Indulge your senses and stay in style aboard the superb Proud Mary riverboat. Breathtaking beauty abounds whilst cruising along Australia's longest single river.
Embark upon our longer 5 night Murray River indulgence cruise, aboard the intimate cruising vessel, the Proud Mary. Departing every Sunday evening, get ready to indulge your senses as we cast off to explore the Murray River's eco-system at its finest.
The 5 night indulgence cruise includes all meals. Let our brilliant chefs delight your senses with modern Australian and European cuisine made from the highest quality seasonal produce.
Abundant wildlife and magnificent scenery will be seen throughout your entire stay aboard. River Gums and Willows line the banks of this famous river and provide a perfect safe haven for birds and wildlife. Take in the towering cliffs and beautiful sandy beaches as the Proud Mary idly cruises by. At night, the Proud Mary's powerful floodlights provide a rare glimpse of nocturnal wildlife, especially birds such as night herons, owls and coots.
Lagoon cruises, on shore guided walks, apricot farm + motor museum tour, an Australian themed bush barbeque with live entertainment and the Captain's Dinner make up some of the highlights of this extravagant 5 night indulgence cruise (more details on cruise highlights below).
For when you choose to retire to the private contemporary ensuite accommodation provided, all cabins onboard feature stunning river views so you can stay immersed in the beauty of nature.
5 night indulgence cruise highlights include:
A journey aboard a small boat to cruise the River’s secluded lagoons and inlets, here you will view some of the 320 species of birdlife in this region and discover the intricacies of the ancient cliff face.
Revolution Motor Museum Tour
Revolution Motor Museum features a Performance Car Museum with a range of American Muscle Cars, Bikes and Stationery Engines on display – Not only perfect for car enthusiasts but history buffs alike with South Australia's first ever taxi on display!
Discover how this state of the art almond farm uses water-recycling technology to limit its direct impact on the river system and help secure the diverse ecosystem of the river.
Aussie Apricots is a 3rd generation family run orchard. They grow, hand pick & cut the fruit by hand & machine. When the apricots are required they are washed & hand process the made into confectionary, jams & chutneys.
Australian themed bush barbeque
As dusk falls, enjoy an evening around a blazing campfire. A delicious bush barbeque is prepared using local produce, including billy tea and damper, along with evening entertainment under the stars on the golden sands of the river bank.
Night cruising is a feature of all Proud Mary cruises. The Proud Mary’s powerful flood lights illuminate the graceful willows and dark waters as you cruise.
Here you’ll discover the importance of flood plains to the river system. You will also see some of the last remaining evidence of ancient Aboriginal civilization, a huge canoe tree bearing the scar where bark was taken to make a canoe. Learn about Moorundie Creek, named after the Aboriginal tribe that lived here. In native dialect ‘moorundie’ means sand or sandy and is the site where the history of the area began in 1840, when explorer Edward John Eyre established a village named Sturt after the famous explorer navigator.
Explore ancient archaeological sites
Visit the site of ancient aboriginal rock art where your local indigenous guide will explain their meaning and significance. Ngaut Ngaut was a major meeting place for the tribes of the area and you’ll see where they prepared and cooked food at a ceremonial site that dates back thousands of years. The view from the top of the cliffs is astonishing with vistas that stretch for miles in every direction.
After your Australian themed bush barbeque, enjoy live music from Proud Mary’s entertainer around a blazing campfire. Request a song and sing along as the music plays into the night.
A five-course menu of choice featuring mouth-watering dishes based on modern Australian cuisine. Click here to see a sample menu. Enjoy the food, wine and atmosphere with your fellow passengers as the Captain visits every table and chats. It’s a chance to dress up a little and enjoy a gorgeous formal dinner.
Note: some times and activities may be subject to change without notice
7pm You are welcomed aboard by the friendly Proud Mary crew. Having settled into your comfortable, river-view cabin, you may like to join fellow passengers in the Dining Room & enjoy a drink before a delicious hot supper is served. Proud Mary cruises to its overnight mooring point and your Captain introduces the crew. Cruising the river at night is a magical experience and the Proud Mary’s powerful floodlights illuminate the graceful willows and dark waters as you glide past. This is an excellent opportunity to see the River environment from a completely different perspective and may allow you to view some of the nocturnal wildlife, especially birds such as night herons, owls, and coots.
10:00pm Proud Mary ties up at our overnight mooring, Woodlane, for a night of peace and tranquillity in the Australia bush.
11.30pm Dining Room is closed.
7am Dining Room opens. Tea, coffee and continental breakfast available.
