Weather you’re looking to take in the wineries of the Swan Valley, enjoy a romantic evening, find the perfect venue for your next party or corporate function, or experience something just a little different, the sparkling waters of the Swan provide the ideal setting.
The wineries and restaurants of the Swan Valley have long been a major attraction for visitors to Perth and there is no better way to make the most of your Swan Valley experience than by taking a cruise up the Swan River to the historic wine growing area.
Swan Valley Tours offer cruises that showcase the best of the area’s food and wine. The Indulgence Winery Cruise and Gourmet Cruise both leave from Barrack Street Jetty. On-board you are greeted with morning tea followed by cheese and biscuits and the wine of the month as you pass through the picturesque upper reaches of the river. On arrival in the Valley you are met by coach and embark on a culinary tour of some of the area’s best wineries and restaurants, where you sample wines and enjoy a gourmet lunch. Transfer back to the city is by coach.
Out and About Wine Tours also offer a Swan Valley cruise. Their Swan Valley River Cruise and Vineyard Tour departs Barrack Street daily, except Monday, at 9.45am, spending a leisurely two hours cruising up the Swan sampling premium wines before arriving in the Valley. Once there, lunch is enjoyed followed by further wine tastings at three different wineries and beer sampling at a local brewery. The tour concludes at 4.30pm with coach transport back to Perth.
Captain Cook Cruises, probably Perth’s best-known cruise operator, has something for everyone. Since 1980 they have welcomed over a million passengers on-board their fleet of six vessels. They offer cruises that take in all reaches of the Swan. Departing from Barrack Street, the Swan River Scenic Cruise winds its way down stream to Fremantle past the beautifully restored Swan Brewery, Royal Perth Yacht Club, and the magnificent homes overlooking the river before arriving at Fremantle's busy inner harbour.
Here you can take the option of disembarking to explore historic Fremantle for the afternoon, returning to Perth at 4.45pm, or alternatively, you can make the return journey immediately. The Fremantle to Perth leg is definitely worth the wait as you there’s the opportunity to enjoy complimentary wine tasting from a fine selection of WA wines and a sumptuous seafood buffet meal. You may also wish to combine your Fremantle cruise with a visit to Perth Zoo. The ZooCrooz combines a return cruise to Fremantle, entry to Perth Zoo and ferry transfers between South Perth and the city.
Other Captain Cook cruises include the one-way Perth to Fremantle experience; the Aboriginal eritage Tour, which offers a fascinating look at traditional Nyoongar culture; and the Lights Dinner Cruise, which takes in the upper reaches of the Swan Valley while guests enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner (with beer, wine and soft drinks included) accompanied by live music.
For something a little different try the Riverboat Gambler. Originally commissioned as the Motor Vessel PERTH in 1914, it’s still cruising the Swan and has a licensed casino (on selected cruises) along with two bars and dance floors, and can carry up to 250 guests.
For the ultimate in Swan River cruising you can’t go past The Matrix, a luxury 24-metre state-of-the-art catamaran equipped with lounge, dining area, kitchen and bar. The Matrix was designed with the comfort of passengers in mind and with a maximum of only 12 passengers per trip, it’s the ideal way to take in the sites of the Swan in luxury. The Matrix began cruising the Swan for the first time in October 05 and will continue to entertain city-based guests on the Swan until March.
Book a cruise
In addition to the cruises featured there is an extensive range of cruise companies operating on the Swan. Following is a list of some of Perth’s best:
Boat Torque Cruises, (08) 9430 5844, boattorque.com.au.
Captain Cook Cruises, Perth, (08) 9325 3341; Fremantle, (08) 9336 3311, captaincookcruises.com.au.
Matrix Cruises, (08) 9437 1777, matrixcruises.com.
Out and About Wine Tours, (08) 9377 3376, outandabouttours..com.au.
Oceanic Cruises, Perth, (08) 9325 1191; Fremantle, (08) 9335 2666, oceaniccruises.com.au.
Riverboat Gambler (MV Perth), (08) 9221 6303, riverboatgambler.com.au.
Swan Valley Tours, (08) 9299 6249, svtours.com.au.