Sail into the summer holidays with Port Phillip Ferries’ new free-for-kids summer cruises

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Sail into the summer holidays with Port Phillip Ferries’ new free-for-kids summer cruises

Festival of Sails © Salty Dingo 2019 CRG

Take advantage of 1-hour Summer Discovery Cruises (free for kids), VIP Ferry Mussel Packages + much more this summer.

Looking for something different to entertain the kids these festive holidays? How about an adventure across the bay on a fast ferry to either Geelong, Portarlington or Docklands?

Port Phillip Ferries are providing plenty of reasons to set sail this summer, transporting passengers across Port Phillip Bay, dropping them off on the doorstep of two of the state’s most happening holiday destinations – central Geelong and Portarlington on the Bellarine.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Transforming daily travel between Melbourne and the Geelong and Bellarine regions, Port Phillip Ferries is a 400 seat catamaran that offers several return trips daily between these locations. Offering two separate daily services between Portarlington and Docklands (70 minutes); and Geelong and Docklands (90 minutes), the ferry is ideal for a relaxed way to travel to Melbourne from the coast, or a regional adventure on Melbourne’s doorstep.

Both purpose-built vessels cater to all the creature comforts. Think on-board licensed cafe, barista-made coffee, free Wi-Fi, bike racks, charging stations and endless scenic views. Each service is accessible for all via boarding ramps, and comfortably facilitates wheelchairs, motorised mobility scooters and prams.

In addition to these regular services, which run twice-daily from Docklands, Port Phillip Ferries have plenty more happening over summer – including the introduction of new Summer Discovery Cruises (free for kids under 17); as well as extra services for the famous Portarlington Mussel Festival (and the opportunity to arrive via a VIP Ferry Mussel Package); plus the opportunity to cruise over to Geelong’s Festival of Sails.

1-hour Summer Discovery Cruises

Designed to give passengers a different perspective of Port Philip Bay, the NEW family friendly, 1-hour Summer Discovery Cruises give guests the opportunity to go for a relaxed cruise aboard a state-of-the-art 35-metre catamaran. They can kick back and enjoy the coastal scenery of either Port Phillip Bay or Corio Bay as they enjoy a refreshing beverage from the licensed café.

Cruises will depart from and return to Portarlington Pier 5-days a week (Wednesday through to Sunday) and from Geelong Pier every Saturday and Sunday during the school holidays. Best of all, kids under 17 travel free (must be pre-booked) – making this a fantastic school holiday activity for anyone in the Geelong or Bellarine area. Adult tickets cost $25 per person. Tickets can be booked here.

Portarlington Mussel Festival – Saturday 14 January

Port Phillip Ferries have partnered with the Portarlington Mussel Festival to create a VIP Ferry Mussel Package. The package includes return tickets from Docklands and express entry (via a wristband) into the event – meaning passengers avoid both the traffic and the crowds, giving them more time to kick back and enjoy the event (and the mussels!

The Portarlington Mussel Festival is set to take place on Saturday 14 January. This annual event sees over 30,000 people descend on the coastal village of Portarlington to celebrate the town’s famous (and delicious) mussels. There will be over 200 market stalls featuring local produce and wares, local beer and wine tastings, live music, art and photo exhibitions, cooking demonstrations and fun for the kids with roving entertainers.

The VIP Ferry Mussel Package (ex Docklands) costs $44 for adults, $41 for concession, $22 for children or $114 for a family of four. Services will also run from central Geelong. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly. Book tickets here.

Portarlington Mussel Festival returns in 2023 for its first event in three years

Festival of Sails – 26-29 January

Port Phillip Ferries will cruise right in the heart of the action as The Festival of Sails takes over the Royal Geelong Yacht Club and Geelong’s waterfront over the Australia Day long weekend (26-29 January). First held in 1844, The Festival of Sails attracts the highest calibre of sailing craft and crew, with celebrations and entertainment on and off the water. In celebration of the 180th-anniversary milestone of the Passage Race (the oldest sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere), this year promises the biggest entertainment line-up ever. 30 artists will perform across three stages over the weekend… and it’s all FREE! Avoid the traffic and take the ferry directly from Melbourne to make getting to this historical event as easy as possible. Book ferry tickets here.

Port Phillip Ferries – Packages & Experiences

Port Phillip Ferries offers various tours and transport connections for those looking to explore either Geelong or the wider Bellarine area further. Popular package options include:

Gather your captain and crew, it’s time to set sail on an adventure across the bay.

Find out more here