Unique wedding experiences

Private Cruises

Thank you for considering the private charter of the award winning PS Marion.

The general price of the private charter of PS Marion is as follows:

6 hour cruise – $4400

Bookings are dependent upon PS Marion’s cruise schedule and are at the discretion of the Marion Operations Group, a sub-committee of the Mannum Dock Discovery Centre and availability of Volunteers.

Cruise times are negotiable and subject to crew availability.

The Paddle Steamer Marion

PS Marion was built at Milang, South Australia and launched as a barge in February 1897. In 1900 she was taken to Echuca and fitted with a steam plant and superstructure for use as a hawking boat on the Darling. During her working life she underwent many changes in ownership and working format. Marion carried cargo, and later cargo and some passengers, eventually carrying passengers only. By this time Marion had accommodation on three decks, a layout she retains to this day.

In 1963 the National Trust bought Marion and moved her from Berri to Mannum, under her own steam. She then spent over 30 years in Randell Dry Dock as a monument to the grand old days of the river boat era. An agreed conservation plan between the National Trust and Mannum Dock Discovery Centre allowed for her complete restoration.

Marion was re-commissioned in November 1994 following her restoration by a dedicated team of volunteers who contributed many thousands of hours to the project. She stands now as a testament to their enthusiasm and dedication. PS Marion continues to be maintained and crewed by volunteers who thank you for your support.

General Information

Marion has three deck levels:

  • The bottom deck is the entry point to the boat on most occasions, although at times, e.g. steep banks or wharves, entry is then made on the middle deck.
  • The bottom deck houses the steam plant, this being the original steam plant fitted to the vessel in 1900. Also found on this deck are the galley and passenger dining room.
  • Middle deck is the main accommodation deck. The passenger lounge with bar is on this deck along with cabins 7 to 20 and the shower and toilet facilities.
  • Top deck is made up of the wheelhouse, a further passenger lounge (formerly the gentlemen’s smoking room) and cabins 1 to 6.

Neat casual clothing and flat shoes are recommended (passengers will need to negotiate stairs whilst on board). Being an old wooden boat on several levels stiletto heels are not the ideal. We also recommend warm clothing for the evenings, as these can be quite cool on the river.

In the unlikely event of an emergency, passengers must follow the instructions by the crew. Life jackets are stowed under the bunks of each cabin as well as in lockers on each deck.

Smoking is prohibited in all areas except the aft of the middle and top decks (outside).

The wheelhouse and galley are restricted areas and entry is only available by invitation from the Captain or the Chef respectively. If passengers require help in any way when on board they should refer to the Purser.

It is strongly recommended that all passengers take out comprehensive travel insurance.

We supply crew to operate the vessel consisting of Captain, Mate, Engineer, Fireman, Purser and 3 x Deckhands as per our survey regulations.

PS Marion is surveyed to carry a total of 100 people. When planning your event considerations must be made for 8 crew members and your service staff (including caterers, waiting and bar staff, band, etc). It is suggested you limit your guest numbers to 85.

Dining and Catering

The dining room of PS Marion seats 40 people, however we can cater for up to 85 people cocktail style.

In keeping with the heritage of the vessel, the oven in the galley is wood fired, therefore when the oven is used our appointed caterer must be utilised. Our Discovery Centre Coordinator would be happy to discuss your catering requirements. A special menu can be created . The galley is equipped with a microwave oven and a small cold room for storage of perishables.

Catering costs are the responsibility of the charterer with freedom to bring the caterer of your choice on board.

The charterer is also required to provide meals for the PS Marion crew during the period of charter.

If you are providing your own catering, the vessel is to be left in a clean condition after use. Galley equipment and crockery are to be clean, packed and left as found. The charterer will be charged for all breakages.


Linen includes sheets and bedding, towels, face washers and bath mats.

For private charters tablecloths are available at an additional cost.

Bar Facilities

The PS Marion is fully licensed and offers a full range of beer, wines and spirits. A wine and beer list is available on request.


You are welcome to provide your own decorations, however table scatters, party poppers and drawing pins are not permitted. Please note helium balloons must be filled off the boat as gas is not permitted onboard.

On Board Overnight Accommodation

Overnight accommodation is available for up to 28 at an additional cost. All cabins consist of two tier bunk configuration and shower/toilet facilities are shared with four toilets and four showers located on the middle deck. Power points for the use of hair dryers and electric shavers are located in each of the toilets. Power points are also located in the lounge on both the top and middle decks, and in the dining room.

Two cabins only, located on the top deck, have power points which can be used if any of your guests require overnight electrical appliances.

Car Parking

Pre-arranged secure car parking for overnight guests is available. A crew member will gather all drivers of vehicles and accompany them to the secure parking facility at the Mid Murray Council Depot, located off Adelaide Road.

Smoking Policy

Smoking is prohibited in all areas except the aft of the middle and top decks (outside). It is preferable passengers refrain from smoking.

Payment Conditions

To secure PS Marion as the venue for your event a deposit of 20% is required within 7 days, with the balance payable 4 weeks before your event. Payment can be made by cash, credit card or cheque (made payable to Mannum Dock Discovery Centre).

In the event of cancellation the following fees are applicable:

Written notice of cancellation at least 30 days before the cruise departure date the charterer will be liable to pay 20% of the total fare. Written notice of cancellation 29 days to 15 days before the departure date the charterer will be liable to pay 50% of the total fare. Less than 14 days before the departure date the charterer will be subject to a cancellation charge equal to 100% of the total fare.

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact the Visitor Information Centre by telephone on 08 8569 1303 or e-mail at email with any questions you may have. We will endeavour to do our very best to ensure the smooth planning of your special event.

Proudly Supported By