If you are looking to do something special for your partner, a romantic Sydney Harbour Yacht stay is pretty hard to beat. As far as memorable experiences in Sydney go, this has to be at the top of the list!
Spending the night on Sydney Harbour
We recently had our first real sailing experience when Sydney By Sail invited us to check out their Platinum Romance B&B package. The timing could not have been better as our 15th wedding anniversary was coming up, and I could not think of a more romantic way to spend it.
Sydney Harbour is universally considered one of the most beautiful locations of the world. Spending the night and enjoying a harbour sunset and sunrise is something we will remember forever!
Jumping on board
Sydney By Sail is conveniently located at the Australian Maritime Museum Wharf, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the light rail and Darling Harbour parking garages.
They have several yachts, and today we are on the Elan Impression 45.1, their newest; it’s an impressive vessel with three double beds and two bathrooms! Plenty of room to bring your family or friends, but today it’s all for us!
This 3-hour harbour sail was to be our first sailing experience in a yacht, and when we awoke that morning to favourable weather, we were thrilled. It had been raining solidly for more than a week, and we expected that poor weather might see our romantic getaway postponed.
Skipper Mike welcomed us on board and gave us a quick safety briefing and then a tour of the yacht. It’s surprising how much space there is below the deck.
We were amazed at how spacious the kitchen and dining space was. The door in the bow was the main bedroom and a separate toilet and shower. At the stern another bathroom and two bedrooms (small double size).
Let’s get sailing
Under sunny blue skies, we made our way out of Darling Harbour, past Barangaroo and under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We have made this trip dozens of time on a ferry and several harbour cruises, but this is our first time on a vessel this small and it’s a completely unique feeling.
Approaching the Sydney Opera House, it was time to put the sail up and shut down the motor as we coasted past Farm Cove and made our way towards Shark Island.
We are sailing on a Wednesday, a popular day for recreational sailing on the harbour, and there is plenty of activity on the water. We enjoy watching the yacht’s race around their course just off Clark Island; Mike explained what looked like chaos to us – i.e. they are not really going to crash lol, it just looks like it!
We sailed past Bradley’s Head and Sydney Harbour National Park, making our way across the heads, stopping short of Manly Cove because the winds had picked up and we may not have made good time back to our evening stopover.
The million-dollar question we had before heading out today was, would either of us feel seasick. Thankfully, after some pretty horrible floods and rain in the week before, we had been gifted a very calm day with enough wind for the sails but not enough to make us queasy.
Sadly, the harbour was not its usual sparkling blue but a muddy tone because of the floods.
It took about 30 minutes to gain our sea legs and confidence to make our way to the bow, where we took the opportunity to laze about on the front of the deck to enjoy the view. You can however choose to relax in the seating at the stern with the drinks supply and chat with your skipper while he works.
By the time we were heading to our secluded bay to drop anchor, the sun was setting.
What’s including in your Yacht sleepover?
The Platinum Romance Package includes a 3-hour sail, snacks, dinner and delicious dessert treats. You can choose a continental breakfast or supplies to cook your own bacon and egg spread for the morning.
There is a range of platters, including an antipasto, cold cuts or seafood plate. A range of salads complements these; we went with a seared tuna and a falafel. For dessert, there was chocolate coated strawberries, brownies, macaroons and some Lindt chocolate.
They stock the fridge with juice and water. It’s BYO alcohol, so be sure to pack some Champagne for sunset and perhaps a nice red to drink before bed.
An impressive sound system allowed us to stream our favourite music from our devices; the only side effect was a flat battery just before dark, so don’t forget your charger.
If you tend to sleep late, set your alarm for sunrise and pop up on deck to enjoy it. If you are not ready to embrace the day, you can always pop back under the deck for another snooze!
What to pack for your sleepover
You don’t need to pack much for your overnight stay, pretty much everything thought of right down to some late-night chocolates in the bedroom! I recommend a shawl or jacket for after sunset.
I would suggest you bring:
- Appropriate footwear – leave the heels at home – white sole shoes are best, but we took ours off as soon as we boarded.
- Swimmers in the warmer months – if you are brave enough to take a dip in the harbour.
- Plenty of your favourite beverages – I would have liked some sparkling water included.
- a book or deck of cards
- a spare battery pack for your phone – you will want to snap a lot of pics
- Earplugs if you find it hard to sleep with gentle water lapping the side of the boat
Anything we would change?
For us, the only thing we would have changed was better on deck lighting at night. It was such a lovely evening, and we were keen to play cards after dinner, but the only lighting was at floor level.
We mentioned this to the crew on pick up the next day, and they had not realised, having only recently taken delivery of the boat, so I expect they will add some lanterns or address this soon.
So do we recommend this overnight Sydney Harbour Yacht Stay?
You bet we do! While Sydney Harbour offers quite a few romantic getaway options, I think this has to be one of the more unique and one I would highly recommend to anyone looking to commemorate a special occasion, a marriage proposal or just a wonderful escape.
If one night just isn’t enough, learn more about Yacht Share with Sydney by Sail and enjoy a minimum of 33 days a year with a 10% share in a luxury yacht.
We were guests of Sydney By Sail on the romance experience, but all opinions are our own.
If you fancy spending a little more time by the water after your Sydney Harbour Yacht Stay? Check out these ideas: