Christmas in July on the Murray River (7 July 2025)

  • history
    5 days, 4 nights
  • history
    5 days
  • history
    4 nights
  • calendar_month
    7 July 2025
  • calendar_month
    11 July 2025
  • C​ruise on the iconic Murray Princess paddlewheeler
  • Enjoy a wonderful variety of on-shore experiences
  • Celebrate "Christmas in July" with a festive Aussie lunch and carols

Christmas in July celebrations first began in 1933 in North Carolina where it became an annual event for a summer camp. Australia has a thriving multicultural society and in South Australia many townships such as the German village of Hahndorf have strong Winter Christmas traditions. Murray Princess brings the best of our Northern Hemisphere winter culture to the Murray River for Christmas in July cruises. When winter comes around it's time to break out the mince pies, puddings and Yuletide treats. For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, that transforms into Christmas in July.


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The PS Murray Princess


  • 4​ nights in an Outside twin cabin
  • All meals (table d’hote and a la carte menus)
  • An exciting selection of onshore tours
  • Guided nature walks & eco-excursions
  • Onboard presentations
  • Live entertainment
  • Return coach transfers from Adelaide or return to the Adelaide Airport or car parking in Mannum*

H​ighlights while on the cruise:

  • Christmas festivities, carols and a traditional Christmas Lunch or Dinner
  • C​hristmas activities - Christmas Bingo
  • H​istoric Mannum
  • Cruise through Lock #1 at Blanchetown
  • Visit the cellar door at Burk Salter Boutique Winery
  • Take a walking tour of the Swan Reach township and visit the Swan Reach Museum (Gold coin donation at entry)
  • See the towering sandstone cliffs at the Big Bend
  • Watch the Sunnydale Woolshed Show & go to the Native Wildlife Shelter
  • Enjoy a riverside Aussie Barbecue
  • Explore the Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Reserve archaeological sites with an expert local guide*
  • Delight in a scenic tender boat ride
  • Go on a Nocturnal Tour in a comfortable purpose built cart where you may see kangaroos, wombats, foxes, bats and owls (optional - additional cost)
  • Enjoy a Bush Tucker Breakfast (optional - additional cost)
  • Optional Barossa Wine & Heritage Tour at conclusion of cruise (additional cost)
Your fare excludes:
  • T​ravel insurance
  • F​lights to and from Adelaide



Monday 7 July 2025

C​ruise departs Mary Ann Reserve, Mannum at 4:30pm

Mid-afternoon the PS Murray Princess departs historic Mannum, the birthplace of the Murray River trade and communication, and heads upriver while you enjoy a Welcome Dinner. As we cruise under floodlight to our overnight mooring at Caurnamont, you may see nocturnal wildlife on the riverbank. Watch for kangaroos, hairy nosed wombats, tortoises, egrets and many other species. Our on-board entertainer provides music for the night owls.

Tuesday 8 July 2025

Daybreak and it’s time for the keen photographers to be out to capture the special light and the morning movement of wildlife. Prolific birdlife includes pelicans, wrens and swans. Enjoy a leisurely morning and lunch cruising upriver to Blanchetown through one of 13 locks which maintain the flow and levels of the river’s water.

This afternoon we moor opposite to the township of Blanchetown for our overnight anchorage. As the last rays of the sun fade, we visit Burk Salter Boutique Winery and enjoy wine tasting at the cellar door which is fitted out with beautiful red gum bars. After dinner, join us for all the fun and excitement, and participate in our “Murray River Cup”.

Wednesday 9 July 2025

After breakfast we cruise downriver to picturesque Swan Reach. The town was first settled in the 1850s, was originally the largest of five sheep and cattle stations in the area and is now home to native flower and fruit growers.

The original Swan Reach homestead is now the Swan Reach Hotel where you can enjoy an ale or cappuccino overlooking the Murray River (additional cost). Join a walking tour and visit the Swan Reach Museum (gold coin donation at entry). Cruise downriver after lunch and take in the tranquillity as the landscape slides by.

When we arrive at Sunnydale, it’s all ashore for the Woolshed Show as we recreate typical Australian woolshed history. Later we visit the Native Wildlife Shelter where some of South Australia’s most interesting native animals are cared for.

And then of course, there is the great Aussie Barbecue – cooked and served in a bush setting on the banks of the mighty Murray River.

Thursday 10 July 2025

After an optional early morning Bush Tucker Breakfast* or bush walk with the Captain, the vessel cruises slowly downriver past magnificent cliffs scoured by the river over millions of years.

We reach Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Reserve, one of Australia’s most significant archaeological sites, for a step back in time – tens of thousands of years – for a guided boardwalk tour to view ancient rock carvings and to learn about Aboriginal history in the area.

We return to the vessel to cruise downriver to Younghusband. Along the way, adventure seekers can also take a scenic tender boat ride. Tonight, join your fellow guests for a delicious final night dinner and enjoy the evening entertainment.

