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Published August 15th 2013
The enjoyable alternative to driving around the bay
Recently we decided to go on a short break from one Peninsula to the other and the perfect way to avoid getting stuck in city traffic and wasting precious time on a Freeway was to take the Searoad Ferries which would have us on the other side of the bay within 30 - 40 minutes instead of the 2 hours or more to drive around.
The downside to taking the ferries is the price and you pay for the time that you would have otherwise taken driving around the bay. Cost for a car one way is $59 with the driver included in that price and with a family in the car you can add another $40 dollars. Online booking is cheaper and a return ticket brings the price down again, so for a family and the car both ways cost $148.
The ride on the boat is relaxing and the scenery is beautiful. You pass Millionaires row in Sorrento and Portsea with the truly astonishing mansions with private piers and beach access with yachts moored in the bay.
Inside the boat is comfortable with two levels to sit and admire the views. The lounge area is well thought out with a children's play gym in one corner and a train set to keep the younger kids amused and colouring in sheets and pencils. The on board kiosk is handy for a coffee and something to eat and if you have teens or if you need to finish off some work the free wi-fi comes in handy.
The ferries offer both passenger tickets and car passes so for an enjoyable and cheap day out you can leave the car at Sorrento or Queenscliff and board the ferry. You can even take your dog with you as long as you stay in the outside spaces.
Foot passes cost $60 return for a family, $20 return for an adult, $18 for concession and $16 for children aged 4-16.