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Automobiles, Planes, Buses, Trams, and Boats. Queen Elizabeth Cruise 2020

The Queen Elizabeth Cruise Ship.
Toward the end of January 2020 my partner, Enigma, booked us on an eight day cruise holiday that was a round trip from Melbourne (Australia) to Adelaide, Hobart, Burnie, and then back to Melbourne. 

In the coming weeks I will be writing about that holiday, with this post being the first in the series, until I've covered everything about the trip I think you'll find interesting if you're contemplating such a holiday yourself (or are just interested to read what we got up to).

Ordinarily transportation wouldn't be a highlight of a holiday but, just getting to our cruise ship, the Queen Elizabeth, docked in Melbourne reminded me of the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987) staring comedy legends Steve Martin and John Candy.

Not so much the movie, as the movie title anyway. I feel like we should have taken a train home from Adelaide (to Gawler), like we did on one of our trips back from Perth, just so I could list the full set of vehicles we used getting to and from the ship.

As already mentioned, Enigma and I live in Gawler, which is a country town just north of Adelaide that's now so close it may as well be a suburb of said city.

If you're paying attention we could have boarded our cruise in Adelaide but that would have shortened our time on the boat by two days. Cruise ships are as much about the experience of being onboard a cruise ship as they are about the destinations. 

Melbourne is just over an hour away by plane, which sounds simple enough. We decided to board the ship in Melbourne, arriving there a day earlier than departure so we would have plenty of time to get to the ship and see a little bit of the city too.

Our trip started with Enigma's daughter, who drove us to Adelaide Airport, where we caught our plane to Melbourne, landing at about lunchtime on a Saturday afternoon. Easy part over. 

From the airport we caught the Skybus, which is just a regular double decker bus/coach that runs to and from the airport every eight minutes, into the central business district. About a 20-25 minute journey.

We had a quick lunch at the Bus/Train station before crossing the road to our tram stop, for which Enigma had purchased ticket passes at the 7-11 convenience store (also at the Bus/Train Station).

The tram was about a 10-15 minute, very crowded, ride out to our hotel in Middle Park (not too far from St. Kilda and Port Melbourne Beach).

I'll write with more detail about our overnight stay in Melbourne in the next post but to continue our trip to the boat, Enigma originally planned to get an Uber to the pier but seemed very reluctant to spend the money because once there we'd have a lot of time to kill. Boarding wasn't until at least 1pm and the boat itself didn't leave until after 4pm (supposedly, more on that in a future post).

We could actually see the Queen Elizabeth from the end of the street our hotel was on. Easily within walking distance, unless you're dragging along a suitcase (on wheels) weighing in the double digits.

With about two hours to kill before we could board, and Enigma not really being that decisive about how we would get to the pier, I convinced her we may as well walk it, with a stop or two to rest inbetween.

Middle Park is a fairly upmarket area with good footpaths so I figured the wheels on our cases wouldn't take too much of a beating. Because we were right next to the beach front there was bound to be plenty of places to stop for a drink or ice creams. As it turned out there was an ice cream shop at exactly the halfway point.

The walk to the pier, including stopping for ice cream took us about 40 minutes. It was kind of comedic that the ushers at the pier gave us a trolley to carry our bags the five minute walk up the pier to the terminal for bag check in.

Melbourne skyline from our
hotel window.
While a post about transport probably doesn't make for a very exciting start to a series about a holiday on a cruise ship, it was certainly something we had to navigate before the real holiday began.

In the next post I'll outline our stay in Melbourne, our hotel, and how we spent our limited time exploring the sights before boarding the cruise. If you would like to find other posts in this series just click: Queen Elizabeth Cruise 2020.

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