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Bookings open next month for paddle steamer Australian Star

A rendering of Australian Star, which will make her maiden voyage on May 5, 2025
Early bird savings on bookings made for Murray River Paddlesteamers’ Australian Star open February 5.

As reported here, the A$6.75m paddle steamer Australian Star is under construction in Mildura, Victoria.

Maiden voyage

Her maiden four-night voyage will depart the historic river port of Echuca, Victoria, on May 5, 2025, followed by a three-night departure on May 9. 

These cruises will continue in rotation all year, with the opportunity to combine both for a seven-night voyage.

Including the early bird discount, which is available until February 29, fares for the three-night cruise are from A$2,403 per person twin-share and from A$3,204 for four nights.

The seven-night cruise costs from A$5,652. 

The fares include rail transport between Melbourne and Echuca, shore excursions, Wi-Fi, gratuities, beer and wine with dinner and soft drinks, bottled water and tea and coffee throughout the cruise.

 Replacing Emmylou

The Victorian Government’s Regional Tourism Investment Fund contributed A$2.25m towards the building of the 38-passenger Australian Star, which will replace the 16-passenger Emmylou.

It is aimed at high-end travellers from around Australia and abroad.

Australian Star will have an energy-efficient hybrid diesel/steam propulsion system featuring a vintage 1907 Richard Garrett and Sons wood-fired steam engine, adding ‘nostalgia and authenticity’ to its voyages.

Director Craig Burgess said Australian Star will be the largest paddle steamer in the Southern Hemisphere and the only wood-fired five-star accommodated paddle steamer in the world.

Romance and comfort

‘Australian Star will fuse the past with the present, allowing guests to relish the timeless charm of a romantic paddle steamer, while savouring the elegance and comfort of contemporary cruising,’ Burgess said.