No two Tasmania expedition cruises are the same. The time of departure and return are guaranteed—the rest is an adventure! Each expedition is uniquely crafted by experienced captains and expedition leaders, allowing the crew to quickly respond to favorable weather conditions and offer guests the very best of Tasmania’s flora, fauna and wild coastline. Below is a selection of the key destinations visited.
D’Entrecasteaux Channel & Bruny Island
Cruise south down the scenic D’Entrecasteaux Channel and along the rugged southern coast of Bruny Island. Hear commentary on the history and geology of the area while passing Bruny Island Lighthouse, and the impressive rock formations “The Friars”’ and “the Monument.” At Adventure Bay, a hike to Fluted Cape Lookout provides views over the crystal blue waters and by Xplorer tender.
The Fluted Cape walk on Bruny Island is a moderate-to-hard walk that stays close to the coastal cliffs, providing spectacular views of Fluted Cape and the distant Tasman Peninsula. Bruny Island showcases rich history, magnificent scenery and abundant wildlife. Guests are able to do shorter sections of the walk.
Fortescue Bay & Bangor Vineyard Shed
Choose your adventure. Stretch the legs on a variety of walk options via a half-hour bus ride to picturesque Fortescue Bay. Choose between shorter sections of the Tasman Trail, or a longer trail to Cape Hauy, part of the legendary Three Capes Trek. For a more relaxed morning, join the tour to Pirates Bay/Eaglehawk Neck, to observe the natural geological formations—the Tessellated Pavement, Tasman’s Arch and the Devils Kitchen, with a quick stop at the delightful Port Arthur Lavender Farm.
Later, take a coach to picturesque Bangor Vineyard Shed for a special event. Host/Owner Matt Dunbabin is seventh generation of the Dunbabin family in Tasmania and descendant of John Dunbabin, who arrived in Tasmania as a convict in 1830. The property has a fascinating history: here the Dutch flag was hoisted by Abel Tasman’s carpenter in 1642, and the first contact between Aborigines and Europeans occurred in 1772. Bangor has been a farm since the 1830s, when it supplied food to the penal settlement at Port Arthur.
Cape Hauy (part of the Three Capes Walk) is a medium-to-hard walk through an extraordinary landscape. Experience views of Fortescue Bay from Mt Fortescue and the dolerite columns at the tip of Cape Hauy.
Port Arthur & Tasman Peninsula
One of Australia’s most significant historic places, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Port Arthur ruins stand sentinel on the Tasman Peninsula. For more than 40 years the Port Arthur penal colony housed British and Australian convicts sentenced to hard labor before its heavy iron doors clanked shut for the last time in 1877. Join an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour with Port Arthur’s knowledgeable guides, which includes access to private collections and historic buildings not otherwise accessible.
Later, enjoy a scenic cruise of the Tasman Passage to see the spectacular dolerite formations of Tasman Island and Cape Pillar. If conditions permit, a scenic cruise by Xplorer enables views of the fascinating geology of this coastline, up close.
Known as Noah’s Ark for native Tasmanian species, Maria Island National Park provides an ideal sanctuary and is one of the best places in Australia to observe endemic birdlife as well as wombats, Cape Barren geese, Forester Kangaroos, Bennett’s Wallabies and pademelons.
Dedicate 2 days to the island, exploring with hikes including the Fossil Cliffs walk, Painted Cliffs walk, Reservoir Circuit, and the challenging Bishop and Clerk track to the summit. Those enjoying a more relaxed pace can take the time to explore Darlington Settlement, or take an Xplorer cruise to the Painted Cliffs. After departing Maria Island, cruise past Ile des Phoques to watch the Australian fur seals hauling out.
Bishop and Clerk is a challenging walk located in the Maria Island National Park. Pass through diverse landscapes of grasslands and forest, to emerge overlooking a dramatic and sweeping view of the Southern Ocean.
Freycinet Peninsula & Schouten Island
The Freycinet Peninsula is dominated by the pink-hued granite Hazards Mountain range and known for picturesque sweeping bays and white sand beaches. Take a guided hike along the Isthmus Track and be rewarded with magnificent views from the lookout or swim in the azure waters of beautiful Wineglass Bay. Conditions permitting, also explore the less accessible southern section of Freycinet National Park, including Bryans Beach and Schouten Island.
The spectacular peninsula of Freycinet is crafted from pink granite peaks—the Hazard mountains—surrounded by azure bays and backed by dry eucalyptus forest. Enjoy a hike to the Wineglass Bay Lookout and join a beachcomber’s walk along breathtaking Wineglass Bay beach. Later, walk across the isthmus to Hazard’s Beach.
Flinders Island – Bass Strait
Spend two days exploring wild and rugged Flinders Island, part of the Bass Strait’s Furneaux Group. On the first day, explore the southern half of the island, marveling at the Strzelecki Mountain Range from the Trousers Point Great Short Walk, or visiting the quaint townships of Lady Barron and Whitemark.
Explore farther north to Settlement Point. Choose to hike a section of the Castle Rock walk, or visit the Furneaux Museum and Wybalenna Aboriginal Settlement ruins to gain insight into the people, places and events that shaped Flinders Island. In the afternoon, relax on board or enjoy scenic Xplorer cruises if conditions permit.
Deal Island & Kent Group – Bass Strait
Go ashore at Deal Island, in the Kent Group, if conditions permit. Tasmania’s northernmost National Park and a marine protected area, the islands are the remains of a land bridge that once connected Tasmania with mainland Australia. The waters are crystal clear, with a high diversity of fish species.
Landing at East Cove, spend the day exploring all this island has to offer. Visit the historic lighthouse, built in 1848, and have a chat with the lighthouse caretakers. Enjoy one of the peaceful walks available, kayak in the clear waters, or simply relax on the beach and experience the serenity of this remote place.
Hogan Group & Curtis Group – Bass Strait
Conditions permitting, the ship will cruise north to the rarely seen Hogan and Curtis Island groups. Landing on these remote islands is not permitted due to their protected status; however, enjoy scenic cruises to observe wildlife if weather permits.
Curtis Island is a nature reserve and has been identified as an Important Bird Area, as it supports up to 390,000 breeding birds of short-tailed shearwaters. During the Pleistocene Period, the Hogan Group was part of a land bridge that connected Tasmania to mainland Australia and was among the first islands to become isolated by rising sea levels.
King Island – Bass Strait
King Island is renowned for the quality and exquisite flavors of its local produce. Situated at the western entrance to the Bass Strait, King Island’s rugged coastline has been the site of over 60 known shipwrecks.
Spend 2 extraordinary days exploring the island and learning about the colorful history of the communities and the present-day industries from knowledgeable local guides. Indulge in tastings of the King Island Dairy’s delicious cheeses and a variety of delicious local produce. Spend afternoons relaxing on board as the adventure through Tasmania’s Bass Strait Islands comes to an end.