Will added ferry luxury lure more nomads to Tassie?

Published: August 7, 2015

It may be a bit too chilly for most grey nomads to be thinking about sailing to Tassie, but the government there is hopeful that the revamped Spirit of Tasmania ferries will soon be luring more of them across the Bass Strait.

It is confident that the $31 million refurbishment of the two ferries and a more comprehensive sailing schedule – which includes an additional 33 day sailings for 2015/16 – will lead to increased reservations.

The Spirit of Tasmania I was officially unveiled this week, and work to improve Spirit of Tasmania II should be completed later this month.

While many grey nomads are more concerned about the high cost of taking a big rig across than the luxuries available on board, TT Line – which operates the Spirit of Tasmania vessels – said the feedback it had received has been ‘unbelievably positive’.

The upgrade of Spirit I includes a revamped lounge and deck area, a new self-service restaurant, and three new bars. The ferries will also have new cinemas, a refurbished recliner lounge, fully refurbished deluxe cabins, and new soft furnishings in all other cabins.

“We are confident that our passenger numbers will increase further following the commencement of the service by both refurbished vessels,” Spirit of Tasmania chairman, Mike Grainger, told 9 News. “We are particularly pleased that day sailing forward bookings have more than doubled compared to the same time last year.”

* Is Tasmania on your ‘to do’ list in the next 12 months or so? Comment below

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Sandra Bridge
7 years ago

we don’t need the luxuries after all we are only on the ship overnight, it’s the cost,

Rob Dalton
7 years ago

It’s the cost and lack of free range camping sites on arrival. And the limits placed on numbers of oensioner discounts. I agree that for just a night we don’t need extra comfort and palatial surrounds. (I’m a former Tasmanaian now living in Cairns who wants to go back regularly)

Edward fleming
7 years ago

Hopefully heading early next year for a three month tour. Cost is an issue because we are taking our 23ft rig but we can’t wait. I think the new spirit looks great but the old spirit that I travelled on many times without the rig was a good trip as well

7 years ago

The cost is the main concern, who needs luxury on an overnight trip. Considering the arrival time, more though needs to be put into an easily accessible, level area where vans & motorhomes can park for the first night.

John Christopher
7 years ago

They’ve managed to miss (or deliberately ignore) the point. There are three issues here: price,cost, and affordability. They clearly feel that grey nomads are outside their core customer base. That’s fine. Australia is a big place, and Tassie was only one small part of it. Missing out will not be a big deal for most grey nomads – including us.

7 years ago

Would love to go to Tasmanian but the cost of taking a 20 ft van and 4wheel drive is just to much

David Francis
7 years ago

Whilst I agree with others that the old Spirit was certainly more than acceptable for a grey nomad & average people overnighter I don’t think the revamps are being done to attract more of us budget style travellers but potentially more additional affluent spenders most of whom will bring their own/hire vehicle but not necessarily a c/van/campervan/m/home etc. for their accommodation needs.

Stephen Gorin
7 years ago

We have taken advantage of the cheaper fairs to travel back over to tassie next week, and while $1300 for 12 Mtrs of space for 4×4 +pop top caravan is just managable. The full pice is just too dear for us ( $2300 ) . That amount of money does go along way into traveling up north.
It’s a shame that the tassie government don’t have a fixed price all year round and not the sliding scale that is now place.

7 years ago

To take our motor home & car across it’s $2998 with a cabin, that does not include food & drinks and they wonder why it’s not used by grey nomads, add to that the lack of free camps(the van parks are getting them all closed)

7 years ago

A “refurbishment” won’t make any difference to me ….. It’s purely an economic thing …. I can travel 6,000 km on the mainland (petrol) for the amount it costs for basic two way sail. Then, it’s damn hard to find a time for each trip that matches our timeframe. The on-line booking service seems to argue with itself …. advises departure time is available until you try to book ????

7 years ago

Its all about cost….Its only over night

The Traveller
7 years ago

I’m not sure businesses & the Government in Tasmania realise how much money they miss out on each year because they have forced themselves out of the Caravan/Motorhome travelling market. Whilst people will still travel there, just do your sums as to how much spending money is floating around the Australian roads each day & Tasmania gets a very small portion of it.

7 years ago

We heard about the millions to be spent on re furbishment when we travelled to Tas. last Nov. for a 3 month stay, returning on the 28th Feb. During that stay we asked several mainland travellers & Tasmanians what they thought about the the plans & without exception the answer was “WHY”.
I actually emailed an executive of the company in Feb. (name escapes me), asking the question & suggesting that better loading/parking facilities particularly at the Port Melb. end, & more realistic/affordable meal prices would probably be more beneficial in luring passengers.
Still waiting for the curtesy of a reply or even acknowledgement of the email.
Must have been lost in “cyberspace” ????????
Cheers Sundy

7 years ago

I have just booked our 12m rig, 2 pensioner fares and a cabin – $1792 return. This is exactly double the price of our first trip,10 years ago.
Cost and value for money are the major factors for most travelling pensioners, not the furnishings!
Big mistake Mr Hodgeman.


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