8am Proud Mary departs Woodlane and continues upstream. You will pass huge lagoons teeming with birdlife. During floods, these inland lagoons were so immense that, in the early riverboat days, captains could not find true channels. In the early 1900s, riverboat captains planted willow trees along the banks to clearly mark the main river channel. Today these willows provide the perfect haven for the prolific birdlife.
8-8.45am This morning you will enjoy a delicious cooked breakfast while cruising through Mypolonga, Caloote and Ponde. Your appetite will be stimulated by the magnificent scenery you’ll pass.
10am Mid-morning Proud Mary arrives in picturesque Mannum, inhabited prior to white settlement by the Narraltie aboriginal tribe. The name Mannum can be translated as “the place of many ducks”. Here you’ll board a waiting coach for a history tour of this small township that has played a significant role in the development of South Australia. Captain William Randell launched the first paddle steamer, the “Mary Ann”, on the Murray River in 1853. By the late 1880s, there were over 250 paddle steamers and barges trading on the Murray River and Mannum became an industrious inland port. On the tour, you will re-trace the colourful history of several pioneering families whose efforts shaped the successful development of this region. Your tour includes a visit to the Mannum Dock museum in Mannum, where you will find a fascinating collection of historical memorabilia. Mannum is also famous as the site of the production of the first steam car in Australia with a differential, built by the Shearer brothers.
1pm The vessel departs Mannum. Lunch is served aboard as you cruise upstream past Younghusband, Teal Flat, lovely Lake Carlet, Bowhill, Purnong and onto Walker Flat. The menu may include dishes such as Roast Chicken Maryland vegetables and a wild mushroom sauce or Pork Cutlet with Yam Mash, fabulous flavours to complement the superb scenery gliding by on both sides of the Proud Mary.
6.15pm Proud Mary moors at Walker Flat. The bird and wildlife here is prolific, including wallabies, wild ducks and bush turkeys. The towering cliffs are superb and provide a majestic backdrop to the tranquillity of cruising Australia’s most famous river. This evening is “Australiana Night” and dinner will feature the use of some traditional bush foods such as emu, kangaroo, damper bread and fresh water crustaceans, with flavours of lemon myrtle, wild bush tomatoes and quandongs. These delicious dishes are created by our resident chefs to showcase Australia’s continually evolving cuisine. You might be offered Tasmanian Scallops with lemon couscous, Pepper Leaf Kangaroo Medallions, Northern Territory Barramundi or a Porterhouse Steak with Bush Tomato chutney. Join our expert ecologist for a Nocturnal Discovery Tour. This tour provides an insight into the abundant local wildlife, including South Australia’s fauna emblem, the Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat. These delightful creatures are found only in a limited area on the western side of the river. It’s rare to see them in the wild but you’ll board a coach to take you to their warrens and hopefully you’ll see one or two active in the evening light, as well as other nocturnal wildlife.
11.30pm Dining Room is closed.
7.00am Proud Mary departs Walker Flat and continues upstream. Dining Room opens. Tea, coffee and continental breakfast available.
8-8.45am Another hearty breakfast is served while cruising through Wongulla where, some fifty years ago, men found the fossil of a 20 million year old shark. Nildottie and Big Bend townships to follow. There’s something very satisfying about enjoying a good breakfast while you glide by magnificent scenery and Big Bend is famous for its soaring ochre cliffs.
9.15am A display of souvenirs is available in the Dining Room for you to browse through and purchase.
9.30am Feeling peckish? Morning Tea is available in the Dining Room. Join the Captain in the Dining Room for a complete run-down on the story of Murray River including its history, current water usage practices and the ecology of this vital water source. You can also watch a video about the famous 1956 floods that devastated the area.
11am Proud Mary arrives at the pioneering township of Swan Reach. The settlement was originally the port of the large Portee Sheep Station and was settled as a township in 1899. Your local guide will take you to visit the Swan Reach Museum which is housed in the original school building that was built in 1917; the museum’s collection focuses on the history of education and the social history of the area.
12pm Re-join the Proud Mary for another delicious lunch, whilst moored in the township of Swan Reach
1pm Proud Mary coach will be waiting ready for your visit Costa Brothers Almond Farm with your local guide. The almond industry is the fastest growing horticulture crop in Australia. Discover how this state of the art almond farm uses water-recycling technology to limit its direct impact on the river system and help secure the diverse ecosystem of the river. From here your guide will take you to Blanchetown, site of the Lock and Weir No 1. The river is dammed by 13 locks built to facilitate the early riverboat trade. Water cascades over the lock creating an excellent feeding place for birdlife. Pelicans and dozens of species of water birds can be seen diving in the water to feed.
4.30pm Re-board Proud Mary ready to depart Blanchetown and set off for your overnight mooring position at Sugar Shack.
