Frequently Asked Questions
COVID-19 Safety Measures & Policies
We are constantly enhancing our operational knowledge and procedures to deliver an outstanding guest experience, with a principal focus on the safety of our guests and staff.
On Board continues to follow all government recommendations in relation to COVID-19.
In Tasmania, from 14 October 2022 individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms are encouraged to stay at home while they remain unwell, but it will no longer be mandated for them to remain in isolation for 5 days.
As such, On Board's general terms and conditions apply to guests affected by COVID-19:
- No guest should present for the start of an expedition if they are unwell and symptoms would present a safety risk in a remote wilderness location.
- Crew may choose to evacuate a guest off an expedition if they have concerns about guest safety.
- In the event of evacuation, a guest may incur a loss of part, or all, of their expedition fee and other costs associated with evacuation.
To view our complete terms and conditions, click here.
To find out more about Tasmanian COVID-19 regulations, click here
Between January to May, Odalisque travels to and is based in Port Davey, southwest Tasmania. From June to December, On Board offers regular departures on its East Coast Expeditions, and is also available for charter for floating functions and events. At any time, On Board is available for exclusive charter.
On Board is happy to cater to dietary requirements, please just let us know at the time of booking. We’re also happy to be advised of major dislikes so that our chef can design a menu accordingly.
On Board supports multi-generational travel and welcomes guests of all ages on exclusive charters aboard Odalisque III. Guests 7 years and older are welcomed on scheduled overnight expedition cruises.
Guests wishing to indicate their preferences concerning travelling with children are encouraged to advise On Board when making a booking.
Power is available onboard to charge up any devices, including cameras. Odalisque is equipped with 240v household power points and USB charging stations in the cabins and lounge areas.
Odalisque has an internal and external in-built sound system. Set the tone of your private charter by playing your music – plug in your phone, USB or CD.
Odalisque is a non-smoking boat; however, smoking is permitted on the back deck so long as it does not interfere with other guests’ experience.
Tasmania has four distinct seasons. The warmest months are December, January, February and March. Autumn has still, sunny days and particularly beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Winter runs from June through August, a time particularly delightful in the mild year-round climate of Tasmania’s east coast. As our island sits beside the Southern Ocean, exposed to the wild winds of the Roaring Forties, the climate can vary greatly - on any given day.
The average maximum daily summer temperatures sit between 17 and 23°C and winter daily temperatures between 3 and 11°C.
Rainfall varies dramatically across the island. Hobart, with an average of 626 mm is Australia's second-driest capital city (after Adelaide), while the southwest coast’s annual average of 2,100 mm ensures the rainforest and buttongrass thrive.
Expedition Cruise FAQs
Inclusions vary from cruise to cruise, but generally On Board’s expedition cruises include the following:
- Daily tender and shore excursions.
- Tailored itinerary including walking, historic sites, birdwatching, photography, beachcombing...
- Intimate wilderness experience and accommodation onboard boutique-cruiser Odalisque
- Guide, expert skipper, host and chef
- All meals featuring gourmet Tasmanian produce
- Selection of fine Tasmanian wine and local boutique beer
- National Park entrance fees
- Weatherproof rain poncho for tender excursions
- Return flights from Hobart to the south west or return transfer between Hobart and the east coast
Please check the relevant Expedition Fact Sheet for specific information.
On Board provides an all-inclusive experience. The only additional fees are purchases from our top-shelf drinks list, which is an optional addition to our splendid selection of cool climate wines, crisp craft beers, slow-sipping spirits and non-alcoholic beverages.
On Board’s expedition cruises don’t run to a set itinerary. Rather, we tailor each experience to suit guests’ interests, guided by the weather. The experience can be as active or as relaxing as you like – there are plenty of opportunities to go ashore for walking, beachcombing and birdwatching, or you may prefer to choose a soft lounge aboard the Odalisque, sip a boutique Tasmanian beer and take in the wilderness scenery from a soft lounge aboard Odalisque.
The onboard expert wilderness guide, who knows everything there is to know about the history, plants and wildlife of the area, will plan your daily tender and shore excursions. The next day’s adventures are often the topic of conversation around the dinner table the night before.
Solo travellers are welcome aboard Odalisque. We provide the following three options.
- Single occupancy fares are available for a private cabin and guaranteed departure on a particular expedition. Single occupancy fares are available less 25% of the twin-share rate.
- Standby Singles is available to guests who are flexible with their travel times. Guests are placed on a standby list for their preferred expedition and will be contacted 30 days prior to departure should there be availability. Alternatively, you can view expeditions departing in the next 30 days here and contact us to book if you see availability. Standby Singles will only be charged at the twin-share rate per person (no single supplement).
