The Spirit of Tasmania only does overnight sailings during the winter months, but you still get a spectacular view of Melbourne’s city lights as you depart.
Boarding Spirit of Tasmania was smooth and painless; we drove aboard, parked in the non-descript car park and were in our tiny cabin within 15 minutes. The cabins were small; neutrally coloured, comprised four bunk beds, and a tiny bathroom which contained a toilet and a miniscule shower. We were told we were only able to bring a small carry-on bag each into our cabin and it is clear as to why.
After dropping our bags in our room we headed up to Bar 7 for a glass of Shiraz (the kids had fruit juice). We found a table that was perfectly poised to watch the sunset and the bright lights of Melbourne drift away over the horizon as we left the port. Once it was pitch black outside it was time for a bistro style dinner at TMK (The Market Kitchen), the ferry’s on board restaurant. We retired to our cabin after that as we had a long day ahead of us the next day starting at 5.45am and we wanted to get the kids into bed.
The captain warned us that once we passed the Melbourne heads at about 9pm we would have some rough sailing conditions due to strong winds. Little did I know how rough as I lay on the top bunk I was trying not to vomit as the bed tilted roughly backwards and forwards length ways. Going to the bathroom was a mission in itself as I stumbled toward the tiny en-suite like a drunk, crashing into the bunks as I went. Unable to sleep I lay there listening to the creaking sounds as the life rafts outside swayed heavily on their ropes. The good news was that the rough weather soon gave way to a gentler rocking helping me drift off into a peaceful slumber.
At 5.45am we were woken by a firm but friendly voice telling us that it was time to get up and prepare for disembarking at 6.30am. We were called back to our cars by deck number, once we reached our car it was only a few minutes before the doors opened and we were able to drive off the ferry into the cold Devonport fog.
The Spirit of Tasmania is a great way to travel, the on boarding and disembarking process was easy and efficient, I would highly recommend it.