Begins in 2006, when our owner moved from Hobart to pursue his dream and develop Maria Island, Ile Des Phoques and Freycinet for dive and cruise tourism. After time spent wearing lab coats at UTAS and a career in commercial diving, scuba instructing and marine research, Mike decided to bring all of his experiences together at Tasmania's most loved region. Although diving, snorkeling and cruising would be a dream for most, our business took a turn in a new direction when we acquired the M.V Encounter and renamed her the Spirit Of Maria.
After seeing the need for a new ferry service to Maria Island, we began operating the Spirit Of Maria as a fast ferry and cruise vessel, which began to help shape tourism in the region. Our team implemented affordable travel to Maria Island, re-introduced school group concessions and created special free winter travel, which together raised visitation to the park from 8000 to 22,000 visitors. The ferry service is now in the hands of a new company called Encounter Maria and our business has gone back to our roots by offering cruises and tours to the place we love.
Our day tour experience 'One Day On Maria' was created from searching Maria's magical coastline for new dive sites. The combination of a morning cruise, lunch at anchor and the afternoon exploring convict history and spotting iconic wildlife are the "best bits" that Maria Island has to offer in one day. In the end, we found there were too many elements of Maria's stunning coastline to showcase in a single cruise, so we decided to develop two different cruises that we now offer on alternate days. Guests can choose from a cruise to a neighbouring seal colony with giant rainbow coloured sea caves, the Fossil Cliffs, Painted Cliffs and lunch at one of Maria's pristine beaches or chose a cruise to circumnavigate the entire island, bypassing the seal colony. Each cruise is complimented by the same lunch at anchor and the afternoon guided walk around Maria Island's World Heritage listed convict precinct.
We are proud to continue developing tourism at Maria Island. In October 2017 we committed to connect Maria Island to our State's capital city with a daily shuttle bus service. This was the first time that Maria Island would have a dedicated daily bus service from Hobart. Our shuttle bus service became a hit with guests relying on public transport and packaged tours. It was especially a hit amongst hostel and backpacker guests seeking Maria Island's unique wildlife interactions. Our shuttle bus continues to operate daily from Hobart between October and May.
East Coast Cruises is located in the picturesque seaside town of Triabunna, on Tasmania's sunny East Coast and we specialise in "cruise + walk" day tours to Maria Island National Park and shuttle bus services from Hobart to Triabunna. Triabunna is a small and peaceful fishing village who's marina precinct forms the gateway to Maria Island. From the protection of the Triabunna marina, our tour boat, the new Maria Island ferry, local fishing boats and pleasure craft connect to Maria Island and the greater East Coast. Triabunna is only 1hr and 15min from Hobart by car and remarkably only 50min from the Hobart International Airport, making Maria a fantastic day excursion from Tasmania's capital city and we believe Maria Island will become known internationally as a much sought after tourism destination.
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