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Welcome On Board – and introducing the Odalisque III

We’re thrilled to share two huge pieces of news:

  1. Our new name and brand: On Board - Tasmanian Expedition Cruises
  2. A brand new vessel under construction

To give you the inside scoop, we sat down with our founder and skipper Pieter van der Woude for a Q&A. Piet told us everything we need to know about what’s changing - and what’s staying exactly the same.

Why the change in brand name – from Tasmanian Boat Charters to On Board?

The business has evolved from its humble beginnings 23 years ago. Odalisque I, my first boat, was primarily used for abalone diving. From this same vessel, I also began offering private charters, sharing with visitors the most inaccessible parts of Tasmania’s coast. It was here that Tasmanian Boat Charters was born, with the business expanding from there. Milestones along the way include the commissioning of Odalisque II, a custom-built vessel for small groups, and the dropping of our mooring in Port Davey, signalling the start of our fly in / fly out experience in the southwest wilderness. 

Come 2022, we offer expedition cruises into Tasmania’s wildest corners - with guests looked after by some of the most experienced guides and skippers in the business, who know (and love) the areas intimately. We take people beyond their comfort zones, but with all the creature comforts. 

We felt we needed a new name that reflected the experience that we now offer, and the catalyst for the change has been the commission of our new vessel, Odalisque III.

In building the new brand, it was our intention to retain the elements of the previous brand that are still relevant and important to us as a family business, as well leveraging the equity that has been created in the collective market's consciousness. So, you’ll see in the new brand that we’ve kept some of the previous elements, such as the colour profiles (which reflect the landscapes in which we operate) and the sea pens (fragile marine creatures which are very close to our hearts). 

We hope you like what you see. And we invite you to step On Board for an expedition like no other. 

You’ve changed the brand, but is it still the same people behind it?

Behind our new name, it’s still the same family-owned, Tasmanian business and talented team. My daughter Alice continues to work alongside me, responsible for marketing and leading the development of our guest experience. Our Hobart team has expanded to include Sam Graudins, a Tassie local accomplished in marine tourism and luxury guest services. If you pick up the phone, it will most likely be Sam’s cheery voice you hear.  

Some of you will recall (or even better, will have met) our expert guides and ecological educators. Mark Holdsworth, Peter Mooney, Peter Marmion and Nick Mooney, who were our core guiding team when we started in Port Davey six years ago, continue to bestow their untold wisdom on guests, making for an informative (and entertaining) adventure. 

The onboard dining experience continues to be curated by our head chef Courtney Drew. Many of you will be familiar with Courtney, as she’s been working with us for four years now, bringing great energy, laughter and flavour onboard. 

Pieter van der Woude with his children Alice and Harry in Port Davey in 2018.
Pieter van der Woude with his children Alice and Harry in Port Davey in 2018.

Now, tell us about On Board’s new vessel.

Odalisque III is a custom-built expedition-cruise vessel designed for comfort, style, safety and an intimate wilderness experience in Tasmanian waters.

The new boutique-cruiser, a 24m catamaran, houses just 12 guests across a generous three levels. Onboard, there are six curated guest cabins, two spacious lounges, three outdoor viewing decks and an open bridge – all with magnificent water aspects. 

Odalisque III is being built right here in Tasmania by local boat builders Richardson Devine Marine, award-winning and expert designer/constructor of aluminium vessels for the Australian and international market.

I look forward to sharing regular updates of our build journey with you. 

What will the onboard experience be like on Odalisque III?

On Board offers an elevated and tailored wilderness experience, led by an expert guide and skipper. New on Odalisque III is the addition of a host to our talented team. The host will oversee the guest experience on the vessel - leading the rest of the crew in the delivery of top-notch, bespoke service for all those travelling with us.

The dining experience onboard is led by specialist chefs who have been borrowed, begged and stolen from some of Hobart’s top restaurants. Expect indulgent meals made from fresh seasonal Tasmanian produce in what is quite possibly Tasmania’s most remote restaurant.

Artist’s impression of Odalisque III
Artist’s impression of Odalisque III

What will the new cabins be like?

There will be two classes of cabins aboard the Odalisque III – Southwest Suites and Coastal Cabins. 

The carefully curated suites of the upper deck exude sophistication, reflecting the moody colours of the south west. These refined staterooms are a little more spacious than their main deck counterparts and have larger private ensuites. Each Southwest Suite features a comfortable queen bed, expansive ocean views and direct access to the open bridge and wheelhouse lounge. 

The relaxed yet considered cabins of the main deck have a coastal-chic feel, emulating the soft, sandy colours of the east coast. These stylish rooms include a comfortable queen bed, a private ensuite with toilet and shower, and wide wilderness views through large windows.

When will the new vessel start operating?

Expeditions cruises from Odalisque III will start from January 2023. 

Fancy one last cruise on Odalisque II? Our existing vessel, which takes just six guests, is available for private charter and East Coast Expeditions up until December 2023. Last chance to get on board!