6.30pm Tonight, enjoy a delicious dinner finished off with one of the home-style desserts Proud Mary’s chefs are famous for. Whilst you dine, your evening cruise takes you to your overnight mooring spot of Sugar Shack. Sugar Shack is part of the River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve which is an astronomer’s paradise. The unpolluted skies and isolation from artificial light sources make the park one of the best places on earth to gaze at the stars. Your Captain will steer closer to the bank this evening so you can take full advantage of the LED floodlights that illuminate the towering river redgums and perhaps watch the possums as they scamper through the branches. The River takes on a wonderfully moody and atmospheric quality at night providing a magical backdrop as you drift by.
7.30pm Secure at Sugar Shack.
7.45pm Trivia Night – Let the games begin!
11.30pm Dining Room closes. Enjoy a peaceful night surrounded by stars and the sounds of the Australian bush.
7am Dining Room opens. Tea, coffee and continental breakfast is available. This morning you will wake up in one of the most unspoilt and picturesque areas of the River Murray. Make sure you go out on deck to immerse yourself in the surroundings and experience the peace of the riverside environment.
8-8.45am Another hearty cooked breakfast is available for you, or perhaps you might like a lighter Continental option this morning. The choice is yours, maybe both!?
9am This morning provides another unique experience with an absorbing ecological walk around Sugar Shack. Here you’ll discover the importance of flood plains to the river system. The history of the area began in 1840, when explorer Edward John Eyre established a village named Sturt after the famous explorer navigator.
9.45am Proud Mary departs Sugar Shack and cruises downstream towards Swan Reach, passing magnificent lagoons teeming with birdlife, awesome cliffs reaching for the sky and spectacular scenery as far as the eyes can see. Throughout your cruise you can listen to the informative commentary that occurs from time to time about the history of the areas you pass through and the boats that used to work there.
10.45am We’ll tie up briefly at Swan Reach, a visit to the Arts and Craft shop along with the motor museum. Here you will be able to view an amazing collection of Australian and International vehicles.
1pm Depart Swan Reach.
1.30pm Lunch is served, which today may focus on traditional fish and chips, using fresh Australian seafood or, perhaps, the famous 12-hour marinated pork chops.
2.30pm This afternoon the vessel ties up alongside the towering cliffs of Big Bend, the tallest anywhere along the River. This is a truly majestic landscape providing definite photo opportunities. A highlight of your expedition is a small boat cruise through the lagoons and inlets, led by our expert ecologist. There are some 320 species of birdlife in this area and, with the aid of binoculars and your well-informed guide, you will study at close range the prolific birdlife and wildlife of the region including kangaroos, wombats, emus, echidnas and goannas. Your flat-bottom boat allows you to get right up to the riverside cliffs to see nesting birds and examine the geology of the landscape including the many exposed fossils.
5.30pm Bar opens on shore.
6.00pm This evening delivers another rewarding experience… a traditional Aussie barbeque prepared by our chefs and eaten under a canopy of stars amidst the restful sounds of the nearby river. Afterwards, enjoy an evening’s entertainment around a blazing campfire, provided by our resident musician. Request a song and sing along into the night as the stars of the Australian sky hover above, almost close enough to touch.
11.30pm Dining Room closes. Enjoy another quiet night’s sleep in the tranquil Australian bush.
7am Dining Room opens. Tea, coffee and breakfast available. Early this morning, the Proud Mary departs Big Bend and heads towards Ngaut Ngaut. Enjoy your breakfast as you watch the sun climb over the towering cliffs, creating marvellous changes of colour in the sandstone and ochre hues.
8.00am Disembark at Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal conservation site for a tour of one of the oldest archaeological digs in Australia. This is one of the definite highlights of your cruise. Take the boardwalk to the site of ancient aboriginal rock art where your local indigenous guide will explain their meaning and significance. Ngaut Ngaut was a major meeting place for the tribes of the area and you’ll see where they prepared and cooked food at a ceremonial site that dates back thousands of years. The view from the top of the cliffs is astonishing with vistas that stretch for miles in every direction.
10.00am Depart Ngaut Ngaut.
10.30am Join your fellow passengers, some of whom will have probably become friends by now, in the Dining Room to view an interesting and informative documentary that traces the Murray River from its source high in the Snowy Mountains right to its entry to the sea in the Coorong. The documentary explains the intricacies of the River environment and why the Murray is one of the great rivers of the world. You’ll learn about Australia’s greatest river landscapes and the people that call the River home while we cruise through Krohns Landing, Sabaruma and Walker Flat.