*Optional tour: Bush Tucker Breakfast. Additional cost and bookings can be made on board through your Guest Services Attendant.

F​riday 11 July 2025

We head back to Mannum and after breakfast, we reluctantly say farewell as we arrive at the Mannum Wharf at approx 9am. You will then transferred to Adelaide Central Bus Station or Adelaide Airport.

Post - Cruise Optional Tour -Barossa Wine and Heritage Tour (additional cost)

Discover Australia’s richest and best-known wine making region– the Barossa. Depart Mannum by coach to the famous Barossa, the beautiful ‘valley of the vine’ and the source of about a quarter of Australia’s world-renowned wines. You will visit Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre, Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop and enjoy a two-course lunch at Lambert Estate, where you’ll have time to take in the views of this popular vineyard. Your final stop is Gully Gardens at Angaston, a local producer of dried fruits and confectionery before returning to Mannum. You will then transfer to a luxury coach for your journey back to Adelaide arriving at approximately 5.30pm or Adelaide Airport at approximately 6.00pm.

This is a sample itinerary only and is subject to change due to weather, water levels and other operational requirements. Murray Princess reserves the right to amend itineraries and tours without notice.

Dates and Prices


7​ - 11 July 2024

  • Twin Share Outside Cabin $2,425 per person
  • Single Traveller Outside Cabin $3,799


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Outside twin cabin

Outside cabins with twin bedding are located on Randell and Cadell Decks. Each outside cabin opens onto the outside deck walkway with picture windows to view the passing scenery. All cabins come with private bathroom ensuite, electric blankets, soap, shampoo, hairdryers, towels and daily servicing. 

While on board the paddlewheeler, you'll enjoy...

  • Relaxing in one of the two lounges, with spectacular scenery views
  • Hanging out on the Sun Deck at the top of the vessel
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Delicious a la carte lunches
  • Dining each evening with fellow passengers
  • Onboard entertainment



Cruise Times - Cruises depart and return to Mannum - recommend arriving into Adelaide prior to 11:30am (please note transfers do not pick up from the airport only Adelaide CBD as per below) The Journey from Adelaide Airport to Mannum is 1hr 45mins. Departing flights at end of cruise recommend departing after 2pm

Adelaide Coach Transfers - At time of booking advise where you want to be collected from in Adelaide. Choices are:

  • A​delaide Central Bus Station - 1.20pm
  • H​ilton Adelaide - 1.30pm
  • M​ajestic Roof Garden Hotel - 1.35pm
  • C​rowne Plaza Adelaide - 1.35pm
  • S​tamford Plaza Adelaide - 1.45pm
  • T​he Terrace Hotel Adelaide- 2pm
  • No pick-up from Adelaide airport, droff off after cruise at approx 12pm

Car parking is available at Mannum. Advise at time of booking if you would like a car park spot to be secured for you. Please ensure you arrive at Mannum by 3pm for check in

Facilities onboard include:

  • Lift access from Randell Deck to Sturt Deck
  • Paddlewheel Lounge
  • Sturt Bar
  • Sturt Dining Room
  • Sun Deck
  • Onboard Souvenir Shop
  • Public Amenities

What level of fitness is required?

All passengers are required to complete a Fitness to Travel Declaration 60 days prior to travel. A good level of fitness and health is required to participate in Murray Princess cruises. In some destinations there are extensive sightseeing excursions by foot and which includes climbing of stairs. Mobility is needed boarding or alighting coaches, river cruise ships and mooring locations.

Passengers with disabilities or special needs are welcome, provided they are accompanied by a companion capable of providing all necessary assistance. Any disability or medical condition requiring special attention must be reported to your consultant at the time of booking.

What clothes should I pack?

During the day, sportswear and casual clothing is suggested. We kindly ask that you do not wear bathing suits, singlets or brief attire in public rooms and lounges, especially in the dining room. Footwear is requested in both the dining room and lounges at all times. During the evening, smart casual wear is recommended – an open neck shirt and trousers for gentlemen and a dress, skirt or pants and blouse for the ladies. At the Captains Dinner on the final night of the cruise, a jacket and tie would not be out of place for gentlemen and a cocktail dress or pants outfit for the ladies. Be sure to bring a sun visor or hat, sunglasses and good sun block/sun screen. Sandals, low-heeled deck shoes and tennis shoes are most suitable on-deck and for onshore excursions.



Travel at 60 and supplier booking conditions apply.

Room imagery is for illustration purposes only, actual room layout, furnishing and design may vary. This is subject to availability at the time of check in.

A non-refundable deposit of $400 per person is due within 7 days of booking. Final payment is due no later than Monday 31 March 2025

Supplier Cancellation Fees: 

  • More than 90 days prior to departure - loss of deposit
  • 30 - 89 days prior to departure - 50% cancellation fees 
  • Under 30 days prior to departure - 100% cancellations fees
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