Captain Cook Cruises was formed in 1980. At that time it was owned by Boat Torque Cruises as a subsidiary business and was operated completely separate to the Rottnest ferry service.
In 1982 Tony Baker was appointed General Manager of Captain Cook Cruises and John Goodbody was an Engineer with the company. After the America’s Cup Defence in 1987 the company was put up for sale. Tony and John purchased the business under the name Vyscot Pty Ltd trading as Captain Cook Cruises on the 1st July 1987. It was not associated with Captain Cook Cruises in Sydney.
The company has expanded considerably since then, when two vessels were in operation – the MV Captain Cook and the MV Swan Explorer. In May 1988 the Captain Cook was given a major refit and new superstructure. In May 1990 the vessel MV Jolly Jumbuck and the trading name Swan River Scenic Cruises was purchased. The vessel was completely rebuilt and renamed the MV Swan Princess. In October 1992 the vessel MV Perth was leased from Metrobus and we operated this vessel until our lease expired on 30th September 1997.
The MV James Stirling was built in 1995 and successfully launched on October 16th. This now operates as the flagship of our company, being an iconic Western Australian feature on the Swan River having clocked up over 45,000 hours between Perth and Fremantle.
On September 11th 2002 Captain Cook Cruises WA purchased the entire upstream operation formally owned by Boat Torque Cruises. This encompassed 3 vessels and additional office and jetty space. The 3 vessels were the River Lady, Lady De Vine, and River Bells (formally the Mystique).
In 2006 the purchase of Waters Edge Winery was made by Captain Cook Cruises WA where our upstream cruises would stop off for wine tasting in the heritage listed wine cellar and lunch or dinner. Water's Edge Winery was sold in 2013 and has been demolished since to create residential apartments. The upgraded full day Swan Valley package now includes Sandalford Estate as the new upstream destination.
In 2009, Captain Cook Cruise WA purchased the MV River Cat and MV Queen of the Valley from Oceanic Cruises making the fleet seven vessels in total.
In 2013, John and Dale Goodbody bought Tony Baker's half of the business to become the sole owners of Captain Cook Cruises WA where the business continued to grow. Along with attaining the entire company they also purchased the Bells Functions Venue and Kitchen located on the first level of Barrack Street Jetty in Perth . As well as Bells Functions offering spectacular views the venue also provides Captain Cook Cruises with a full commercial kitchen where all the catering for our lunch and dinner cruises are prepared.
On the 29th of April 2016, SeaLink Travel Group purchased Captain Cook Cruises WA from John and Dale.
SeaLink Travel Group pride themselves in transport and tourism and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to help develop the business even further. SeaLink operates Tourism and Marine Transport companies around Australia including Captain Cook Cruises in Sydney. We are most excited to now join these companies together and work as a team to provide the best service possible for all passengers under the Captain Cook Cruises banner.
Captain Cook Cruises has established itself as the premier operator of vessels on the Swan River. Not only have we continued to improve our reputation on the Perth to Fremantle route but we have also established ourselves as the market leader on the Perth to Swan Valley route. We pride ourselves on offering a professional approach to the industry, good value for money and are proud of showing locals and visitors the best of Perth, by river. Through good management and a strong customer service focus we are now able to offer our services on most parts of the Swan River.
In November 2017, SeaLink Travel Group added an 8th vessel, MV Quokka1, to the Captain Cook Cruises fleet and launched a new service SeaLink Rottnest Island. The MV Quokka1 is now the newest, most environmentally friendly and smoothest riding passenger ferry offering services between Fremantle and Rottnest Island.
The future is bright for SeaLink Travel Group and Captain Cook Cruises with a growing tourism market and riverside developments creating many opportunities for the organisation.