A dinner cruise aboard Captain Fell’s Historic Ferries is great value. In fact, Peter Fell himself reckons it’s the best value on the river. And really, where else could you take your family for a hot, three-course meal for $115-00? That price includes free wine, coffee and cake, and over two hours of cruising on the Derwent River in Hobart.
Join Us For a Dinner Cruise? Why Yes!
So we agreed from the outset with Captain Fell that the price of his dinner cruise was very reasonable. But would it be a good Tassie experience? You know, there’s only one way to find out for certain. So when staff member Karlien made contact with Think Tasmania, we accepted an invitation to climb aboard and test the waters. This article is a result of our first-hand experience.
We met with the good captain at 5:30pm at his jetty on Franklin Wharf in Hobart before our 6:00pm dinner cruise departure time. We ordered our meals, which were to be cooked fresh aboard the boat when we set sail, and had a casual chat.
Captain Fell Loves His Historic Ferries
Peter has a real passion for the historic ferries. He is a true Aussie battler, and has faced real adversity in his tourism business of late… not an uncommon tale. But rather than shrink from a challenge, Peter seems determined to improve his product range and service delivery to suit emerging market trends.
We climbed aboard the vintage Emmalisa at the scheduled time with the other passengers, everyone buoyed with enthusiasm. While Captain Fell took to the wheel house, the chef went to the galley and we were left in the capable hands of our dinner cruise host. With a glass of wine to start with, the on-board commentary began… all about the history of Battery Point and the Hobart wharf.
In no time at all, we were served with a delicious and steaming hot bowl of chicken soup. With real chicken in it. One of the juniors declared it the best soup he’d ever eaten! Soon followed our main meal, and as this was a test case for an article, we ordered a variety of mains. Rump steak, chicken schnitzel, lamb cutlets and crumbed fish; all served with Tasmanian potatoes and a garden salad.
All hot, and all with accompanying sauces. And all delicious! There wasn’t a single bite left, and we’re talking very generous serves. Peter supports other locals in the area, and buys all his meat fresh from the Salamanca Fruit Market in Hobart.
The bowl of ice-cream to finish the meal was also massive, and we had a choice of chocolate or strawberry topping. If that wasn’t enough, there was also fruit cake to have with tea and coffee. And while you can help yourself to wine for free, there’s also a bar selling beers and mixed drinks.
Now you might think we actually just sat at the wharf eating and drinking; but what would a dinner cruise be without an actual tour around the Hobart harbour? Of course we did that too, and what a bonus! It was lovely, and very relaxing. The day had been quite windy and the water seemed choppy, but the historic ferry handled the conditions really well and we had a smooth ride.
You get such a different perspective from the water, and as we cruised past some of Hobart’s landmark features, I couldn’t help but take way too many photos. But as you may know, that’s my indicator of a good time! You will travel past the Tasman Bridge (where we saw a dolphin leap from the water) Government House and a myriad boats and ships in the docks, all from a new angle.
All too soon, the dinner cruise came to an end and we returned to Franklin Wharf. Other passengers leaving the historic ferry posed for photographs with the captain, and all left with big smiles. This is definitely a great thing to do with a group, but since our visit we’ve sent other customers along (a couple) and checked their opinion. It was the same as ours! They had a fabulous steak meal and really enjoyed the perspective of Hobart from the Derwent River.
Captain Fell’s Historic Ferries and Tours
So everyone has given the dinner cruise a definite thumbs up. For a value-for-money meal with a bonus cruise, you can’t go wrong! The company does offer other services, including tours on the Lady Jane (a “party boat” for group functions) and tours on a double-decker bus of Hobart and surrounds. We wouldn’t hesitate joining Captain Fell and his friendly staff another time.
Think Tasmania toured and dined as guests of Captain Fell and his crew.
For more information, phone 03 6223 5893 or see Captain Fell’s Historic Ferries website. The writer and her family were guests of Captain Fell for the Saturday evening dinner cruise.
16 December 2013 ~ If you’ve stumbled across this old article looking for a dinner cruise in Hobart, you should know the Captain Fell’s Historic Ferries business is now under new ownership.
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