There are coastal cities and there are river cities, and Melbourne, despite literally being on the ocean is very much a member of the latter. So much of this Australian cultural mecca is defined by the Yarra river, which winds its way through many of the essential sites of the city.
Unsurprisingly, a whole industry has grown up offering cruises along its length, which grant some of the best primers to the shape and character of this fascinating city that are available. From the town’s original historic port settlement past elegant gardens and through the bustling high rises of its CBD, a journey of contrasts and wonderful sights is guaranteed. And what better to combine it with than a meal? Melbourne, after all, is a melting pot of world cuisine, and culinary capital of the continent. Try out some of our suggestions below to test the sentiment that everything really is better if you do it on a boat.
FROM: €90/per person
All aboard at the cultural hub of Southbank Promenade this fully enclosed pleasure vessel for an unforgettable evening of three hours eating some of the best food available anywhere in the city. High rise building lights reflect off the Yarra surface, while you tuck into a richly sumptuous meal, catering to all dietary requirements. Whether you want to chow down on ratatouille filo parcels or pan fried beef eye fillet, expect the best! And even better, drinks are included in the price.
From €17/ per person
An historical tour of what was once upon a time one of the busiest trading ports in the Southern hemisphere. The boat has both inside and outside spaces, with broad panoramic windows which mean you can make the most of this trip whatever the weather, and there’s an onboard commentary filling you in about Melbourne’s development from the boom years of the 19th century to being a centre of world culture today. It’s a one hour cruise total, so there’s no time to enjoy a full meal, but complimentary tea and coffee are a lovely addition to the docklands as they unfold.
From €375/ for two
What better way to celebrate a special occasion than an entirely private meal for two, floating down the Yara, looking either into each-other’s eyes or at the beautiful spangle of lights on the water, and enjoying some truly delicious local cuisine. Get on board in the docklands for an unforgettable experience in all senses of the term. Three courses are served across the length of this two hour journey, perfect for an anniversary, a honeymoon, or even… a proposal?
From €77/ per person
Christmas in Australia, you can forget the cold or snow, because down in the southern hemisphere, Christmas takes place in high summer. The days are long and hot, and peoples’ blood is high: is there a better place or time anywhere for a party.. on a boat? On board, there are two levels for dancing, and an outside deck for toasting the sunset and the beautiful surrounds. Drinks are plentiful and the company is sure to entertain. There’s even an after party included at the docklands for when the trip is over, just in case you want to keep the festive spirit going until dawn.
From €24/ per person
Because it’s all well and good having people cook you dinner on a boat, but sometimes the best things in life are free (or at least cheaper). This is not a catered service, but there’s nothing to stop you bringing your own locally bought picnic on board. Enjoy all the sights and sounds of above, but with a meal chosen by yourself. It’s a two hour cruise, with panoramic windows, plus a sundeck, and enough history communicated by the on board commentary that you’ll be a veritable Melbourne expert by the time you put back in to shore.