Connecting the Capitals - Rail & Sail (departing Sydney)

Combine a cruise on the luxurious Sapphire Princess enjoying world-class dining and entertainment, with a unique rail holiday from Melbourne to Canberra and back to Sydney on the Southern Explorer. Visit both the Barossa and McLaren Vale wine regions in Adelaide, explore the arcades and laneways of Melbourne and enjoy free time in Canberra to visit the National Museum of Australia, the War Memorial or National Gallery.


This morning depart Sydney on a flight of your choice. On arrival in Adelaide, make your way to your accommodation and the rest of the day is at your leisure.

Overnight: Majestic Roof Garden Hotel or similar, 4 nights

Today travel into South Australia’s premium wine region, the Barossa. Taste some premium wines and enjoy morning tea at Pindarie. Then it’s on to Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop, where you will hear all about Maggie’s story, and get to sample her entire product range. At Lambert Estate you’ll enjoy a structured tasting, and feast upon a gourmet two course lunch, before finishing the day at Barossa Valley Chocolate Company, where you will pair their wine with some of their chocolate.

Today is a free day to explore the city of Adelaide. Discover Adelaide's cultural boulevard, North Terrace, and visit the Adelaide Museum or Art Gallery. Or take the tram down to Glenelg, one of Adelaide's most popular seaside suburbs, and wander through the shops on Jetty Road, and enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants on the Marina. This evening there are a range of popular restaurants for dinner along Rundle Street, just a short walk from your hotel. Choose from a classic pub meal, to Thai, Indian or Italian cuisines.

Today discover some of the best food and wine McLaren Vale has to offer, including a guided tour and tastings, plus lunch at the spectacular d’Arenberg Cube. You will enjoy a tour and tastings at Wirra Wirra, and an option of either wine, gin or beer tastings at Beresford Wines. Then if time is remaining, there will be free time to explore the galleries and shops in the main street.

This afternoon make your way to Outer Harbour to board the Sapphire Princess. Settle into your chosen cabin and meet some of your fellow travellers at dinner tonight.

Overnight: Sapphire Princess, 4 nights

This morning disembark in the pretty seaside town of Port Lincoln. Claimed to be the seafood capital of Australia, the waters around the town are famous for southern bluefin tuna and sardines. Join one of the offshore tours and visit the Lincoln National Park, see the scenic coastline and finish the day with wine tasting at Boston Bay. There are also tours that offer oyster and seafood tastings, with a visit to the Coffin Bay Oyster Farm just a short drive from Port Lincoln.

Today you will arrive at Kangaroo Island for a full day exploring. Jump on one of the many coach tours and head to Flinders Chase National Park to see the iconic Remarkable Rocks and Admirals Arch. If you're keen to see the local wildlife, join a guided beach walk amongst a colony of wild Australian sea lions at Seal Bay Conservation Park.

Spend the day enjoying the vast dining and entertainment options on the Sapphire Princess. With state of the art facilities, the ship itself is a destination! With original musical productions, dazzling magic shows, feature films and top comedians, there is always something happening to keep you entertained.

If you're after some relaxation or rejuvenation, visit the exclusive adults-only 'Sanctuary' or book a treatment at the Lotus Spa.

This morning arrive at Phillip Island where you can disembark and join one of the onshore tours. Known for its lovely seaside villages and abundant wildlife, enjoy a self-guided walk to explore the pristine landscapes at Cape Woolamai. Or book a guided ranger tour and learn about the colony of Fur Seals at Seal Rocks.

Early this morning the Sapphire Princess will dock at Port Melbourne, where you will disembark and make your way to your accommodation in Melbourne city. While you're waiting to check-in to your room, leave your luggage at the hotel and head out to explore this unique and multicultural capital city renowned for its food scene, coffee, wine bars and secret laneways.

Overnight: Quality Hotel Batman’s Hill or similar, 3 nights

This morning you'll join a guided walking tour and learn about Melbourne’s famous laneways and arcades. Explore the historic Royal and Block Arcades, and walk past the vibrant cafes and bars of Degraves Street and Flinders Land. View the vibrant and unique street art in Hosier Lane before boarding your coach for a tour past iconic landmarks such as the Queen Victoria Markets, St Paul’s Cathedral, Flinders Street Station and the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

After your coach tour, cruise on the Yarra River past Melbourne's docklands and wharves, and see some of the great city views from a new perspective.

Today is a free day to explore more of the sights of Melbourne at your leisure. Join one of the many day tours taking you to Phillip Island to see the evening Penguin Parade, or explore the picturesque Great Ocean Road and have your photo taken in front of the Twelve Apostles.

Alternatively, jump on a tram and head to St Kilda, the beautiful seaside suburb famous for its palm-lined boardwalk, historic buildings, great restaurants, bars and cafes.

This morning board the XPT train at Southern Cross Station and travel first class, arriving in the New South Wales country town of Cootamundra after lunch. Here you will transfer to the Queanbeyan Coach Service for your transfer to Canberra. Arriving at Canberra Civic late in the afternoon, make your way to your accommodation where you'll enjoy three nights at the Novotel which will be your base to explore our Nation's Capital.

Overnight: Novotel Canberra or similar, 3 nights

The next two days are yours to explore Canberra at your leisure. Make sure you visit the National Museum of Australia, located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. Take a guided tour or wander on your own through the many exhibitions showcasing the rich and diverse stories of Australia and its people. Or head to the Australian War Memorial, a moving and insightful experience for all ages, with its range of galleries and exhibitions detailing the Australian experience of war. Stay for the moving Last Post Ceremony at the end of the day where you will hear the special story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour.

You can take a guided tour of Parliament House and see Australia’s democracy in action, or visit the National Gallery of Australia to see world-class art including ‘Blue Poles' by Jackson Pollock and the Ned Kelly series by Sidney Nolan.

Mid-morning, make your way to Canberra Station at Kingston to board the Southern Xplorer for your rail journey to Sydney. Settle into your first-class seat, and watch the scenery change as you travel through the picturesque Highlands region. Arrive in Sydney late this afternoon, having finished a wonderful Rail & Sail holiday.


  • Air travel, Sydney to Adelaide
  • 4 nights accommodation in Adelaide at Majestic Roof Garden Hotel or similar
  • Full day Barossa Food & Wine Experience
  • Full day McLaren Vale and The Cube Experience
  • 5 night cruise on the Sapphire Princess (inside cabin) from Adelaide to Melbourne, with port stops in Port Lincoln, Kangaroo Island and Phillip Island (incl taxes, meals, onboard activities)
  • 3 nights accommodation in Melbourne at Quality Hotel Batman's Hill or similar
  • Half day Melbourne Laneways, Arcades & City tour, including a Yarra River cruise
  • First Class Seat on the XPT, Melbourne to Canberra (via Cootamundra)
  • 3 nights accommodation at Novotel Canberra or similar
  • First Class Seat on the Southern Xplorer, Canberra to Sydney
  • Meals as stated - 5 x breakfast (B) / 3 x lunch (L) / 5 x dinner (D)

Terms and Conditions

Prices are per person based on Inside Twin Cabin and include port fees and taxes. Upgrades to Outside and Balcony Cabins may be possible, subject to availability – please ask for pricing and details. Single Supplement starts at $5290pp. All components are subject to availability and may change at any time. Price does not include gratuities. A non-refundable deposit of $1000pp is required when booking and the balance is due 70 days prior to departure. Any amendments will incur an additional cost, and strict cancellation fees apply – travel insurance is highly recommended for an additional cost. Read our latest COVID Safe practices and policies.

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