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Spirit of Tassie, best way to travel on the ferry?
1:28:02 AM
OK, this is a question for the seasoned traveller of the Spirit.

We've booked our tickets on the ferry, for the seating area, and wonder what the locals do to
ensure a comfy trip (we're doing it budget so the cushy comfort of a cabin just wasn't on the
cards, and besides we'll be camping it for the following 2 weeks).

I've done my bit of travelling on ferries around Europe and played my part in the mad scurry of
people finding their own bit of seclusion; be it under the staircase, behind the ferns, holding a
stake of carpet, or the daring sneak into business class. What's the story with the Spirit?

Should we just go and place ourselves on the provided (what look like) bus seats (which i can
never sleep in), or be more creative as per the above mentioned possibilities? If the latter is the
case, where is best, should we take our inflatable mattresses etc, or is this just not done (what
do the patroling guards say about this)? The trip is 10 hours and I'm not counting on the bar being
able to hold me upright all night.

Cheers, Petter.

1:33:20 AM
up top.. im not sure what level. but that appears to be where all the ppl with mats go. they say at the start of the night that u can't sleep anywhere but after awhile everyone just ignores the staff and crashes out on the couches. but u might cop a bit of crap if u got the mattress and bag out on the carpet so yeh up top whereits not carpet and they have those see thru plastic walls would be the way to go i'd say..
7:10:33 AM
I've had many interesting nights on the Spirit of Tas. I always stay in the dormatories, or Z deck as we call it. I'm not sure how the price compares to a seat but I think it would be worth the extra money for a bed.

7:43:16 AM
Heres an extract from a trip report I never bothered to finish:

"I was fighting hard to maintain my balance, and the inevitability of having to finish the route was enough to make my stomach churn. I didnt like the position I was in, but could see no way to extricate myself. It was going to come down to a battle of wills, would I crack first, or would I successfully 'send' the route?

Twice before I'd been on it in appalling conditions, and twice I had failed. This time I was confident of success. Since nine o'clock I'd witnesses others in the party trying to hold on in vain. I was still going strong. The paper bag lined with plastic remained stowed in my pocket, not clutched over my mouth like the other poor wretches braving the 8 metres swells on the Bass Strait crossing.

Four am is a strange time on a sleepless Spirit of Tasmania Crossing. Whilst walking around trying to find somewhere away from the stench of vomit, one cant help but think that a strange transportation has occurred, transporting you to a parallel universe where the dead have re-animated. Around me are a mass of people, white skinned, wild eyed, groaning, gagging, and walking (those still capable of it) in a lurching crazed manner that makes me think I should consider locking myself in a shopping mall to avoid the orgy of flesh eating inevitably close to erupting.

After managing a broken hour of sleep as the floating hospital lurched up Port Phillip Bay, it was into the car for the drive to the airport to pick up a well rested Johno (who had taken the soft option of flying) and onto the highway for a week at Victoria's rock climbing Mecca, Mt Araplies."

The staff on the ferries are pedantic in stopping you sleeping on the floor in the 'aircraft seating' areas. If you want to stay in that area, the best bet is to sleep behind and underneath the back row of seats, against the wall.

Staff dont seem to mind you sleeping on the couches in the general lounge area, but you have to get in pretty quick to score these.

As stated, the 'beer garden' on the top deck, is deserted late at night, and im pretty sure that would be the best (only) place to take the thermorest and sleeping bag.

When you get on board and look around, check the areas out. Until 10pm, you have the option to upgrade to buisness class seating (for $40), or to a bed in a cabin (for $80).

My 'hot tip' is to send one of the group to inquire about a upgrade to a bed at about 1/4 to 10. More than likely you will be the only person to get an upgrade, and as such will be given a 4 bed room all to yourself (you can suss this out from the upgrade person). After 10:15 you can be pretty confident that no-one else will be upgrading, and can let your buddies in for free kip on a bed.

This of course would be wrong, and I couldnt condone it. Im just pointing out the theoretical possibilities....

