Cruises on the Murray River in southern Australia are available along much of the river. Some packages include travel on the Darling River near Wentworth, South Wales, which is where the two rivers form a confluence.
You’ll find day and evening cruises on the Murray as well as multiple-day cruises. Or, if you prefer something a little out of the ordinary, you can even rent a houseboat.
Captain Cook and Proud Mary offer overnight cruises on the Murray. There are 3-night, 4-night and 7-night packages that travel round-trip from Mannum, which is about 50 miles east of Adelaide.
Riverboats that travel on the western part of the river vary in size. For example, The Murray Princess carries up to 120 passengers, while the Proud Mary can only accommodate up to 36 passengers.
Bow of the Murray Princess at Mannum
By Scott Davis [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)] via Wikimedia Commons
Murray River Run is another company that offers overnight cruises; however, there are no staterooms or cabins on their river boats. Instead you will cruise the river by day, and stay in a hotel or motel near the river for the evening. Their itineraries are from Mildura to Goolwa, Renmark or Echuca, from Albury to Echuca and from Wellington to Border Cliffs.
The Murray River begins in the Australian Alps in New South Wales. It stretches for 1,558 miles and is the longest river in Australia. Flowing from the east, the Murray forms a border between Victoria and New South Wales but does not actually enter the state of Victoria. As it continues to move westward, it enters South Australia where it eventually reaches its mouth at the Southern Ocean (or the southeastern Indian Ocean) at Goolwa.
Murray River Mouth from Hindmarsh Island
By Hullwarren (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Darling River also begins in New South Wales. It flows for 915 miles and is the third longest river in Australia. In the city of Wentworth, South Wales, the Murray and Darling Rivers form a confluence.
Cruises that depart from Mannum may travel to the north or travel both north and south on the Murray River. Itineraries are generally round trip from Mannum, and the length of your trip will determine which direction you will travel.
On a 3-day cruise from Mannum, you will travel southward to Murray Bridge and as far north as Fromm’s Landing.
Murray River at Murray Bridge, South Australia
By Mattinbgn (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
If you take a 4-day cruise, you’ll travel to the north from Mannum to Blanchetown.
And if you choose the 7-day cruise, it will be a combination of the two shorter cruises taking you north and south from Mannum.
Before and after your cruise, you’ll spend at least one day in Adelaide. The city is located 50 miles west of Mannum, so transportation to and from your riverboat will be by motor coach.
River Torrens in Adelaide, South Australia
I, Kevin1243 [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Other cruises are available that travel as far west on the Murray River as Albury, which is about 533 miles east of Adelaide. Murray River Run offers 6-day cruises from Albury traveling west to Echuca. The company also has 8-day cruises from Echuca to Mildura. The cities of Mildura and Albury are located in New South Wales, and Echuca is located in Victoria.
The PS Melbourne Riverboat Docked in Mildura, Victoria
Photograph by Longhair [CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons
Murray River Run has a couple of other packages – an 8-day cruise from Goolwa to Mildura and a 4-day cruise from Renmark to Mildura. If you take a Murray River cruise with this company, overnight accommodations will be in a hotel rather than on the riverboat. You will travel the river by day and spend your evenings on land.
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Lauri Wakefield is a travel writer who specializes in river cruises in Europe and the U.S. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+.
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