RAIL SAIL TRAVEL: The Spirit of Progress.

Easygoing rail and sail Aussie adventure

IT'S A gentler way to travel between Sydney and Melbourne, and return; going by luxury cruiserliner one way and then by clickety-clack on the restored Spirit of Progress on the return.

The six-day Capitol Limited tour starts on April 5, 2019 in Melbourne. Guests spend three nights aboard Princess Cruises' 2600 passenger Golden Princess, cruising to Sydney.

The ship boasts nine restaurants and cafes, four pools, nine jacuzzis, a 750-seat theatre and a lounge and nightclub suspended spectacularly above the stern of the ship. The Golden Princess also has Broadway-style stage shows, poolside movies, a huge spa sanctuary and wrap-around promenade deck that allows passengers to walk to the tip of the bow.

RAIL SAIL TRAVEL: Cruise ship Caribbean Princess at dusk.
RAIL SAIL TRAVEL: Cruise ship Caribbean Princess at dusk. Paul Nordmann

On arrival into Sydney guests will stay a night at the historic Grace Hotel that dates back to 1930 when it was the headquarters for the department store chain Grace Brothers.

It's then all aboard the heritage rail motor 621/721, for a leisurely and nostalgic journey from Sydney to Albury, with lunch and dinner stops along the way.

The rail motor was built in 1962. It features windows that open allowing you to take in the scenery. During the trip guests are welcome to visit the driver's cab to learn how the train operates.

There is a an overnight stop and stay at the uber-modern Atura Hotel in Albury before guests board the iconic Spirit of Progress train for the final leg back to Melbourne.

The former express train served the Melbourne-Sydney route from 1937 to 1986. Heritage locomotives will haul the original carriages including compartment, kiosk and parlor cars.

The Capitol Limited tour is available from $2190 per person, twin-share. For more tour information, phone Cruise Express on 1300 766 537 or go to www.cruiseexpress.com.au.