Enjoy your stay in Tassie! Feel free to post / send me an email if you need any extra beta.
7:51:36 AM
That sounds like one of my interesting experiences on the Spirit, except we were travelling the opposite direction. One of our crossings the Spirit actually had to stop, put out stabilising arms and point in the direction of the swells. The lower deck swimming pool empties its' contents as did most of the passengers. In these conditions a bed doesn't make much difference.

8:25:35 AM
Yep Robin, flying sure starts looking like a good option, when the weathers bad!

The two new Spirits dont have swiming pools, which is one thing I miss about the old one.

Also, the new ones dont have any dormitary bunkrooms. They do however have two bars, which I think is an improvement over the old one!

Also on the new boats you have to pay for dinner and breakfast, so overall, it doesnt seem quite as good a value.

11:44:20 AM
Having done the Spirit Of Tasmania trip plenty times, I'd strongly recommend spending the money for a bed. That way you can enjoy the trip, and not endure it. And you will be fresh for a big day as soon as you arrive.

Unfortuantely the dormatories that Robin refers to are history.

If you want to save money, then one person can take the car and the rest can fly.

James Mc

11:57:23 AM
Im notorious for getting sea sick, but my plan was to get tanked before leaving the bay and crash in the bed. Mission accomplished woke up refreshed the next morning while my wife suffered a terrible nights sleep claiming the boat was rocking all over the place.

Who needs sea sickness pills when you have beer and bacardi and Coke :)
12:13:45 PM
I've done the cabin and the dorm thing. The cabin is best although you feel like you're stuck in a tiny caravan. The dorms are ood being cheaper but there is usually a stream of drunks staggering in throughout the night.

If they still do the eating times - go as late as you can just to break it up a bit. We watched the movie once, which was a TV and video and time the flashed on TV the whole way through.


1:19:50 PM
Stupid question - but why don't you guys just take ferry during the day? I have done it twice on the new ships and it was a modertaly pleasant experiance. The only grief was keeping our seats at the bar and enduring the 8 hours of some very bad country and western 'live' singer. You arrive with time to check out Hillwood in the late afternoon and you don't suffer any sort of 'jet lag' from a lack of comfortable sleep.
2:58:00 PM
Gee Owen,

Thanks for your, should I say, 'moving' account of that crossing! It congers up decrepit scenes
from the the world of Dickens for me, nothing that I'm specially appreciative of. :-)

Yeah, I got the feeling that a sleeping berth is the way to go as most of you have suggested,
although we are on a student budget. We'll have a good think about that.

As far as taking the daytime voyage, that's only during peak season. But that c'ntry 'n west'n gig
sounded like a good thang to me Neil :-?

The posts brought up something that I didn't think of, should we take sea sickness pills with us,
and are they a sure thing?

Anyway, I'll probably sort out an itinerary and shoot it your way to fill in any gaps, so this won't be
the last of my Tassie Tour posts. Two weeks and counting...


3:14:57 PM
You can get sea sickness patches that you stick behind your ear, they normally work quite well but make you very thirsty...good for a long juant at the bar if you dont get a berth I suppose.
3:22:04 PM
Small lead pellet behind the ear also cures seasickness, without the side effect of thirst. Smith & Wesson make a nifty device for putting it there.
- Steve

3:46:43 PM
Those patches you can put on year ear are very effective but if they fall of and you put them back on you get a double dose, which will make you feel worse than a camel on acid in a Mongolian prison. So if you get them, make sure you put some sports tape over them to secure them. I know cause I am also one of the best ocean racing yachtsmen in the world. And cause I have a PhD in surgery. And mostly cause a chemist told me when I bought some (that part was serious.)

3:53:32 PM
i didn't really feel any of the lurching of the ship in the cabin on the way over but my girlfriend who unfortunately could not secure a spot in a cabin (no spots for females left!) was feeling pretty bad in the TV area..
4:35:52 PM
On 10/11/2004 gfdonc wrote:
>Small lead pellet behind the ear also cures seasickness, without the side
>effect of thirst. Smith & Wesson make a nifty device for putting it there.
>- Steve

Having a sadistic day today? Where did that come from? Classic LOL

There are 16 messages in this topic.


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