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Murray River Paddle Steamer cruises

Embarking on a Murray River cruise is an exceptional experience that promises breathtaking landscapes and cherished moments. To ensure you’re well-prepared for this unforgettable voyage, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions. From cruise durations and on-board amenities to what to pack and local insights, our Murray River FAQs will be your compass as you set sail on this remarkable adventure.

General Murray River FAQs

What activities can I do on the Murray River?

One of the most popular activities on the Murray River is an overnight river cruise. You can do 2, 3, 4 or 7 night cruises on both upper and lower Murray River. There are a variety of other activities that can be enjoyed on the Murray River. These include swimming, fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, camping and bushwalking. There are also many bushwalking trails along the riverbanks to explore. Take a look at some day tours that can be experienced in the South Australian region.

What type of fish can be found in the Murray River? Where can I find the best fishing spots on the Murray River?

Some of the fish species commonly found in the Murray River include Murray Cod, Golden Perch, Silver Perch, Macquarie Perch, Catfish, Trout Cod, Yabbies, Carp and Redfin. The best fishing spots on the Murray River depend largely on the species of fish that you are interested in catching, but some of the top spots in the river system include Lake Mulwala, Tocumwal, Echuca, Yarrawonga and Mildura.

Is swimming safe on the Murray River?

Yes. If you wish to swim in the river please seek advice from one of the deck staff as to the easiest and safest method of doing so.

What wildlife should I be aware of when visiting the Murray River?

Yes, there is a variety of wildlife present on and around the Murray River. These include waterbirds, fish, frogs, turtles, water rats, platypus, bats, snakes, lizards and other small mammals. Some of these creatures can be dangerous, so it is important to exercise caution when venturing near them and always stay within arm’s reach of a designated swim buddy or lifeguard.

How long is the Murray River?

The Murray River is about 2,508 kilometres (1,558 miles) long. It is the longest river in Australia.

Where does the Murray River flow through?

The Murray River flows through the states of New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. Places of note along the river include the small towns of Tooleybuc and Swan Hill in New South Wales, the cities of Echuca and Barmah in Victoria, and the town of Murray Bridge in South Australia. The Murray River also forms the border between the two states of New South Wales and Victoria. Other points of interest along the Murray River include the Grampians National Park, Lake Hume, and the iconic South Australian wine region of the Barossa Valley.

How deep is the Murray River?

The Murray River is 2.5 metres to 21 metres deep depending on the section.

What is the best time to visit the Murray River?

Visiting the Murray River in all seasons is an incredibly memorable experience. In spring, the days are bright and sunny, the trees are beginning to blossom, and the water is crystal clear. Summer brings warm days that are perfect for swimming and fishing or enjoying the deck as you cruise along the river. Autumn brings vibrant colours of foliage with breathtaking sunsets, while winter offers a peaceful atmosphere for walking along the riverbanks. No matter when you visit, the Murray River provides something special to make every season a wonderful experience.

What wildlife can I expect to see along the Murray River?

Yes, there is wildlife in the Murray River. Common species of fish and aquatic life found in the Murray River include Murray cod, golden perch, shrimp, clams, yabbies, and platypus. There are also a variety of birds, reptiles, and amphibians that inhabit the river and its banks.

What is the climate like on the Murray River?

The climate in the areas around the Murray River is temperate. Summers are hot to very hot with average temperatures in the mid-20s Celsius, while winters are cool to cold with average temperatures ranging from about 0-14°C. The Murray River region experiences low to moderate rainfall throughout the year, with an annual average of around 550mm. Rain or shine, waters on the Murray always make for smooth sailing.

How do I access the Murray River?

The best way to experience the beauty of the Murray is to take a relaxing Murray River Cruise. These cruises provide the perfect opportunity to explore the river and its many natural wonders, from abundant wildlife to picturesque landscapes. With cruising options for all budgets, visitors can enjoy an array of activities, including fishing, swimming, visiting historical sites, and more. Due to its tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking views, the Murray River cruise is a great way to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Cruise Specific FAQs

What are the three vessels available to cruise the Murray River?

