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5 Great Sydney Harbour Cruise Experiences

There is something really special about cruising on Sydney Harbour. You see Sydney in a new light from the deck of a boat. Whether you’re a traveller new to Sydney’s shores, a passenger on a cruise ship or a proud local, time out on the harbour always memorable. With a wide range of cruises available, there’s no excuse not to climb aboard!

Check out the five great Sydney Harbour cruise experiences below and see which one suits you best.

Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise

Sunset from a Sydney Harbour Cruise a perfect experience
Sunset on Sydney Harbour is magical

We have taken two dinner cruise on Sydney Harbour in the last year. One last Australia Day and one with visitors last Spring, as a local you forget just how beautiful it is on the harbour at night. Whether you are here for a short visit or have spent your whole night here, it’s a lovely way to spend the evening.

Several operators offer dinner cruises on Sydney Harbour, and the quality and offerings vary greatly. From a Penfold’s Dinner Cruise on Captain Cook to a buffet on Majestic, there is a big range to choose from.

There is nothing nicer than sipping a glass of champagne while you watch the harbour turn from day to evening.

Many evening cruises include unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks. Book a window seat for front-row views of cityscape sparkling as you enjoy your dinner.

Tall Ship Cruise

Sydney Harbour Tall Ship

Step back in time onboard the authentic 1850s tall ship. Imagine you are sailing into Sydney harbour with new goods for the colony. I joined one of these tours last year with a bunch of colleagues, and we had a ball.

The crew onboard are happy to explain how they sail the boat and you can even pay a little extra for a climb the mast experience. Our Captain told us a little about the history of Sydney and our two-hour cruise was a perfect way to see the harbour for the first time or as a local appreciating how lucky we are.

We took the afternoon sunset cruise that included drinks and some nibbles. I highly recommended it!

Sydney Harbour High Tea Cruise

High teas are so popular right now for special occasions, but they are also a lovely way to catch up with friends or give your feet a rest after a long day of sightseeing. 

We recently took a high tea cruise with Captain Cook and while it was not quite the luxury experience that you might find in one of Sydney’s 5-star hotels it was a very enjoyable way to see the harbour.

Cabaret Dinner Cruise

Sydney Caberet Cruise paddleboat Sydney Harbour Cruise Experiences
Sydney Showboat

You might have noticed an old-time paddle wheeler cruising up and down the harbour. If you like entertainment with your meal, this one will be right up your alley.

A cabaret dinner cruise includes a gourmet three-course meal and a dazzling one-hour international cabaret show on this classic paddleboat. The show is performed by world-class singers, dancers with vibrant costumes harking back to the good old days when cabaret was king.

Seafood Buffet Lunch Cruise

Get the full Sydney experience on a seafood buffet lunch cruise as you feast on prawns, oysters and more while you travel around the harbour. Learn more about the Emerald City from the experienced onboard staff offering interesting commentary throughout the journey.

Once you have finished lunch, you still have plenty of time to snap the harbours icons

Got a Question?

If you have questions, pop over to our Facebook group and ask a local for advice.

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2 thoughts on “5 Great Sydney Harbour Cruise Experiences”

  1. We’re planing a trip to Australia & have 2 days in Sydney. Thinking of a sunset cruise. Can we do as a walk up or should we book? We have 2 days in Sydney & loads to cram in. Would pre booking save time or are the walk up queues short or fast moving? Any advice gratefully received thanks.

    • I would probably prebook if it is Christmas/New Year period but otherwise you can usually just walk up. Perhaps just book online that morning when you can see what the weather is like.


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