After a delicious breakfast in the Club Lounge at Adelaide’s InterContinental, best scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, it was time to get ready for a leisurely stroll across the road to pick up the bus for the 1 hour, 15 minute drive through very green countryside to Mannum, where we were to join our Captain Cook Cruises Murray Princess paddle steamer.

Our first glimpse of the paddle steamer on the majestic Murray River made us eager to get on board. We were welcomed by the captain and offered complimentary refreshments served in one of the comfortable lounges overlooking the giant paddle wheel. We were checked in and escorted to our cabin by one of the friendly staff members after being issued a name badge, which sped up the “getting to know you” process.


Everyone was so friendly.

We accessed the cabin by an outdoor deck and, to be honest, it is quite compact, as is the en suite bathroom. We only spent our sleeping hours in the cabin due to the many comfortable lounges offering panoramic views, so we found this was not a problem. There are several larger cabins available for family groups.

Complimentary tea, coffee, biscuits and bottled water are available 24/7 in the popular Paddle Wheel Lounge. The bar area on the top deck at the front of the ship also offered fantastic views and comfortable large leather armchairs. Although not a drinker, I spent most of my time in this area. There was a cocktail special each day as well as non-alcoholic mocktails.

So this was how our Murray River adventure began and we looked forward to the Captain’s Welcome Dinner that evening.