Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dolphin Cruising at Port Adelaide

~ Port Adelaide is a seaport city, well known for its maritime heritage. Less than a 30 minute drive from Adelaide, the state capital of South Australia, it’s also one of Adelaide’s most popular tourist destinations, with many attractions to offer its visitors – wild dolphins being one of those attractions. 
In fact, the Port River is home to around 30 Bottlenose dolphins, making it one of only two places in the world with permanent dolphin pods.

There are two passenger craft offering dolphin cruises on the Port River, the Port Princess Dolphin Cruise..., and the Port River Dolphin Explorer Cruise... 

While there is no guarantee you will see dolphins on your cruise, it is very rare for them not to make an appearance. Whether they are to be seen or not, there is still plenty to take in and enjoy as the each boat cruises the smooth waters of the Port River: the submarine base; old quarantine station; Torrens Island Power Station; pelicans and mangroves, and of course merchant ships entering or leaving harbour.

Both craft operate every Sunday and Monday public holidays, with dolphin cruises varying between 90 minutes and 2 hours each. The cost for the cruise on both boats is only $4 per person. If you prefer, you can also enjoy the cruise and a meal for just $14 per person. On the Dolphin Explorer children can get a meal and cruise combo for just $12.00.

Either way, the Port Princess Dolphin Cruise..., and the Port River Dolphin Explorer Cruise... are among the cheapest boat cruises I know of, and that makes both of them Compleat Traveller Hidden Gems.

More information including downloadable brochures available from Port Adelaide Visitor Information Centre...
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Updated: May 23, 2017. 
Sad to report that one of the cruise boats mentioned in this post, the Port Princess no longer operates its long-standing schedule of dolphin cruises out of Port Adelaide. Even more distressing is the report that the Port Princess was recently sold to a buyer in another state and that while on its way to its new base it ran into mechanical problems and was eventually swamped and sank at sea.

Thankfully, after they issued a May Day call for assistance, the former owner along with the new owner (as well as two other crew members) were rescued by another vessel that went to their aid.

Below is a screen grab from part of a press report on the sinking. 

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 Below: One of four people rescued off Port Macdonnell after the Port Princess started taking on water. Picture: Simon Cross.

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