Maria Island and Isle of Seals Day Cruise
The Ile Des Phoques has been our favourite place to cruise, swim, dive and explore ever since we began in 2007. The Ile Des Phoques (French for Island of Seals) is an absolute haven for marine life and has been declared one of the best cold water dives in the world.
Your cruise to the seals will capture the stunning views of Maria Island, including famous landmarks such as the Painted Cliffs and Fossil Cliffs, spring-fed waterfalls, limestone sea caves, cliff-top stalactites, Bishop & Clerk mountain range and the stunning granite cliffs of Maria Island's east coast. At the northern tip of Maria Island the cruise will head North to the Ile Des Phoques, a 30min boat ride from Maria Island. On the way to this remarkable granite island you can see albatross, dolphins, Australian fur seals and whales (depending on the time of year) as well as majestic panoramic views of Maria Island and the Freycinet Peninsula.
Upon arrival at the Ile Des Phoques, we stop the boat and you sit with the seals whilst you enjoy lunch. This is a remarkable experience in itself. To enjoy a gourmet Tasmanian lunch whilst seals play about the boat is a dream for most (including us). If that wasn’t enough, the cruise then takes you exploring Ile Des Phoques’ hidden secrets - the largest granite sea caves in Tasmania (possibly the Southern Hemisphere) to claim that "once in a lifetime" photo. Our cruises take the time for you to enjoy your surroundings.
We spend an hour at lunch with the seals and up to 15 minutes in each sea cave. After a relaxing 1.5 hours at Ile Des Phoques, the cruise returns you to Darlington for a guided tour of the convict settlement and the most sought after of all souvenir photos with the local wildlife. Cruise takes approximately 4 hours. Stay on Maria Island is approximately 2hours including a 45min guided walking tour of the Darlington convict settlement.
Tour departs Triabunna at 9:30am and returns at 5:00pm.
As we operate both tours with a single boat, the first person to book will set the tour destination for that day.
Each of our tours to Maria Island is especially designed to provide an exciting, informative and unforgettable day. Our professional staff are 100% committed to your enjoyment, comfort and safety and we pride ourselves on delivering the very best experience for each and every tour. We will provide you with a guarantee that if we do meet or exceed your expectation, we will refund your money, no questions asked.
Due to the high operational costs of our tours, we do require a minimum of 6 adult passengers for each tour. We are always hopeful that we will reach this requirement on every tour, however if we have not yet met the requirement within 48hrs days of the tour date, we will contact you and discuss the flexibility and options of moving to a different day.
Cancelling your tour
If you would like to cancel your booking, you are welcome to do so. Please let us know before the day of the tour. We are very reasonable in providing refunds to customers, we simply ask that you notify us. We do not accept cancellations on the day but will provide a voucher for the cost of your booking for you to redeem at a later date. Credit cards may be charged or refunds may not be given if you do not show up without notifying our office. Please note (important) we do not cancel tours because of rain. We only cancel tours if strong wind and swell prevent us from safely and comfortably cruising around Maria Island. If you wake up to rain on the day of your tour, please note that unless conditions on the water are rough, we will still be cruising and will not accept cancellations on the day because of rainy or overcast conditions. Rain is a good thing here as we typically have low annual rainfall! The mountains, cliffs and waterfalls of Maria Island all look amazing with mist and cloud around them and we are equally excited to tour on wet and rainy days. Lastly, please feel free to call our office on 0362571300 (8am-6pm) if you would like to discuss the weather or your booking.
Maria Island park entry
The arrangement for Maria Island Park entry has changed from April 2017. As Maria Island is a Tasmanian National Park, managed by the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service, all visitors to Maria Island must hold a Tasmanian Park Pass. If you do not already hold a Park Pass, a $5 entry fee (per person) will be added to your booking. This fee will contribute directly to the maintenance and upgrading of island infrastructure and replaces the $12 per person daily Park Pass. If you would like to purchase a Park Pass for the entire period of your stay in Tasmania, simply purchase an extended Holiday Pass or Annual Pass when you arrive in Tasmania and show this pass to us on the day. These passes are valid for up to 8 guests. If you arrive with a Holiday or Annual Pass, you will not be required to pay the Maria Island entry fee. Annual and Holiday Passes can be purchased at any Visitor Information Centre or Service Tasmania outlets around the State. You can also purchase these passes from the Triabunna Visitor Information Centre on the day. The Triabunna Visitor Centre is located directly opposite our boat at the Triabunna marina.
