Book in your annual leave, the Spirit of Tasmania is officially moving to Geelong this spring

Book in your annual leave, the Spirit of Tasmania is officially moving to Geelong this spring

Sailings between Devonport and Geelong are now open from 1 January 2023.

In a massive win for the region, The Spirit of Tasmania is relocating its Victorian port operations from Port Melbourne to Geelong, confirming the move will happen in Spring this year.

Later this year, the beloved Spirit will bid farewell to Station Pier, Port Melbourne and wave hello to Corio Quay, Geelong, where the new state-of-the-art terminal will come to life.

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Located about 70 kilometres south-west of Port Melbourne, the brand-new, purpose-designed terminal will be fitted with cutting-edge technology and exceptional facilities for an enhanced travel experience. With easy access and ample parking, undercover areas for vehicles, seamless boarding and security processes, comfortable and accessible passenger lounges with a café and children’s play area, Spirit of Tasmania’s Geelong terminal will make any journey truly unforgettable.

The $135 million 12-hectare Corio hub will provide smooth boarding and disembarking with the facility offering marshalling for 600 cars, freight parking for 150 semi-trailers and a world-class three-level access ramp.

Designs of the terminal were released late last year by Brand Architects and incorporated angled windows and sunshades over the glass façade that evoke images of the jagged contours of Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain and the icy waters of Dove Lake, which form a dramatic vista that can be enjoyed from the lake shores. Cradle Mountain is synonymous with nature, wilderness and all things pristine. The colour and materials palette was chosen accordingly, with the neutral greys and bronze colours reminiscent of the dolerite peak, often shrouded by cloud.

Originally announcing the news back in 2020, TT-Line Chairman Michael Grainger said this move to Geelong will provide the company (who began operating in 1985) with a “unique opportunity to improve the passenger experience” and provide room to expand its freight offering for years to come.

“The company’s operations are often negatively impacted by significant congestion in the greater Port Melbourne area, particularly when cruise ships are in port, that in turn, causes delays in loading and discharge of passengers.

“Passenger feedback on this part of our operations has been critical, with passengers citing boarding queues of up to two-and-a-half-hours, which in turn impacts the sailing schedule.”

The Corio Quay port base is about 70 kilometres south-west of Port Melbourne, roughly an hour’s drive from the capital city, however it’s claimed that the changed journey is not expected to add any time to the trip and the company said it was anticipating “time savings” due to greater efficiencies at the new port, as well as leading to increased passenger growth.

The Corio Quay will also able to accommodate two larger Spirit of Tasmania vessels which are set to be built by Finnish shipbuilder RMC.

Alongside all of this, it’s also going to create major economic, employment and tourism opportunities for Geelong, the Bellarine and the wider G21 region, which is news that we all appreciate right now.

No exact date for the move has been revealed but bookings are now open for trips to the new Corio Quay site from 2023.

Find out more here