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Work begins on Australia's first five-star river cruise


Victoria is one step closer to delivering Australia’s first five-star river cruise with construction starting on the luxury PS Australian Star paddlesteamer, thanks to support from the Victorian Government.

Works are underway on the state-of-the-art vessel in Mildura, supported with a $2.25 million investment from the Regional Tourism Investment Fund.

Coined the PS Australian Star, the project is being delivered by Murray River Paddlesteamers and will create 13 local jobs during construction and a further 16 ongoing jobs when it begins cruising in 2025.

Built locally in Mildura and operating from the Port of Echuca, the vessel will provide a luxury cruise along the Murray for up to 38 guests. Journeys of three, four and seven night stays will be available with opportunities to explore riverside communities along the way.

The PS Australian Star will be equipped with up to 19 ensuite cabins, a fine dining restaurant and function space, a guest lounge with panoramic views and bars across two levels. It will provide accessible cabins, an elevator for access to all levels and multiple outdoor relaxation areas.

The three-deck PS Australian Star will replace the smaller 16-guest PS Emmylou paddlesteamer which currently offers overnight cruises on the Murray. It will offer a modern, energy-efficient, hybrid diesel and steam propulsion system featuring a refurbished 1907 wood-fired steam engine.

Tourism is big business in Echuca, with the Campaspe Local Government Area welcoming 1.1 million domestic visitors who spent approximately $340 million in the year ending December 2022.

The Regional Tourism Investment Fund is helping entice more visitors to Victoria’s regions, driving private investment and accelerating the recovery of the tourism sector.

Fore more  information, visit Regional Tourism Investment Fund.