Proud Mary
Operating two-, five- and seven-night cruises 365 days of the year, departing from and returning to Murray Bridge, just 1 hour and 15 minutes drive from Adelaide, coach transfer from Adelaide are available. The Proud Mary caters for a maximum of only 36 passengers. This boutique product provides the ideal environment for passengers to explore, experience, indulge and discover the Murray River. The well appointed bar, lounge and dining area provide the perfect location for indulging in the culinary delights of the resident chef, while viewing the passing Australian scenery.

The Paddle Steamer Emmylou is one of the most recognisable and iconic paddlesteamers along the Murray River, Echuca. The PS Emmylou is the only wood fired paddlesteamer in the world offering regular overnight cruising. Powered by a beautifully restored 1906 Marshall and Sons steam engine. Fuelled by redgum logs the Emmylou exudes old-world charm whilst offering modern comfort in recently refurbished cabins. On the Emmylou there are just 8 cabins and a maximum of 16 passengers. You can be sure of excellent attention and service from friendly and professional crew. Perfect for a small group that wants to have the boat to themselves. All river journey cruises are fully inclusive of all meals and onshore tours. The Emmylou will soon be replaced by are larger river boat catering for around 40 guests around 2025. 

Murray Princess
The PS Murray Princess is the largest inland paddle wheeler in the southern hemisphere. Built specifically for the Murray River, it has all the character and charm of yesteryear. The vessel has 60 cabins and staterooms, which can accommodate up to 120 passengers. Each features an ensuite and comes with electric blankets, soap, shampoo, hairdryers, towels and daily servicing.
The PS Murray Princess offers three, four and seven-night tours along the iconic river system, each departing from the idyllic town of Mannum, located in the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong region. There are coach transfers available from Adelaide to Mannum.

I have limited mobility, which Murray River cruise is most suitable for me?

The Proud Mary has no lift and all passengers will need to be able to manage a set of steep stairs to access the dining room.

On the PS Emmylou, the main deck access requires no stairs. However, there is a drive shaft that passengers are required to step over to get to the Saloon and Dining area. This is approximately 60 cm high and 40 cm wide. The Main deck has the dining area, bar, one passenger queen bed cabin, with en-suite and access to a shared toilet. Upper deck cabins have en-suites but require access via stairs. Each person will be required to make their way onto the boat via the gangway.

For the cruises on the P.S. Murray Princess you will have access to a lift if you are booking an outside or stateroom cabin. However, if you are booking an inside cabin you will have to manage 10 stairs. The boat has accessibility access and walkways for walkers, wheelchairs and motorised wheelchairs. 

If you require further information please contact us to discuss.

What is the dress code on a cruise?

During the day, sportswear and casual clothes are suggested. We kindly ask that you do not wear bathing suits, singlets or brief attire in public rooms and lounges, especially in the Dining Room. Footwear is requested in both the Dining Room and Lounges. During the evening smart casual wear is recommended – an open neck shirt and slacks for gentlemen and a dress, skirt and blouse or pants outfit for the ladies. At the Captains Dinner on the final night of the Murray Princess and Emmylou cruises, a jacket and tie would not be out of place for gentlemen and a cocktail dress or pants outfit for the ladies. Be sure to bring a sun visor or hat, sunglasses (Polaroid) and good sunblock. Sandals, low-heeled deck shoes and tennis shoes are most suitable on deck and for shore excursions. Pack warmer clothing for our onshore barbeque night and nocturnal cruising/activities etc. It is also advisable to wear comfortable walking shoes for our onshore excursions and whilst on the decks.

Are meals included on a cruise?

All meals are included on Murray River Cruises. Beverages incur an additional cost.

What kind of on-board entertainment is available?

