Getting to Tassie is easy, working out the best fare on the Spirit is not, but Kay O’Sullivan has some advice for Esther.
I’ve long had the notion to take my car across on the ferry and tour Tasmania as an inexpensive holiday. But the reality is that the passage on the boat costs so much that it puts me off. Is there a better way to do it? Fly and hire a car? Or a less expensive time to travel? Even when I see the special fares advertised, I can’t seem to secure them.
A. I agree it’s complicated. I had a lengthy conversation and email exchange with the Spirit of Tasmania’s communications team to try and sort this out.
Basically, prices vary depending on availability and demand. And, of course, the cheaper fares are more readily available when the weather is not great. But all is not lost for us bargain hunters!
Standard fares start at $96 per adult each way, but standard cars i.e. not motorhomes/caravans/trailers are the same year round. I’m told passengers can still get a $96 fare in the high-demand season if the demand is low on that sailing and/or they book early enough.
I had to think about that, but I understand it now. You might choose a date in February – a high demand period – that has very few bookings, so you still get the $96 fare. But if you were going the next day, on a nearly full ship, you’d be paying more.
The company says it regularly checks airfares between Melbourne and Hobart with car hire costs and more often than not, the Spirit is the cheaper option.
For the full pictures check out www.spiritoftasmania.com.au/sailing-fares/fares-explained
Low demand season dates are:
20 Apr 15 – 1 Dec 15
13 Feb 16 – 20 Mar 16
18 Apr 16 – 4 Dec 16
18 Feb 17 – 2 Apr 17
High demand season dates are:
2 Dec 15 – 12 Feb 16
21 Mar 16 – 17 Apr 16
5 Dec 16 – 17 Feb 17
3 Apr 17 – 30 Apr 17
If you are still not satisfied that you are getting the best deal, why don’t you give them a ring on 1800 634 906 or drop them an email? It is confusing trying to sort it all out on the web.