12.30pm Lunch is served featuring another of our chefs’ delicious creations which you can enjoy as we cruise through Bowhill, Teal Flat, Younghusband and Pellaring Reach. It’s a wonderfully relaxing afternoon. Time to lay back and enjoy the peace that surrounds you as you watch the changing views glide by.
4.30pm Arrive at Mannum. Take the opportunity to enjoy some free time in this delightful town or rest up ahead of the Captain’s Dinner this evening.
6.15pm Gather in the Dining Room to enjoy a complimentary champagne or cocktail prior to dinner.
6.45pm The culinary highlight of your cruise is the silver service Captain’s Dinner, a five-course menu of choice featuring mouth-watering dishes based on modern Australian cuisine. Enjoy the food, wine and atmosphere with your fellow passengers as the Captain visits every table and chats. It’s a chance to dress up a little and enjoy a gorgeous formal dinner.
11.30pm Dining Room closes.
7am Dining Room opens. Tea, coffee and continental breakfast available.
8am Depart Mannum. Cruise through Ponde, Caloote and Wall Flat to Woodlane.
8.30am Enjoy another magnificent cooked breakfast this morning as you prepare to visit the Mypolonga region, consisting of Aussie Apricots, Revolution Motor Museum and the historic Mypolonga area school.
10.00am Arrive at Woodlane to board the waiting coach for your tour of the historic Mypolonga Area School. Mypolonga is a small rural school situated close to the banks of the Murray River between Murray Bridge and Mannum, with around 140 students. This school presents students and staff with views of farming lands, orchards, vineyards, the beautiful river red gums which line the river and the ochre coloured cliffs which glow in the afternoon light.
11.00am Arrive at Aussie Apricots and discover a 3rd generation family run orchard. The orchard is on the beautiful River Murray at Mypolonga about 15km's from Murray Bridge. They grow, hand pick & cut the fruit by hand & machine. We sun dry all of our fruit & then the apricots are sized when dry. When the apricots are required we wash & hand process the apricots into confectionary, jams & chutneys.
11.30am Rev your Engines! Right next to the Apricot farm is the Revolution Motor Museum where you will be taken on a private tour to see a wide range of American Muscle Cars, Bikes and stationery engines all on display. This museum has South Australia first registered taxi and is filled with history and beauty, a must for all to see.
1pm Return to Proud Mary and enjoy another delicious lunch as you depart Woodlane and cruise through Mypolonga, Sunnyside, Mundurra and Willowbanks.
4pm Tie up at Murray Bridge. We say goodbye and thank you for joining us on this exploration of the Murray River and we hope we might see you again in the future to enjoy another relaxing and immersing holiday along Australia’s greatest river.
The Proud Mary departs from Murray Bridge, just an hour from Adelaide. Return coach transfers are available to take you to the wharf at Clark Street Car Park where you will board the vessel. For self-drive passengers, secure undercover lock-up garaging facilities are available adjacent to the wharf. Embarkation is available from 7.00pm.
Upon arrival, make your way to the vessel where our crew will meet you for check-in. After that, our Cruise Director will ask you to drive your vehicle to the garaging facility just a few minutes from the wharf where your vehicle will be securely locked away and our coach will bring you back to the boat. Cost is $150.
These are available to and from Murray Bridge at the small cost of $65 each way ($130 return). The coach departs from the Adelaide Central bus station, 85 Franklin Street. Check-in is 30 minutes prior to departure. For directions to Adelaide Central Bus Station please contact reservations 1800 677 683 or +61 8 8406 4444.
- Friday and Sunday coach departure times from Adelaide for cruises departing from Murray Bridge – 6:00pm
- Friday and Sunday coach arrival times into Adelaide for cruises disembarking in Murray Bridge – 5:30pm
Travelling from Adelaide, South Australia to Murray Bridge – Take the South Eastern freeway out of Adelaide to the Murray Bridge exit. Carry on into Murray Bridge and turn right at the third set of traffic lights. This is East Street with the Bridge Port Hotel on the corner. Turn left onto Olympic Drive, left onto Wharf Road and slightly left onto Clark Street leading to the Clark Street public car park.
Travelling from the Australian Eastern States to Murray Bridge – After travelling through Tailem Bend take the Murray Bridge exit and continue onto the township over the bridge. Take the 1st left once off the bridge. This is East Street with the Bridge Port Hotel on the corner. Turn left onto Olympic Drive, left onto Wharf Road and slightly left onto Clark Street leading to the Clark Street public car park.
My wife Kerry and myself were on the 5 day Indulgence Cruise that departed on the 19th March. Everything on the cruise was perfect in every way and the crew were all outstanding. I’m so glad that we were on board. I find myself constantly telling others about it and…