I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published July 3rd 2018
Echuca Paddle Powered Cruises
When it comes to iconic tourist attractions, they don't come much bigger or better than the Echuca Historic Port Precinct and the worlds largest fleet of operational paddlesteamers, including the magnificent PS EMMYLOU.
PS EMMYLOU is one of the most recognisable features along the length of the Murray River. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
EMMYLOU is a replica paddlesteamer built in Echuca in 1980-82. Powered by a restored 1916 wood-fired steam engine she's 30 Metres long and 10 Metres wide with a steel hull, wooden decking and superstructure.
EMMYLOU, named after the country & western singer Emmylou Harris, starred alongside the PS PEVENSEY in the 80's TV series All The Rivers Run.
Today she is one of the most recognisable features along the length of the Murray River taking thousands of tourists back in time with regular day and overnight cruises.
Powered by an authentic 1916 wood-fired steam engine EMMYLOU operates every day of the year except Christmas Day. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
EMMYLOU operates every day of the year except Christmas Day running 1-hour cruises morning and afternoon and two-hour lunch cruises with guests dining in the onboard Redgum Restaurant. Most Saturday nights, you can also enjoy a leisurely 5-course dinner cruise.
The only wood-fired paddlesteamer in the world undertaking overnight cruises EMMYLOU transports guests back to the 19th Century romance of the Murray River trade enjoying riverside campfires, winery tours and visits to world heritage listed wetlands. A cultural experience complete with the swish-swish-swishing of the paddle-wheels, the air full of the unmistakable smell of a wood-fired steam engine driving hot, oil-coated pistons and the shrill blast of the steam whistle echoing off the river bank.
Cruising aboard EMMYLOU you'll share the river with modern forms of river transport. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
EMMYLOU also conducts regular overnight weekend Wine & Dine cruises and 2 to 4 night extended cruises.
Ongoing renovations mean that from September this year, guests will stay in brand new En-suite designer cabins with the option of having their very own suite.
All cruises include meals and on-shore tours with wine & beer served with dinner on the 3 & 4 night trips.
You can even learn the skills of a Steam Engineer and Paddlesteamer Skipper lighting the boiler and working in the engine–room before taking command in EMMYLOU's wheelhouse.
EMMYLOU's wheelhouse could be your domain if you opt for the overnight Engineer & Skipper Experience. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Costs start at $20 for Adults on the 1-hour river cruise and go all the way to $1495 per person for a 3-night Upper Murray Discovery Cruise staying in the Upper Deck Emmylou Suite with private en-suite.
The overnight Engineer & Skipper Experience costs $1750.
Check the Murray River Paddlesteamers website for the full range of cruising options, up to date cruise dates, pricing and terms & conditions.
Be sure to include an authentic Australian river experience on-board EMMYLOU in your bucket list.
Getting There …..
Echuca is 225 Kilometres north of Melbourne, jut under a 3-hour drive via the Calder Freeway/M79, the Midland Highway/A300 and the Northern Highway/B75.
Alternatively VLine operate regular fast and efficient train services to Echuca from Melbourne (Spencer Street) Railway Station.
PS EMMYLOU provides guests with an authentic Australian river experience cruising the mighty Murray River. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Where:57 Murray Esplanade, Port of Echuca, Victoria
Cost:Costs start at $20 for Adults on the 1-hour river cruise and go all the way to $1495 per person for a 3-night Upper Murray Discovery Cruise staying in the Upper Deck Emmylou Suite with private en-suite.