When my lovely food blogger friend Amanda (from Simply Perthfect) asked me to be her +1 on the Luxe Island Seafood Cruise with Rottnest Cruises, it was the invitation of a lifetime.
Despite being known for getting seasick even when the water is flat as a pancake, I said heck yes, stocked up on anti-nausea pills, prayed for good weather and got my sea legs ready!
When the day came around I honestly couldn’t believe my luck, because the conditions were absolutely perfect for a day on a boat. Hardly a breath of wind, beautiful sunshine, and gorgeously clear ocean surrounding the nearby island of Rottnest.
With the cruise departing from Rottnest at 11:30am, we got the early ferry from Hillarys (45 minutes) and had enough time before the cruise for a short stroll around the island after an obligatory coffee stop and postcard purchase (because technically I was overseas!).
The Luxe Island Seafood Cruise – On Board With Rottnest Cruises
As we boarded, we were welcomed with a deliciously refreshing lychee blossom gin cocktail and an accompanying fresh tropical fruit platter was served at departure.
The first part of the 4-hour Luxe Island Seafood Cruise involves heading to the cray pots around Rottnest and seeing if there are any fresh Western Rock lobsters inside.
You can even have a go at pulling up the pots if you like – and the job is made a lot easier thanks to the mechanical pulley system they have, so don’t miss out on this if you think you’re not strong enough.
What I loved is their unwavering focus on sustainability. All females and undersized lobsters are immediately returned to the water. Only males that meet the size requirements can be kept, and although we did not have many, the chefs already had back up lobsters on board in case there were not enough in the pots on the day.
The Luxe Island Seafood Cruise – The Food
The food on board the Luxe Island Seafood Cruise is mind-blowing.
To think that up to 25 people can experience a deluxe 7-course degustation menu created in a tiny galley at sea makes it even more impressive.
The courses that followed the gin cocktail and tropical fruit platter included:
- Mandurah Blue Swimmer crab cakes, with kaffir lime and zesty chutney
- Barbecued North West skewered prawns, seasoned in a fragrant Siam-inspired citrus marinade
- North West Red Emperor prepared with coconut and lime ceviche, accompanied by fresh avocado and mango salsa
- Seared West Australian sea scallops in lush lemon butter, with side salad greens and fresh, crusty artisan bread and butter
- Freshly-caught Rottnest Island Western Rock Lobster cooked in garlic butter, served with fragrant rice and green papaya salad
- Piquant lemon cheesecake, with passionfruit compote and vanilla bean ice cream
A full selection of local wines, beers, soft drinks and water is included in your luxe seafood cruise experience as well.
If you have any dietary requirements, they can be catered to by their on-board chefs, provided you tell them in advance when you book.
The Luxe Island Seafood Cruise – The Experience
Some of the courses are served while you’re cruising around Rottnest, but the mains are served long table style while parked up in one of the many gorgeous bays dotted around the island.
For our cruise, we anchored in the calm waters of Parakeet Bay, and those of us brave (or crazy) enough to swim were able to swim and snorkel around the boat while lunch was served. It was late October so it wasn’t particularly warm, but being my first trip to Rottnest (I know, I know, shocking!) I could not resist a little snorkel.
Rottnest Cruises provide a selection of floaties tied to the boat so you can just sit and chill in the water without worrying about drifting off with the ocean. They also have snorkelling equipment you can use and I spent a good hour snorkelling around the boat in the crystal clear water – total bliss for me.
They even served my scallop course to me while I was perched on the stern of the boat, so I didn’t even have to get out of the water completely to eat.
The Luxe Island Seafood Cruise – The Verdict
Overall this was probably one of the most rock star days I’ve ever experienced. I felt like I got a tiny glimpse of what it was like to be a guest on Below Deck, even if it was for just 4 hours!
The Luxe Island Seafood Cruise with Rottnest Cruises offers a once in a lifetime experience for food lovers and ocean lovers, and if you’re looking for a magical day out in Perth or gift experience for someone special in your life, I think you’d be hard pressed to beat this.
You can book a half day cruise which just includes the Luxe Island Seafood Cruise, or a full day package which includes your Rottnest Ferry transfers as well. Cruises operate from October to March, Thursdays to Sundays. Rates start from $279 per adult – and are worth every cent, believe me!
Find out more about this experience on the Rottnest Cruises website here. A massive thank you to Amanda for sharing this unforgettable day with me and Rottnest Cruises for their exceptional hosting.