Our tous are PERFECT for children! In fact, our tours are so much fun they bring out the child in all of us!! The friendly wildlife at Maria Island capture the imagination of children and adults alike. Although each tour is packed full of adventure, they are different and we often recommend visiting the "Island Of Seals" for young children if you have the choice. We have provided concessions for children between 2yo - 15yo and families (2A + 2Ch). Infants under 2yo travel for free. Children 16yo and older can be declared as students and are available to use the concession rate.
Our tours are licensed to provide alcoholic drinks with lunch! Drinks can be pre-purchased if you would like to enjoy a glass with your gourmet lunch. Our selection of Darlington Vineyard wines ($6 per glass) include: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir. Our selection of Tasmanian beer include Boags Premium Larger ($6 per drink) and Boags Premium Light ($5 per drink). Soft drinks are also provided on the boat for $2 per can. Juice, water, tea and coffee are provided free of charge on the boat. Drinks can also be purchased on the boat during lunch and added to your order (applicable to orders paid by credit card. Please bring payment with you if you have paid for your tour by PayPal, direct deposit or via a tourism agent).
On board Toilet
Our custom built vessel Spirit Of Maria has a very comfortable, full-sized toilet. The toilet is electronic flushing (no pumps or vales) and offers easy access and also doubles as a private change room.
As you would expect, sometimes the weather does effect our plan for cruising at short notice. If the weather does not allow for a cruise to Ile Des Phoques, the cruise will be changed to a Rielde Bay cruise. We have a very good idea of the weather 7 days before the cruise date. If there are any concerns about changing the plan of the tour, or cancelling we will let you know. If you have your own concerns about the weather, PLEASE give us a call. We only operate the tours in gentle weather. Please also note, we do not cancel tours because of rain. We only cancel tours if strong wind and swell prevent us from safely and comfortably cruising around Maria Island. If you wake up to rain on the day of your tour, please note that unless conditions on the water are rough, we will still be cruising and will not accept cancellations on the day because of rainy or overcast conditions. Rain is a good thing here as we typically have the least rainfall in Tasmania! The mountains, cliffs and waterfalls of Maria Island all look amazing with mist and cloud around them and we are equally excited to tour on wet and rainy days!
If you are concerned about sea sickness, there is a pharmacy in Triabunna where you can purchase motion sickness medication. Please inform our boat staff if you are susceptible to motion sickness and they will allow you onto the boat first and allocate you the last row of seats (at the rear of the boat). This is where we advise people to sit if they are prone to motion sickness. Please do not choose to sit at the bow (front) of the boat. We also have ginger tablets and wrist bands (they work!) so please also ask for these before we depart. It is not common to feel motion sick on our boat as it is very easy to travel on, but always best to take precautions.
If you have travelled with us before, you join the exclusive TEAM ECC club! Team ECC members are offered 20% off any future tour they may wish to book. Simply enter the code: vip into the online booking and receive 20% off the total of your booking. Bring a friend or family under your booking and they will also receive this discount. In your booking, you must supply the name and approximate date of when you last travelled with us so that we can mach your details to those we have stored for you on our system. Hope to see our VIP members again soon!
East Coast Cruises accepts credit card (Visa or Mastercard), PayPal or Direct Deposit (EFT) payments with each booking. We do not accept cash on the day unless a credit card has been taken against the booking. All credit card payments will be processed on the day of the tour. Credit card details are stored in a secure online booking system and are removed after the completion of your tour. Adjustments to bookings paid via credit cards can be made up until the completion of the tour without any extra charges. Adjustments to bookings paid via PayPal or EFT payments will have to be made as a second transaction upon completion of the tour.
General Booking Terms
East Coast Cruises reserves the right to cancel departures at anytime and will refund the full amount of any monies paid by the customer. Bookings must be confirmed by East Coast Cruises before the commencement of the cruise. Cancellations by the customer must be made 24 hours prior to the cruise departure to avoid cancellation fees. Cancellations by the customer within 24 hours of the tour departure may attract a cancellation fee of fifty percent. Customers who cancel on the day of their cruise or tour booking or who fail to attend will be charged the full amount and not be entitled to a refund. Prices may be subject to change at anytime.