AUSTRALIAN Coastal Cruises aboard the MV MOONTA…


The advertisement for the Adelaide Steamship Company’s popular Gulf Trip features the MV Moonta which operated from 1931 to 1955.

The Gulf Trip was one of the most popular South Australian holiday tours for fifty years.

Moonta is the best remembered of the several ships which operated on the Gulf Trip, which in addition to passengers, carried cargo.

The ship visited Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Augusta and Port Pirie, leaving Port Adelaide on Saturday and returning on Friday morning. Tours would be arranged in each of the towns in addition to the relaxation and entertainment offered on board ship. Good meals and service, comfortable accommodation, deck games, swimming pool and fancy dress dances provided all the ingredients for a romantic holiday. Life partners were met, honeymoons taken and anniversaries celebrated aboard the Moonta and her sister ships Rupara and Paringa.

The Moonta was built by Burmeister & Wain of Copenhagen in Denmark in 1931. She arrived in Adelaide in November of that year and made her last run of the Gulf Trip in January 1955. At 2,693 tons gross, Moonta carried 150 passengers was 288 feet long and had a cruising speed of 12.5 knots.

Video of the MV MOONTA as the Casino Le Lydia – very interesting view of the ship during a pop concert…


By Reuben Goossens – be sure to visit his excellent website at:

The much loved Australian coastal passenger cargo liner, MV Moonta was built in 1931 by Burmeister & Wain shipyard in Copenhagen Denmark for the Adelaide Steamship Company.

She was known for her comfortable accommodations and public rooms and she accommodated 150 passengers.

The ship featured three lounges that included the Social Hall, Smoke Room and the ever popular Wintergarden.

In addition there was the walk around promenade deck and a spacious sports deck above…

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About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…