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“Sort of like going to grandma's (boat)house for tea”

Captain Fell's Historic Ferries
Ranked #68 of 93 Tours in Hobart
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Owner description: Tasmanian Tours, Cruises, And Charters
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Reviewed April 10, 2013

We purchased a Groupon deal to use on this cruise. It was very cheap, and the experience was probably worth exactly what we paid for it. The deal was for the Lady Jane vessel, but we were actually boarded onto the Emmalisa (smaller, older vessel).

The people at the booking desk were a little rude - my partner was snapped at when he ordered the chicken soup entree, as 'you don't order the chicken soup, it comes standard, you only request the veggie soup if you don't want the chicken.'

Dude. Who cares? You work in what we call 'customer service'. Put a smile on your dial.

The little red boat they put us on was quite old with mismatched brown chairs, long booths with tilting tables. So the decor was pretty old, but with the soft lighting they use, still kind of cosy.

As it happened, they forgot that my 'super special requested' soup option was the veggie and served me chicken anyway. To be fair, the cook/server seemed horrified and bustled off to heat me up some veggie soup. It tasted canned, but whatever, it was still ok. The buttered bread was a little disconcerting - it just looks 'handled' to me, and are rolls really so expensive? But we were hungry, and so it was eaten.

The captain's commentary came on every now and again, to point out the casino, mountain, etc. It did drop in and out, and the poor guy seemed unaware of this.

There were self-serve drinks - white wine, red wine and a big bottle of Coke. We weren't sure what to do with the drinks - the server did say that we could help ourselves to 'a complimentary drink' but then didn't return to offer us further drinks. The other people on-board were just helping themselves to the wine, so in the end we did this too. The white wine was sweetish, but quite nice.

There were five mains to choose from, and ours were tasty - I had the fish, which was two big pieces of pan-fried crumbed fish - no idea what fish it was, but it did taste fresh and good. My partner had the steak and gravy, which was also appetizing. They were definitely 'home-style' meals, with a boiled potato and some salad, but pretty tasty and filling. Not restaurant quality, but more like tea at grandma's.

The cruise itself was... ok. We went under the Tasman bridge twice, which was fun, but other then that, you could only sit inside at your table, or step out onto a tiny little outdoor patio area on the bottom level. You couldn't access the top of the boat at all, which was disappointing. It was a decent night and the experience would have been totally different if you could relax upstairs with a good view and a glass of wine. That was sort of what we were planning on.

Dessert was one option - tinned fruit and ice cream. Again, we ate it because it was there and it tasted ok. But, come on. I wouldn't serve that to dinner guests at my house.

And the boat was leaking near our feet. We spent a few minutes discussing which shore we would swim to if the boat went down. We decided to head towards the Casino - if we managed to make it there, surely we'd have to be in luck.

The cruise only went for 2 hours, not the advertised 2 hours 30 mins, but this was not a problem as we were a little bored by then anyway and ready to leave.

All in all, the cruise was a little dull, and the meals were sufficient but not 'professional' quality.

This cruise made me think that it would be suitable for taking out your grandparents for an afternoon or evening, but not so suitable for a couple's dinner cruise experience.

5  Thank Cristina G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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20 - 24 of 51 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2013

Before I start *warning* if you are gluten / lactose / shellfish / caffeine / alcohol / peanut / or LIFE intolerant then maybe this trip is not for you.

Seriously though, I know not everyone can eat or drink everything. The thing is, this trip offers few food choices, but what you do get is great value for money. They do offer some different options. The staff could not be helpful enough to those on board who insisted on making their lives a misery by being high - maintenance.

The boat is old - yes the clue is in the name - historic. I am not sure how many different food options you should expect these people to provide for the cost and the space on an old boat like this one.

It was not dirty when we went on board, however the same could not be said for some of the scruffy whinging passengers.

The captain of the ship gave the commentary and it was informative and not over the top (for those passengers who were listening and not whinging)

My thirteen year old and five year old sons both found it was fun and a novelty to be on a boat, eating food. Ok there was no kids food selection, but what we had was good, and plentiful. Not a-la-carte, but great value for a family of four who have all been brought up to eat what is in front of them. AU$110 for a boat trip and a three course meal, with wine / soft drinks / water (but not for the H20 intolerant) and coffee and fruit cake at the end.

Taking in the beautiful city for two and a half hours from the water was an experience we will remember without a bitter taste in OUR mouths because we were not ripped off. In fairness most of the passengers seemed to enjoy themselves. We certainly did.

Thank you Captain Fells - good to see something for tourists that doesn't mean emptying their pockets on the way in.

Thank lindahig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

I bought a voucher off Groupon which was for two people, lunch or dinner cruise, for $45.
My partner and I chose the dinner cruise which lasts for 2 1/2 hours.
We went on a very warm Wednesday, however the wind make the water a little choppy. The boat, however seemed to handle this very well and the overall ride was very smooth.

I was initially concerned about the food, as many people here said it was of a very poor standard.
There is a well-rounded choice of meals, consisting of soup for an entre, Rump steak, Lamb cutlets, Fish, Chicken schnitzel, Vegetarian dish and possibly something else, I cannot remember.
The soup was a delicious chicken soup, and was served with buttered bread. Overall we were very pleased with that.
My partner chose the lamb cutlets and they were just superb with hardly any fat and of a nice size too.
I chose the chicken schnitzel, and it was equally as good, with a very generous sized, good quality chicken breast which looked to be crumbed by the cook on board the boat.
Both of the mains are served with a tasty boiled potato and a crisp, fresh salad and peppered or plain gravy.
Dessert was nothing too fancy, but we were both pretty much full from the mains. It was just some canned fruit salad with vanilla ice-cream. Still very nice.
Tea and coffee was available with cake at the return to dock, and coke, sprite, red and white wine, orange cordial and water was constantly available - serve yourself.

The boat itself was quaint, with nice, private booths and tables, as well as an area outside of the main cabin that we were lucky enough to snag. There was also a wonderful area out the front of the ship from where you were able to stand and enjoy being outside.

Overall, our experience was truly fantastic and we have, and will, continue to recommend the service to our friends.
It's such a shame that this wonderful little gem has been getting such a bad rap upon websites like these.

1  Thank Nicole W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

With little time in Hobart we booked a small cruise in the harbour rather than one of the longer cruises. The booking at the kiosk on the waterfront was somewhat confusing - a bit of a mishmash of women with toddlers and babies in tow and it was difficult to work out if they worked there or were visiting. They worked there. However, we booked our cruise with dinner and crossed our fingers. The cruise was a relaxing time but the commentary tape both out, and homeward bound, was mixed up and nothing highlighed was in fact in view. This caused discussion and giggles amongst passengers. The food, however, was incredibly good value. It was freshly cooked to perfection with generous portions and wine or fruit juice to accompany the food. All this including home made cakes and coffee to follow was only 15USD per head on top of the cruise alone price. Very good value and worth the trip for the inexpensive lunch alone!

Thank Barbs W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

Where do I start???? Absolutely disgusting. The boat was dirty, the tables were sticky, the seating arrangements are non existant. They employ what seems to be Asian students that don't speak English who take their fluffy dog onboard and have it run around where the food is kept. I doubt that the dinner cruise would meet the hygiene or safety standards required to operate. They allowed people onboard who were already heavily intoxicated and continued to serve them bottomless free wine. And this was all even before we left the dock. It was so terrible that we couldn't even care less about the fact that we had already paid and got off the boat before it left the dock. There was no way in hell my husband and I were going to stay on there another 5 mins let alone 2 hours. Truly a disgrace to Tasmanuan tourism !!!

7  Thank staceeeee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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