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“Great way to explore Whitsundays” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Solway Lass Day Charters

Solway Lass Day Charters
1, 4 Airlie Esplanade Airlie Beach, Airlie Beach, Queensland 4802, Australia
+ 61 7 4946 5932
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
33 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Great way to explore Whitsundays”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

We were not sure at first if this would be the best way of going to explore the islands but the 3 day trip exceeded our expectations by far.

The ship is nice, the crew were all great, food prepared by Sarah was superb and the captain Tim gave good information on what we would do and where we had been during the days. We had rain one afternoon which was a bit of a downer but did not spoil the fun overall.

Beds are fine although cabins are small. Sharing showers and toilets was not really a problem, even for us people who usually chose 5-star accommodation if we can. This must be the most comfortable way to go sailing and as you are with 30 guests you will normally have good fun meeting new people, we certainly did!

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73 reviews from our community

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English first
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
45 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Nice Ship”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

The Solway Lass is a lovely ship. She has seen many years of use, in all kinds of conditions! Sailing in the Whitsundays is her latest venture, and a good one for her. We went on the three day/three night cruise.

The crew was nice and most of them were fairly friendly. The First Mate was a bit of a 'downer' with an attitude that the guests should really not talk to him, as he was far too busy playing his guitar or doing something on the ship. Other than that, the crew was lovely and friendly.

The food was good, but basic. The galley is, after all, tiny, so what they do is good, given what they have to work with. However, I would have thought that the price of the ticket would have stretched to fresh fruit every morning - not canned fruit! For some meals there was plenty - even left-overs. But for some meals, if you weren't there at the buffet table right at serving time - then you didn't get anything! This may have been impacted because most of the guests on our voyage were young 20-something guys, and they were always hungry!!

The rooms were tiny - but that's what you expect on a sailing ship. They were clean enough, but if you have claustrophobia, do not take the upper bunk... the ceiling is just inches from your head, and i hit my head many times when turning over in the night! You also need to know that the plywood walls are so thin that if the guy in the cabin next to you snores... you won't be sleeping! It's the closest I have slept to someone that is snoring, when I haven't been able to give them a shake to stop! Also, the rooms with ensuite are only 6 feet 6 inches by 5 feet... just be warned!

Finally, I certainly agree with the guy about the booking! They are a nightmare! Told us the same story about our room being the last one aboard... and we booked two months in advance... then we find out that people actually booked the day before! And, the whole thing about not taking a bag with a zipper on board is a joke. Be sure you know that you can ONLY use their little black bags... this will save you walking all over Airlie Beach - four times up and down the street, lugging our luggage all the way!

Overall, a nice trip. The Whitsunday's are beautiful. The crew was ok on our cruise, but not super friendly and welcoming. Rope swing was awsome! Unfortunately, we had mega tides when we were there, so the snorkeling and diving wasn't great - but that's just luck! At least it didn't rain!!

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester NY
Level Contributor
160 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Fun crew, historic vessel, but be forewarned about their booking practices ”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

We took the three day cruise with 28 other passengers. The history of the Solway Lass, the capable and fun crew and beautiful sail among the islands makes the trip worthwhile. You will need to be tolerant, though, as the cabins are small and musty. The food was buffet style, not fancy but prepared well. Be forewarned about their booking practices, which in our view, are the worst we have ever encountered. We reserved, and paid in full, one week before departure, a cabin with full bath ("en suite"), which we were told were the last two available reservations. We flew to Prospine, took a bus, and checked in with the office in Airlie Beach a few hours before departure. We left our luggage at a hotel and packed our essentials in the black tote bag (provided by the office) as instructed. We met the ship's bus and were dropped at the dock. All good so far. The crew briefed us and assigned cabins, which is where we encountered our problem. Our cabin, 8, was indeed and en suite, but the crew told us, apologetically, that the toilet in our cabin was broken and we must use the shared hall bath. There was a printed sign over the flush mechanism saying it was broken. The crew said, too, that since the ship is in continuous use they have not been able to find time for a repair service. We expressed great disappointment that this information was not provided to us earlier, as we would have canceled and booked with another ship. The crew said that they instructed past occupants of cabin 8 to contact the office upon return to seek an adjustment in the price, and that the office would "accommodate these requests". This is absolutely the worst "bait and switch" we have ever encountered in our travels across the globe. Clearly the office knew of the problem and elected not to inform us until we reached the ship, thus removing our option to cancel. In retrospect we should have walked off the ship, called a cab and disputed the charge with our credit card company. We did visit the office after the cruise and asked for a refund of the difference in price between the en suite and shared bath, which was $240. They offered $50 each, which we refused. Instead we completed a complaint form which the office said they will send to the owners. We expect they will agree that the $50 offer is inadequate. What should have happened, of course , is the price would be adjusted at the time we checked in, with an offer to cancel if we did not want to share a toilet.
All of our fellow passengers were terrific folks, but several shared their unhappy experience with the booking office. The worst experience were the poor folks who booked on the Southern Cross, and were transferred to Solway because the Southern Cross did not have a sufficient number of passengers. This added a day to their trip and required costly flight and hotel changes. They were VERY unhappy as they claimed the could not obtain a refund and they did not receive the proper cabin type on Solway. We met several couples who booked at the very last minute (one or two days prior to departure). This contradicts the information provided to us a the time of our booking, that our reservations were the last two available. Be forewarned, the Solway Lass uses deceptive practices in it booking. And you are paying in advance, with no recourse other than to dispute a charge with your credit car company. We will do so if the price is not adjusted.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

My boyfriend and I were on the Solway Lass for 3 days and 3 nights in October and man, I wish we could go back! The crew was fantastic (the captain had hilarious stories), the food was delicious, and the scenery could not have been better! A lot of individuals our age (early 20s) choose the more "rowdy" tours around the Whitsunday's, but I am so glad that we splurged and picked the Solway Lass because the experience was unbeatable. It was definitely a highlight during our 3 months in Australia!
The only criticism I have is that the ship returned to Airlie an hour or two earlier than scheduled, which was a bit of a disappointment as we didn't want to get off at all!

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scunthorpe, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2014

Stayed on The Solway Lass 31 Dec - 3 Jan 2014. Excellent trip such an experience. So much better than the modern boats . The crew are fantastic , friendly helpful and professional in the coolest way. Thanks to Dave the chef who provided beautiful food the whole trip and to Kurt the friendly barman ( drinks are very reasonable in fact the cheapest we found in the whole of our Australian trip ) It was so laid back but you could join in the sailing and helping crew if you wish. The snorkel trips were very good even if you are a novice or never done it before. There are only 30 people + crew on board and we had a really good time with all nationalities every one was awesome . We met some amazing people and had an amazing time.
Our ages of our group were 51 , 49 and 25. Every age group will enjoy it.
Oh and I have never seen so many stars in all my life, don't think I will ever get to see the milky way again. Beautiful
This trip is well worth the price and an adventure you will never forget. I would rate this trip 10*
Thank you to all crew and passengers
Bev O

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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