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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Is it working yet?

Day 51/138 2022/2023 Viking Neptune World Cruise. Hobart, Tasmania.

We arrived in Hobart earlier than planned this morning. When the ship stopped moving Richard woke up, got up and sat in a chair checking his emails. Its hard to try and stay in touch with people back home, so we find that its best first thing in the morning, or last thing at night. Since he was up and about, then I was also up. Earlier than I had planned too! GRRR!

Hobart, Tasmania this morning. The temperature was supposed to be 21C, so we hoped it would be a bit less gloomy when we got off the ship.

We wanted to go to the World Cafe for breakfast before we headed off the ship. As soon as we opened the door to return to our cabin to leave for the day this is what we saw!

The Italian guy from Fincantieri!

The staff from the Neptune taking our HVAC system apart. Let’s hope when we return from our day in Hobart that the HVAC system is repaired!

Because we were not on an excursion, we were to be in the Star Theatre at 9:15am to be led through the Cruise Terminal to clear Australian Immigration. At exactly 9:15am we were led out to the Cruise Terminal and lined up to clear Immigration. The sniffers dogs were walking in between all of us to make sure we had no food or other biohazardous materials on us.

After clearing Australian Immigration we decided to walk over to the Salamanca Market in Battery Point, but before we got to the Market we saw that Hobart was having a ‘Wooden Boat Symposium’. There were a lot of beautiful, old wooden boats on display, and there appeared to be people going around to judge the boats.

Behind the green boat there were quite a few wooden boats on display which were being judged.

Walking along the Hobart waterfront we had a great view of our ship, the Viking Neptune. It is definitely nice when we are docked close to the downtown, so we can easily walk everywhere.

These sculptures pays tribute to the physicist Louis Bernacchi, and his dog named Joe, the Tasmanian Antarctic explorer who was the first Australian explorer to work and spend a winter in Antarctica.

Seals and sea lions meant to represent the animals of Antarctica.

And my favourites…the penguins!

One of the colourful sailing ships that was offering tours of the ship today for a fee.

The Captain of this ship was in period costume today.

I do not think our ship for the ship building contest will be this elaborate! The woodwork on this ship was beautiful!

As we were walking to the Salamanca market we saw these two little kids busking on the sidewalk. The guitar player was playing an excellent version of ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’ by J.S. Bach. His sister was waiting for her cue to come in and join him.

We wished we had some Australian dollars to give them a little tip for their excellent playing!

Heading across the busy street to the Salamanca Market in downtown Hobart today.

I know that guy!

The Salamanca Market is Tasmania’s most visited tourism attraction and runs each Saturday from 8:30am to 3pm rain, hail or shine. With over 300 stall holders, the market includes fresh produce, food options, artisans, designers and producers.

There were some interesting clothing options at the market today.

There were so many different stalls to see.

At one point the market was so crowded, I had to leave. We couldn’t move forward or backwards and it was just too busy to even enjoy it.

We escaped the market through a back alley called ‘Kelly’s Steps’, to visit a very cool area of Hobart called Battery Point.

Kelly’s steps, which were built by James Kelly to provide a short-cut from Kelly Street and Arthur Circus in Battery Point to the warehouse and dockyards district of Salamanca Place.

The Kelly Street suburb built in 1939 connects Battery Point to the Salamanca Place where the wharfs and warehouses existed.

The intricate wrought iron work on the front of this old home was beautiful.

There is so much pride of ownership in these beautiful old homes and the rose gardens smelled amazing as we walked by.

I liked the elephant door knocker!

A little black and white. Nice view of the harbour from this home.

And I got him! Sucking on some lavender in one of the front gardens on Kelly Street.

Now there’s a view of the Neptune I bet no one else saw today!

As we were walking through a park in Sandy Point, we saw this monument with a Canadian maple leaf on it.

This monument was erected to mark the 150th anniversary of the landing of Canadian Exiles in ‘Van Diemen’s Land’ (now Tasmania) and to commemorate the sacrifices made by many Canadians and Australians in the evolution of self-governing, equal and free nations within the Commonwealth of Nations. 92 exiles were transported from Canada to Van Dieman’s Land in 1840. The convicts were forced to build one of Hobart’s main roads - Sandy Bay Road. In 1837 in an ill-fated attempt to spread the message of Independence, a Patriot army launched an invasion of Canada, hoping to provoke a general uprising. It failed and the British (who were in Canada) captured the 92 Americans, had them stand trial and illegally banished them in 1839 to Britain’s new remote and wild new island colony of Van Diemen’s Land. Unlike the general convict population in Tasmania, the Canadians were reviled and treated with disgust by everyone because Yankee republicanism was viewed as the ultimate disloyalty. Most of the Canadians were not criminals and were unused to hard labour and poor living conditions. They were virtual slaves at penal posts on the Island for up to 10 years. The Patriot convicts sent to Tasmania were the first Americans imprisoned overseas and the first political prisoners. WOW! I guess the monument does not make things right, but at least they recognize that after all these years, somebody made a big mistake in sending these folks to Tasmania!