Depending on the cruise you select there may be additional activities. Most cruises will include music at night or sometimes movies are offered. There can be local produce tasting, karaoke, dances or trivia and bingo. WiFi is usually available along the river. A book or cards are a great addition to your onboard entertainment. 

How do I book a cruise?

You can book all our cruises through our website, Murray River Cruises. Alternatively, our knowledgeable and friendly customer service team will make booking a cruise an easy and seamless experience. Call 1800 994 620 now to organise your cruise.

Is there an age limit for cruises?

The passenger warrants that they are physically fit and capable of undertaking the cruise. Guests must notify in writing at the time of booking of any physical or mental illness, disability or other conditions for which special accommodations are required.  The vessel does not carry a medical doctor aboard. Acute medical conditions will require you to disembark to be attended to by shore-side emergency and/or medical response.

What do I need to bring on a cruise?

Be sure to bring a sun visor or hat, sunglasses and good sunblock. Pack comfortable clothing and swimwear as well as a lightweight raincoat and waterproof shoes. You will also require insect repellent. Don’t forget your personal toiletries and medications and of course your camera and any chargers you may need.

Is there a Doctor onboard

The ship’s crews do not include a doctor, however the ship’s Officers are trained in First Aid. There is no pharmacy onboard. Please ensure you bring adequate prescription medicines you may require. Acute medical conditions will require you to disembark to be attended to by shore-side emergency and/or medical response.

The nearest Medical Centre and/or Pharmacy is located at Mannum or Echuca. There are no public transport facilities available, transport is only available via taxicab.

Are my valuables safe?

For your convenience valuables may be lodged with the Captain for safe keeping in the Captain’s safe. The company accepts no liability.

Is there electricity available on the boat?

The ship’s electricity is AC 240 volts 50 cycle (standard electrical power used in Australia). Hairdryers are provided on the cruises, however you are welcome to bring your own shavers and hair dryers if you wish.

How much luggage can I bring?

Baggage is limited to what you can stow in your cabins, so you would be advised not to over pack. All bags must be clearly labelled with your name. Bags have to be handled by crew and we would appreciate a weight limit of 15 kg.

We have a special occasion to celebrate. What can you do for us?

You are welcome to order a cake, champagne or make some other celebratory arrangement for that special occasion. Please give four weeks notice before sailing.

What do we do with special requests or dietary requirements?

Once we leave the wharf these ships cannot obtain additional supplies or medicines. Special requests or dietary requirements must be advised to your booking agent as early as possible. Upon boarding please consult with your Cruise Director. Please also ensure you bring any prescription medication you may need.

Do I need to bring anything at check in?

The following information is required at check-in: 
– Photo identification for each passenger (drivers licence or passport) 
– Your cruise confirmation number (located on your e-ticket) 
– Your credit card (as security against your onboard Cabin account)

Can cruises be changed/cancelled?

Some cruises can be changed or cancelled, depending on the booking type, how long before departure cancellation or amendment is required, please read the booking terms and conditions prior to making a booking. Please note that special offers, event cruises or group bookings may have variations on booking terms and conditions that apply to the individual booking. 
Be aware that some confirmed bookings are not refundable if cancelled, and also may not be transferable to another date or otherwise changed. Alternatively, a change may only be permissible subject to payment of an additional fee or charge. Your entitlement to a refund for cancelled bookings is subject to the relevant Supplier’s terms and conditions. Please note that if we are entitled to a service fee for placing a booking, we will remain entitled to this fee if you cancel the booking or the Supplier fails to provide you with the Product for any reason (other than our default), including in an event of Force Majeure. We will be entitled to deduct our service fee from any refund we receive on your behalf before remitting the balance to you. Suppliers’ fees are outlined in their relevant terms and conditions.

Have more questions about your specific cruise? Please find more FAQs for each vessel/cruise here:

Murray Princess
Proud Mary