- Single Guest Match is suitable for guests who are flexible in their departure dates and willing to share a cabin with another guest of the same gender. Like the Standby Singles, they will be placed on a standby list and will be notified as soon as a match becomes available. Once confirmed, they will only be charged at the per person rate (no supplement charged). Unlike the Standby Singles, it is possible to obtain confirmation well ahead of departure if we can match you with another solo traveller of the same gender happy to share a cabin.
If you wish to cancel your booking, you must notify On Board in writing. Depending on the date of cancellation, the following will apply:
- More than 90 days prior to departure, the deposit paid is non-refundable but is transferable to another departure within 18 months of original departure dates.
- Between 60-90 days prior to departure, you will be charged 50% of the full trip cost with the balance refunded to you.
- Less than 60 days prior to departure, no refund is available.
For more information on cancellation by guest or cancellation by On Board, see our Terms and Conditions.
On Board tailors activities to suit guests of all abilities and interests. Walking is a popular activity in our itineraries, and with options ranging from 15 minutes to 6 hours, there’s always something for everyone. On Board crew will advise guests of the difficulty level of any walks prior to departure. If a certain activity is not for you, On Board is will provide an alternate activity. For all excursions, our crew are always on hand for guidance and assistance.
Should you have any physical limitations or mobility issues, please notify our reservations team prior to your departure.
If you have any questions about the activities or are concerned about whether our cruise expeditions can cater to your fitness level, please get in touch.
Absolutely nothing! Our guides will carry anything that you might need on any day walks. Of course, you are welcome to carry your own day pack. In fact, some guests prefer to carry their camera, water bottle and a warm layer.
You’ll need to bring comfortable activewear suitable for a range of activities – from hiking to cruising in the tender – appropriate for the range of weather conditions we’ll be exposed to – from hot, sunny and still to cold, windy and wet. For more information, please take a look at the Expedition Fact Sheet
We recommend taking a pair of lightweight and sturdy hiking boots, as some of the walking tracks can be muddy, rutted or overgrown.
You’ll also need to take a second pair of shoes for wearing when on the vessel. Trust us, you’ll be wanting something dry and clean to put on. We recommend a shoe that’s comfortable and easy to get on and off eg. Sneakers or ‘boat shoes’.
A full list of what to pack can be found in the Expedition Fact Sheet.
While not essential, if you are a keen walker who prefers to use walking poles, we recommend bringing them as some tracks can be rooty and uneven.
Guests may like to change out of the day’s expedition attire into something fresh for dinner, but we like to keep it casual and relaxed onboard. There is no dress code for dining.
There is limited phone reception in Tasmania’s coastal waters, with reception patchy at best.
In the Port Davey region, there is no mobile phone reception at all. We see this as an opportunity for total escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There is however a satellite phone which guests can be reached on, should any friends or family need to make urgent contact.
When packing for your expedition we recommend that all guests pack lightly and into one soft luggage bag.
Guests joining us on an expedition itinerary with a light aircraft flight are limited to 12kg per person of personal luggage (including carry-on) as weight restrictions apply. Any luggage which exceeds the 12kg per person allowance can be stored with our Hobart team, with all bags weighed upon check-in.
For convenience and protection against the elements on all expeditions, On Board provides a waterproof expedition bag made of soft, weatherproof canvas for guest use on all expeditions. The bag is approximately 48cm long with a diameter of 34cm and a capacity of 45l.
Flights into Tasmania’s south west will not depart in extremes of weather and poor visibility. As such, changes to scheduled flight departure times can and do occur, with delays of several hours not unexpected. This is the nature of travelling to such a remote area.
In the event of inclement weather or if the flight provider is unable to operate the flight for any reason, On Board will work with the flight provider to ensure that guests are transferred on the next available day/time window in which the transfer can proceed safely.
Please refer to our terms and conditions for a detailed policy concerning scheduled flight times impacted by 12 hours or more.
We strongly recommend that guests obtain comprehensive travel insurance at the time of the initial booking. When selecting a Travel Insurance product, please ensure that it provides cover against personal accidents or injury, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability, changes to domestic connecting flights, cancellation for any reason including bereavement, delayed flights, lost luggage and personal effects.
The waters that Odalisque cruises in are generally quite calm, as they’re mostly protected from the swells of the Southern Ocean. This is particularly the case on the Port Davey Escape and Southwest Immersion expedition cruises, which operate within the safe harbour of Port Davey.
Only a short period of any expedition will be in open sea, therefore for the majority of the experiences guests will find the conditions generally fine. On Board also designs its itineraries and routes with the comfort of guests in mind. We do recommend that passengers who have a history of travel sickness or are concerned to bring their own sea sickness medication as a precaution.