The calm waters of Darwin Harbour and the balmy weather of the Top
End's dry season combine to provide the perfect environment for
cruising. A number of operators run cruises around Darwin Harbour,
catering for all tastes and requirements. These include looking at the
wildlife (dolphins, dugong and birds), exploring the mangrove
ecosystems in saltwater estuaries, or just simply taking in the
serenity of a tropical sunset. Barbecue Lunch, Sunset and Table Service
Dinner Cruises are offered; utilising a variety of craft, from
catamarans to fully rigged schooners and pearling luggers, where the
focus is on the natural environment.
The pearling lugger Anniki once plied the waters of the Torres
Strait as part of the thriving pearling fleet. Lovingly restored to her
former glory, she now takes daily sunset cruises on Darwin
Harbour. You can view a magnificent Darwin sunset aboard this
beautifully restored classic pearling lugger as the crew retell the
stories of the old pearling days and hoist her traditional sails.
The Tumlaren is a beautifully restored 20- metre schooner that
comfortably carries up to 45 guests. The Tumlaren was built in Lavender
Bay, Sydney NSW in 1981, her design was based on the scaled down
version of Dick Smith’s vessel that was taken to Antarctica, also
designed by Bob Gordon. The ‘Tumlaren’ is rigged to sail
and schedules and weather permitting, guests may have the opportunity
to experience sailing.
The ‘Alfred Nobel’ is a beautiful 30 metre spotted gum
schooner built in Newcastle, NSW and has a superbly colourful history.
She was built by the New South Wales government in 1951 as an
Explosives lighter and after years of service in Sydney harbour
ferrying ammunition. She was purchased by the Tucker Family of Tasmania
in around 1975 to become a floating cabaret boat. She was then towed to
Tasmania for the first of her many restorations.
The Charles Darwin is a steel-hulled tri-deck catamaran originally
named Shangri-La Princess. She was built in Adelaide in 1990 for the
Stannard family, a well known name in the boating industry. She was
built for use on the Gold Coast “Broadwater”, taking
passengers from Surfer’s Paradise to the Shangri-La resort on
Stradbroke Island. After many years service, two further owners and two
name changes, she was brought by Darwin Harbour Cruises in April 2010.