Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

When do you operate from Hobart? When do you operate in Port Davey, Southwest Tasmania?

From mid-January to early May, Odalisque travels to and is based in Port Davey, Southwest Tasmania. Outside of this time, Odalisque is based in Hobart for Private Harbour Cruises and custom charters.

What’s included in my trip?

Most things are included; you don’t have to provide anything but yourselves and the bare essentials. We have all the safety equipment and wet weather gear. For more information, please take a look at the Trip Essentials information sheets listed above. 

What is vessel Odalisque like?

Odalisque is a custom-built twenty-metre expedition cruise vessel designed by Tasmanian owner Pieter van der Woude for the comfort and safety of guests. Cruising with a maximum of 10 guests overnight, or 40 guests for day cruises, the Odalisque has three private cabins, a comfortable entertaining and dining area and three spacious outside decks for sightseeing, photography or sunset barbecues. The galley consists of a contemporary spacious kitchen with an island bench, sofa seating and large open windows to relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery or watch the chef cook up a storm. The open plan saloon area allows panoramic views, has plenty of lounging capacity and a large dining area for a leisurely dining experience. A true boutique floating hotel, it’s perfect if you’re eager for adventure but not so keen on roughing it.

Read up on Odalisque here.

How many guests does the boat accommodate?

Private Harbour Cruises & Day Charters can accommodate up to 40 guests, but can have a minimum of 1 guest. Day Charters are offered to groups for functions or events, comprising of people whom know each other

Port Davey expedition cruises require a minimum of 4 guests and a maximum of 6 guests.

Overnight Charters to Bruny Island, Tasman Peninsula and East Coast require a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 10 guests. These overnight charters are for groups bookings only, where you and you’re party up to 10 are the sole guests on board.

What is the accommodation aboard Odalisque like?

Odalisque has three spacious, private cabins. Each cabin includes a double and single bed.  The two deluxe cabins have an ensuite bathroom, and the standard cabin has a private external bathroom.

For private groups, we can also make available ‘Davey’, an additional sleeping area which has a curtain which can be drawn for privacy. This is only available for private charters for private groups.

Cabin overview: 

  • ‘The Maria’ Deluxe Cabin: 1 x Double Bed + 1 x Single Bed with Ensuite
  • ‘The Clyde’ Deluxe Cabin: 1 x Double Bed with Ensuite
  • ‘The Arthur’ Standard Twin Cabin: 1 x Double Bed + 1 x Single Bed with private bathroom
  • ‘Davey’ Sleeping Area: 1 x Double Bed + 1 x Single Bed with shared bathroom

To see what the cabins look like, click here

Are there toilets on board?

There are four bathrooms on board Odalisque, including two ensuites. 

Can you cater for special dietary requirements?

We would like to make your stay as comfortable as possible and can cater for any dietary requirements if you notify us beforehand. At the time of booking, please just let us know. 

Are young children ok?

The minimum age of guests for an expedition cruise into Port Davey is 8 years. There are however no age restrictions for those participating on a private Port Davey cruise or a day or overnight charter to Bruny Island, the Tasman Peninsula or the East Coast. The parent/guardian is to take full responsibility for the child. 

Will I have phone reception?

If you are in the Port Davey region in the Southwest there is no normal mobile phone reception. Odalisque has HF radio access for communication in the event of an emergency. We see this as an opportunity for complete escape from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. There is however a satellite phone which guests are able to be reached on, should any friends or family need to make urgent contact. Outside of the Southwest, the quality of mobile phone reception varies depending on your location. 

What power is available on Odalisque?

Power is available on board to charge up any devices, including cameras.  Odalisque is equipped with 240v household power points and number USB charging stations. 

Can we play music on board?

Odalisque has an internal & external in-built sound system. Set the tone of your private charter by playing your own music – plug in your phone, USB or CD.

Is there disability access?

There is no disability access aboard the Odalisque.

