CruiseThe largest paddle steamer in the Southern Hemisphere will sail on the mighty Murray River.

Toot, toot: Here’s comes the PS Australian Star

Rendering of the PS Australian Star on the Murray River in Victoria.
Rendering of the PS Australian Star on the Murray River in Victoria.

Construction has started on Australia’s first five-star river ship, PS Australian Star, a 38-guest vessel which will offer year-round, all-inclusive, overnight cruises on the Murray River from Echuca in Victoria.

Murray River Paddlesteamers said the vessel will begin operations in April 2025, succeeding the smaller 16-guest PS Emmylou which currently offers overnight cruises on the Murray.

The 35-metre PS (Paddle steamer) Australian Star will become Australia’s first five-star river cruise experience, the largest paddle steamer in the Southern Hemisphere and the only wood-fired, five-star accommodated paddle steamer in the world.

The three-deck PS Australian Star will offer cruises lasting three and four nights with guests able to combine the two cruises for a longer seven-night cruise.

Fares, to be announced in July, will be all-inclusive, covering rail transfers from Melbourne, daily shore excursions, and a campfire dinner. Bookings for Australian Star will open in September.

PS Australian Star will also offer 19 staterooms, all opening to a deck and offering river views, ensuite, air-conditioning, complimentary Wi-Fi, luxury linen, TV entertainment system, seating and writing desk. Two of the cabins will also be available for guests with mobility issues.

Murray River Paddlesteamers director, Craig Burgess, said PS Australian Star would revolutionise overnight river cruising in Australia and draw new high-yield domestic and international visitors and lucrative tour group business to Victoria.

Murray River Paddlesteamers will offer a 10% commission for travel agents plus bonuses for multiple bookings.

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