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Murray River River Cruises and Tours
Murray River Cruises
Cruising the Murray River is one of the most amazing and surprising experiences you'll have.
The Murray is much more than a river, it is quintessentially Australian experience. Within a relatively short distance from Adelaide and Melbourne you can experience jaw-dropping beauty, diverse history and luxury all surrounded by a sense of peace that has to be experienced to understand.
As the Murray carves its way through our sun-burnt and contrasting landscape you'll discover a new part of the world that's not overrun with tourists and will allow you time to reconnect with yourself, family and friends.
Photos: Murray River Photos
Enjoy a Proud Mary Cruise
Join the intimate cruising vessel, the Proud Mary to discover the Murray River's eco-system at its best. Only a 45 minute drive from Adelaide the vessel embarks and disembarks guests from Murray Bridge, where garaging is available for those wishing not to transfer via our luxury Expedition coach. Our cruises operate 365 days a year and include all meals, prepared exclusively by our resident chefs, private river view en-suite accommodation and daily nature based shore excursions.
Offering both 5 night and 2 night cruise, the Proud Mary gives you an excellent opportunity to see the river environment in a different perspective and may allow you to view some of the nocturnal wildlife, especially birds such as pelicans, night herons, owls and coots. Our experienced and friendly staff will ensure all your personal needs are attended to every step of the journey, so sit back, relax and experience the beautiful Murray River at its best aboard the Proud Mary cruising vessel.
Cruises on Australia's Murray River
The Murray River and its surroundings are normally overlooked as a significant cruising region of international appeal but many visitors are now discovering the Murray River is a wonderfully natural and great place enjoy. A slow river that easily touches your soul and satisfies the inner spirit.
Spud Hilton, San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writer recently stated "The Murray is the ultimate lazy river, a 100-million-year-old ribbon that winds 1,470 miles through South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, passing farms, Aboriginal homelands, red gum forests, holiday cottages, arid scrub and towering ochre-colored limestone cliffs festooned with snow-white cockatoos."
Mornings you'll find mirror-perfect water, not yet disturbed by by a sole. As the mist gently rises over the water, golden sunrays pierce the huge river red gums and pelicans silently look for fish as they'd done the night before. You should encounter incredible wildlife including kangaroos, emus, koalas, goannas, kookaburras and much more. You'll find other early risers will enjoy the serenity with you but there's plenty of quiet spots to be with yourself and a nice cup of tea or coffee.
Traffic along the river is fairly minimal. You'll find milk boats, fishing craft, some ferries in South Australia, occasional small paddleboats and a diverse amarda of houseboats (Murray River is the houseboating capital of Australia). The Murray is used for by watersports enthusiasts with ski boats and canoes and kayaks.
Part of the rich history of Australia is it's Murray-Darling paddle steamers. The Murray River was used by more than a hundred paddle steamers and barges during the heydays to the late 1800's to deliver supplies to settlements upstream and returned loaded with wool and wheat. When the railroads opened up the territory by 1890, the paddle steamers ceased as a popular mode of transportation. Nowadays a few remain for leisure cruising on the Murray yet Australia still has the largest range of active paddle steamers in the world.
Naturally on each cruise you'll receive a mixture of information on river history, folklore, environmental information, free time to chat, relax and much more. Some longer cruises allow you the opportunity to get off the boat and experience Aboriginal culture, shearing exhibitions and other tours to learn, engage and explore the local region. You can enjoy local walks at some of the historic towns or cliff top climbs.
Back on board while the rugged and beautiful world of the Murray River landscapes slowly pass you by, you'll stay in comfortable and clean cabins on overnight accommodation for the longer cruises. Most cruises offer meal and food options. Short river cruises may offer you light snacks or cafeteria style food, while the longer overnight cruises offer great dining with food that is professionally prepared (and yes you can even experience Vegemite if you want one of Australia's great challenges).
One of the greatest things you'll take away from your Murray River cruise is an appreciation of the Murray's abundant beauty and intrinsic value to Australia's culture and meaning. Aboriginal occupation of the region in some parts dates back over 40,000 years. There are opportunities for guided indigenous walks, where guides talk and showcase the importance of the land and their relationship with the river. You'll enjoy the dreamtime story as different Aboriginal tribes and clans offer their stories of the land and river. The stories connect you to their ancient culture and give you a deep insight to the need to protect Australia's most important river.
Still not sure you're going to have a great time?
As you sit back and absorb one of the world's most incredible and diverse river systems you can watch the captain slowly guide the boat around the myriad of river bends. Each bend unfolds a new view, new landscape and new secret that will keep you guessing and wondering. But the biggest question you may have is "will the captain let me drive?" now that would top off your Murray River "no worries" cruising experience!
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