I had seen that there was a walking Sculpture Trail along the waterfront on Google maps, so we went looking for it.

The Battery Point Sculpture Trail.

Another statue on the Battery Point Sculpture Trail. We started walking towards the third sculpture, but the trail was taking us away from the waterfront and we wanted to stay close to the waterfront, so we turned around and headed back to the Salamanca Market to see if it was a bit less busy, so we could walk through the rest of it.

Uggs anyone? The market was a little less busy this time around, and we did find me a nice bar of dark chocolate made in Tasmania to bring back to the ship. I really do enjoy a piece or two of dark chocolate every day!

We also saw this guy walking around the market today. He kept banging his bill on the ground.

These baked goods looked delicious in the market….but we resisted!

Hobart, founded in 1804 as a British penal colony, is Australia’s second oldest city after Sydney, New South Wales. Hobart is the second deepest natural port in the World and served as the Southern Ocean’s main whaling port. Penal transportation ended in the 1850’s after which the city experienced a boom/bust economic growth on the backs of mining, agriculture and other industries. There is nothing south of Tasmania until you reach Antarctica, and Hobart serves as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations.

’Journey’s to the Southland’ is a sculptured fountain commemorating the Dutch, British and French ships that explored Tasmania and the fountain sits in a square called Salamanca Place outside the University of Tasmania.

We decided to walk to the main downtown shopping area of Hobart and along the way we saw some very cool old buildings with colonial style architecture.

The Savings Bank established in 1845 was originally the Hobart Gaol (jail).

I thought the brickwork on this old building looked pretty interesting!

The City of Hobart had free wifi throughout the streets of the City, so Richard was able to hook up to wifi and hail us an Uber as we were planning a meet up for lunch outside the City of Hobart.

Now for the back story. Last summer I was golfing with a girlfriend from a golf club I have been a member of for over 20 years. I had let my golfing membership go, because we had moved from the area, but I was still a social member. Anyway, Mary Jo had come to play a golf tournament with me at Niagara On the Lake Golf Club and we got talking about what her and her husband were doing for the winter, since no one likes to stay in Canada for the winter. MoJo (as I call her), said that they would be heading to Australia and New Zealand for the winter. At which point I said then we need to meet up when our Viking World Cruise arrives in Australia. Now originally the Neptune was supposed to be visiting Melbourne, but sometime last year, the itinerary changed and our port changed from Melbourne to Geelong, which is about an hour and 15 minutes south of Melbourne. Since Gord and MoJo spend most of their time in Melbourne, we were hoping we could still meet up somehow. I texted MoJo before we left and then found out that the day we would be in Hobart, Tasmania, was the day they would be flying over from Melbourne for a week of exploring Tasmania. And with that news, we arranged to meet for lunch after their flight arrived into Tasmania.

And here we are! MoJo and me ordering lunch at the Tasmania Golf Club, near the airport in Hobart.

We had our server take our photos to prove we actually did make it to lunch together!

We didn’t have a lot of time to meet up because we had to be back onboard the ship by 3pm and Gord and MoJo were heading down to Eaglehawk Neck Tasmania to hike Cape Hauy after meeting up with us today. We were over 10,000 miles from home, but we found a way to meet up for lunch! Cool! A very memorable way to spend lunch!

We had an Uber pick us up at the Tasmania Golf Club and we were back to the Neptune at 2:35pm. Pretty good timing for all we crammed into the day we had in Hobart!

Heading back to the Neptune.

A much nicer view of Hobart than first thing this morning.

The Spirit of Hobart ferry and an old sailing ship on the harbour in Hobart today.

Sailboat in Hobart harbour today.

We sailed away from Hobart a little after 4pm today. We really enjoyed the bustling city of Hobart on a busy Saturday with so much going on at the waterfront today. And it sure was a bonus to see Gord and MoJo for lunch! We’ll have to catch up this summer when we are back for a round of golf and a catch up!

So after a full day out of our cabin do you think our HVAC system is fixed? No. It is definitely NOT working yet. We had no note from any of the technicians, but we sure hope that the FINCANTIERI guys can help the Viking crew figure it out before they leave us in Sydney. We have no heat in our cabin and it is 65F outside. Guest Services did call to check up on everything, but nothing has been resolved, so we sure hope things do get resolved before we hit really hot temperatures which we know we will be getting soon as we head further North. That sure sounds weird. Heading further North for me always means its getting cooler, but because we are in the Southern Hemisphere, of course heading North means closer to the equator, so of course it will be getting warmer.

Tomorrow is a sea day….sort of. We are going to be heading to Phillip Island tomorrow and I can’t wait for tomorrow night’s excursion!

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11. Feb. 2023

Hi my name is Steve Gallagher,

I'm enjoying your blog everyday. My wife and I are going on next years World Cruise on the Neptune.

About your heat. I remember that if the sliding glass door is not latched the HVAC system will not work. Maybe the door slammed shut one time because of the rough seas and broke the switch that lets the HVAC turn on??

I'm sure they already checked that, but maybe not.

Have a great time,


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