Kick start your road test around Tassie on the high seas. All aboard!
The Premier of Tasmania announced in 2003 that a German-built ferry acquired in Greece would be launched early in 2004 to make the journey from Sydney to Devonport.
This news was very welcome on the mainland, as Tasmania is a very popular destination. Acceptance on the island was split some felt they didn't need another ship, others could see the many benefits more visitors would bring.
Within eight hours of opening for bookings, agencies had to hire extra staff to cope. Their website attracted 161,535 hits in just one day and it's expected 103,000 passengers will make the journey in the first year.
It takes 20.5 hours to complete the trip in the 173.7-metre-long ferry, which is capable of speeds up to 26 knots. It can carry 1400 passengers and has 2135 lane metres for vehicles and freight.
There is a choice of cabins doubles, twin or three-to-four berth with four single bunks, with or without porthole. There are hostel-style dormitories in male and female wings.
On board are a restaurant, internal and external bars, coffee shop, information kiosk, gaming area and bar. There is a cinema, reading room, cyber lounge, games rooms and children's playroom.
Buffet dinner and brunch are included in the fare and drinks may be purchased. Meal times are staggered to avoid long waits.
With the exception of peak times, you can take your car on board for no extra cost.
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