Can I smoke on board?

Odalisque is a non-smoking boat; however, smoking is permitted on deck so long as it does not interfere with other passengers or contaminate the wheelhouse or accommodation areas.

Port Davey FAQs

What is the itinerary?

Our expedition cruises don’t run to a set itinerary, rather we tailor each cruise to suit your particular interests, guided by the weather. The experience can be as active or as relaxing as you like – there are plenty of opportunities to go ashore for walking, beachcombing and birdwatching, or you may prefer to choose a soft lounge aboard the Odalisque, sip a boutique Tasmanian beer and take in the wilderness scenery from a soft lounge aboard Odalisque.

The onboard expert wilderness guide & skipper, who know everything there is to know about the history, plants and wildlife of the area, will plan your shore excursions daily. The next day’s adventures are often the topic of conversation around the dinner table the night before.

To see a sample itinerary, click here.

Where does the tour start from?

Tasmanian Boat Charters’ Escape to Port Davey is a fly in / fly out experience from Hobart. Our tours depart from Par Avion at Cambridge Airport, located at 115 Kennedy Drive, Cambridge. Tasmanian Boat Charters staff will meet you at the airport at the start of your tour.

How often do the expedition cruises depart?

Tasmanian Boat Charters runs regular scheduled departures between late January to early May. Trips vary in length from 4, 5 to 7 days.

If you can’t see a departure date or a trip length that works, get in touch and we’ll happily see if we can create something that fits your holiday itinerary.

See a full list of our departures here.

How many staff are on board?

Each trip is hosted by a skipper, guide and chef.

Skipper Pieter van der Woude, who is also the owner of the business, will be your host on the majority of our cruises. His lifetime of experience and passion for Tasmanian waters and marine life makes him the perfect skipper for guests wanting to explore the remote Tasmanian Southwest and Southern Ocean coastline.

Expert guides with an intimate knowledge of the area will be your personal, walking encyclopaedias throughout your time with us. These local guides enrich the wilderness experience with their knowledge of the landforms, geology, animals, birds and cultural history of the region. Amongst our guiding team are biologists, conservationists, writers, wildlife experts, ecological educators and ex-Parks & Wildlife employees.

Guest chefs provide top-notch, modern Tasmanian fare. We borrow our chefs from some of the best restaurants in Hobart, and you can expect meals as inspiring as the landscapes in which we dine.

What time does the trip commence & conclude?

The start & end time of our 4 and 5-day expeditions varies depending on the departure date chosen. These details will be shown in the product description when booking, or in your booking confirmation, if you have already booked.

  • Trips starting at 7.30am will end at approximately 3.00pm on the final day.
  • Trips starting at 11am will end at approximately 6.30pm on the final day.

All 7-day trips start at 7.30am and end at approximately 6.30pm.  

What is the food like?

You’ll find that the cruise is a delightfully indulgent culinary experience. The sea air certainly sharpens appetites and as you dine in your own private floating restaurant, you’ll savour cool-climate Tasmanian wines and fine gourmet fare prepared by the Odalisque’s personal chefs.

Our chefs, usually borrowed from one of the Hobart’s big name restaurants, do amazing things with fresh Tasmanian produce, prepare perfect picnics and pull freshly-baked cookies out of the oven just as hungry hikers climb back on board after a morning trek. Menus are designed based on our chefs’ own experience, passion and seasonality, and regular feature two- and three-course meals with platters of smoked meats and artisan cheeses from some of Tassie’s most celebrated smokehouses and dairies, just-caught seafood, Tasmanian beef and other regional produce. We run an open kitchen and our chefs prepare prepare meals in front of our guests’ eyes. Questions are welcome! At mealtime, it’s not unusual for the chef to explain exactly where the food has been sourced from (often the local market!) and why they have chosen certain ingredients. There’s a good coffee machine on board to kick start the mornings and breakfasts are served hot.

How much weight do we carry when walking?

