07 March, 2024

Tips to overcome motion sickness

Don’t let motion sickness concerns hold you back. Follow these tips to enjoy your journey with ease.

Have you hesitated to book your journey on Spirit of Tasmania because of concerns about motion sickness? Our advanced, large vessels are equipped with stabilisers and cutting-edge technology to reduce movement while crossing of Bass Strait. If you are still concerned, keep reading for a few simple strategies to help you embrace the voyage like a seasoned traveller.

What is motion sickness?

Motion sickness, sometimes referred to as seasickness when on water, is a phenomenon that can affect anyone, though its impact varies from person to person. Have you ever noticed how, during a journey, one individual might be severely affected, while another might not exhibit any discomfort at all?

This condition stems from a sensory conflict between what our eyes see and what our body feels. To maintain balance and orientation, our brain relies on visual cues, the position of our head, and the sensory information from the inner ear, which detects motion through fluid movement.

When there's a mismatch, for example, when your eyes are fixed on the stationary interior of a ship's cabin but your body senses the motion of the ocean. It can lead to the unsettling sensations associated with motion sickness. This disconnect sends mixed signals to the brain, leading to symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and in some cases, vomiting.

Prevention is the best medicine

Motion sickness doesn’t have to mar your trip on Spirit of Tasmania. Try these preventative tips to stay comfortable during your voyage:

  • Gaze at the horizon: Keeping your eyes on the horizon helps stabilise your inner sense of balance.
  • Seek fresh air: Spend time in the outdoor decks to breathe in the sea breeze.
  • Stay cool: Avoid dressing too warmly and adjust the cabin temperature to stay cool.
  • Rest properly: Sitting or lying down with your head supported and eyes closed can also help.
  • Moderate your intake: Limit alcohol and heavy meals before and during the voyage. Choose light meals during your sailing.
  • Ginger remedies: Ginger is known to alleviate motion sickness. Enjoy ginger-based products like the dry ginger ale offered onboard.
  • Relax: Listen to calming music and practice deep, mindful breathing.
  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water throughout your journey.

Spirit Tip: Free filtered fresh water is available on deck 7 near the cinemas, all travellers are encouraged to make use of this.

Should I take travel sickness medication?

If you suffer from motion sickness, or worry that you might while at sea, it’s a good idea to get over-the-counter travel sickness medication before the voyage. Natural ginger medication is often adequate for those who aren’t highly susceptible to motion sickness, but ask a pharmacist or doctor about what’s best for you (including what is safe if you’re pregnant or taking other medicine, as well as for children).

Travel sickness medication is usually very effective if taken shortly before departure, but is of little or no use when taken after symptoms begin.

Night sailing to sleep through the journey

An excellent strategy to avoid motion sickness is opting for a night sailing, allowing you to sleep through the voyage. Night fares include a recliner for comfortable rest, with cabins offering AC control and private bathrooms as alternatives.

Spirit Tip: If travelling in a porthole cabin, orient your pillow towards the ship's centre to minimize sway felt while resting.

What if I feel sick?

If you start feeling unwell, the preventive measures mentioned can also alleviate symptoms. Look towards the horizon and get some fresh air, adjust your clothing and cabin temperature for comfort, and try resting. Eating plain snacks and sipping fizzy drinks like dry ginger ale can help settle your stomach.

In the rare event that you need assistance, our onboard medical attendant is available to help.

Remember, motion sickness is usually temporary and has no lasting effects. With the right precautions, you can look forward to a pleasant crossing aboard Spirit of Tasmania.


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Information included in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. Please contact individual operators for further information.

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