.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Ferry vs flying from Melbourne

Definitely fly. There are lots of other beautiful ferry trips you can do in other parts of the world but with Melbourne to Tassie all you see is Bass Strait for most of the trip and you can get some very cheap flights form Melbourne.

Have a lovely trip

Melboune
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5. Re: Ferry vs flying from Melbourne

We went on a return trip on the ferry a while back, and found it quite enjoyable. The trip down Port Phillip Bay and going through the heads is quite interesting, although after that (as already mentioned) there's not a lot to see once you're in Bass Strait (even on a daylight crossing).

The food on board is OK, and on our trips, there was plenty of availability of casual seating in the bar and lounge areas, although this might not be the case at peak times such as Christmas etc. The baggage limits are of course more generous than on the airlines (especially if you take a car with you, coz you can stack it full of anything you like - but presumably this won't apply to you).

The ferry terminal is easily accessed from the Melbourne cbd by the 109 tram which runs the length of Collins St (may be a factor in your cost comparison).

One point to mention - if you're thinking of booking an "Ocean Recliner" for an overnight trip, these are at the back of the ship, and hence get a little vibration from the engine. This didn't seem to be a problem for most of the passengers, but it struck me as odd that these premium seats aren't in a better location.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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6. Re: Ferry vs flying from Melbourne

Thanks for the advice! I ended up booking a shared berth cabin for the trip, as it was only a bit more than the seat ($122), and compared pretty well with the flights. I think if I had planned ahead more, there would have been more cheap flights available, but I think I'll enjoy taking the ferry just as well. Hoping I'll get to Tasmania early enough to head straight for Cradle Mountain on Wednesday morning.

South Pacific
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for Hobart, Tasmania
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7. Re: Ferry vs flying from Melbourne

Eobri, that's pretty cheap when you factor in the saved cost of overnight accommodation, isn't it?

Enjoy your trip,

Luigi

8. Re: Ferry vs flying from Melbourne

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