Absolutely nothing! On any walks that we do, you can be completely pack free. Our guides will carry anything that you need on a day walk. Of course, you are welcome to carry your own day pack if you’d like to. In fact, some guests like to so that they always have their camera and water bottle close!

What should I wear?

You’ll need to take comfortable clothes suitable for a range of activities – from hiking to cruising in the jet boat – suitable for the range of weather conditions we’ll be exposed to – from hot, sunny and still to cold, windy and wet. For more information, please take a look at the Trip Essentials information sheet.

What style of boots / walking shoes do I need? And what about boating shoes?

We recommend taking a pair of lightweight and sturdy hiking boots. Some of the tracks we walk on can be a bit muddy, rutted or overgrown.

You’ll also need to take a second pair of shoes with you for wearing when you’re back on the boat. Trust us, you’ll be wanting something dry & clean to put on. We recommend a shoe that’s comfortable and easy to get on and off eg. Sneakers or ‘boat shoes’.

A full list of the clothes that you need to bring with you can be found here.

How much luggage can we bring?

For the Escape to Port Davey expedition cruises, due to weight restrictions on the light aircraft, you may carry no more than 12kg per person, including carry on. Tasmanian Boat Charters will provide guests with waterproof bags for easy transportation and storage.

Are we provided with a bag to transport our luggage in?

Due to space and weight limitations in the aircraft, guests are limited to 12kg of personal luggage only. This luggage will need to fit in a soft waterproof canvas bag provided to you by Tasmanian Boat Charters. The bag is approximately 48cm long with a diameter of 34cm and a capacity of 45L.

We will make every effort to provide you with this bag the night before your trip starts, so that you can pack at your leisure. Alternatively, there is time and space available to transfer your belongings into this bag when we meet at the airport at the start of your trip. Any of your belongings not travelling with you to Port Davey can be left with Tasmanian Boat Charters for safekeeping for the duration of your trip.

What happens if the weather changes and our flight to or from Port Davey is delayed?

Our access to the Southwest wilderness area is by light aircraft. These planes cannot operate in extremes of weather or poor visibility. Whilst it is unusual, delays can occur on both inward and outward flights. Due to this we highly recommend that guests do not arrange onward travel for at least 24hrs after our scheduled finish time.

Tasmanian Boat Charters will not be responsible for any expenses incurred for flight delays that are out of our control. We highly recommend that you purchase travel tickets that can be rebooked and obtain travel insurance to cover any expenses associated with such delays.

Delayed departure

In the eventuality of a delayed departure Tasmanian Boat Charters will endeavour to provide a complete itinerary where circumstances allow. This does however require participants to have flexibility in their own schedule.

Delayed return

If the weather does not permit travel out of Port Davey and guests are required to stay an extra night(s) aboard Odalisque, guests will be charged a per night rate at a 25% discount.

Tasmanian Boat Charters will request details of any onward flights or accommodation upon your return to Hobart, so that in the case of any delays, alternative arrangements can be made on your behalf.

Do we need travel insurance?

We strongly recommend that guests obtain comprehensive travel insurance at the time of the initial booking. When selecting a Travel Insurance product, please ensure that it provides cover against personal accidents or injury, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability, changes to domestic connecting flights, cancellation for any reason including bereavement, delayed flights, lost luggage and personal effects.

What do I do if I get seasick?

Seasickness is generally not an issue in Port Davey as the waters protected from the swells of the Southern Ocean. If you are someone who experiences seasickness, we recommend seeking advice from your GP prior to your voyage and / or bringing appropriate medications with you. 

Do I need to be fit?

On our overnight cruises, guests need to have the ability to get on and off the vessel and, if appropriate, be able to move from the Odalisque onto a tender. On our expeditions, we tailor all our activities to suit our guests’ abilities & interests. If you have any questions about the activities and are concerned about whether our cruise expeditions are for you, please get in touch.