When winter comes around it’s time to break out the mince pies, puddings and sweet treats. For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, that transforms into Christmas in July, snuggled up in the warm cosy lounges of Murray Princess with a mulled wine and great company.
Step aboard the Murray Princess and you step aboard the grand old lady of the river and into a bygone era. A fundamental part of Australia’s heritage was founded in the proud tradition of the paddle steamers on Australia’s greatest river. Equal to any trade route in the world, the Murray was the lifeblood of the pioneers who lived in the driest continent on Earth. Along the way we will cruise past majestic Red Gums forests, stark Box Tree flats and massive white sand bars forming island retreats.
Welcome to our 6-day tour to celebrate Christmas in July on the fabulous Murray Princess. Today we arrive in Adelaide from our flight. We are met by our friendly coach captain and visit the Adelaide Oval for a behind the scenes tour, to see the inner workings of this iconic ground. On completion of our tour we check into our hotel for the night and meet again for our welcome dinner, where we can get to know new found friends.
Meals (D) Overnight Mercure Grosvenor Hotel
A perfect way to warm up for Christmas is a visit to the Barossa Valley Vineyards. First stop is Seppeltsfield Wines where we meet our guide who will tell of the fascinating history of the early pioneering spirit of the Seppelt family and their profound influence on the Australian wine industry. This visit is topped off with a tasting. We now drive to the histrric village of Tanunda and take a stroll along the pathwaysand purchase lunch, if you wish. Our final visit in the valley today is another icon – Jacobs Creek. Way back in 1847, a young Bavarian immigrant by the name of Johann Gramp planted the Barossa Valley’s first commercial vineyard on the banks of Jacobs Creek. Today, Johann’s original cellar is still standing at the site.
Meals (B, D) Overnight Mercure Grosvenor Hotel
Following breakfast, we make our way up to Mount Lofty where we can take in the views of Adelaide and the coastline. From here its not far to the small Adelaide Hills town of Hahndorf. Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement, Hahndorf is a superb “flashback” to the nineteenth century with its shops, eating houses and attractions housed in authentic surroundings. First we take a sightseeing drive around town, then we can have time at leisure to look through the shops and purchase lunch if you wish. Early-afternoon we make our way and board the Murray Princess. Our cruise gets underway as we depart Mannum and cruise under floodlight to our overnight mooring at Mundurra, you may see nocturnal wildlife on the riverbank. Watch for kangaroos, hairy-nosed wombats, tortoises, egrets and many other species. Our on-board entertainer provides music for the night owls.
Meals (B, D) Overnight Murray Princess Outside Cabin
In 1879 the first bridge to span the Murray River was built at Edwards Crossing, which quickly became the bustling township of Murray Bridge. After a hearty breakfast, choose to join a guided tour of Murray Bridge’s historic landmarks and local attractions or go on a wildlife tour at Monarto Zoo (additional cost). Back in time for lunch as the dining room is transformed for the special Christmas in Winter themed lunch with all the Christmas trimmings. This afternoon we continuing cruising upriver to our overnight mooring at Salt Bush Flat; you will have the opportunity to inspect the wheelhouse with the Captain. After dinner, enjoy being entertained by our talented crew.
Meals (B, L, D) Overnight Murray Princess
All ashore for the guided nature walk where our guide will share the secrets of the local flora and fauna. It’s a great way to get in a little exercise before the PS Murray Princess departs for the big river gorges and 90 metre cliffs of the upper river. Mid-morning, join us in the Sturt Dining Room for a special presentation on the bounty of food and wine produced in the riverlands. Just after Fromms Landing, we turn and head downriver to River View Lodge (near Piggy Flat / Coolcha) where our discovery vessel awaits for a wildlife tour. Travelling in small, personalised groups, we explore the maze of the river and the birdlife is amazing. Watch for darters, herons and egrets feeding along the river’s muddy edges. Later afternoon we join the Captain and Officers for pre-dinner drinks and the spectacular Farewell Captain’s Buffet. Dress up and dance, if you wish.
Meals (B, L, D) Overnight Murray Princess
The PS Murray Princess arrives back into Mannum just after breakfast and we reluctantly say farewell. From Mannum we are transferred to the Adelaide airport or our flights home after a wonderful Christmas in July holiday on the Murray River.
PS Murray Princess 3 Night Cruise
Outside Gold Class Cabin with River Views
Return Flights Ex BNE, SYD, MEL
All Accommodation & Meals as per Itinerary
Christmas Themed Lunch
*Double/Twin Share, Single ADD $495