Sydney Harbour Cruises

Sydney Harbour Sightseeing Cruises

Panoramic, Open-top views
Panoramic, Open-top views
Frequent Departures
Frequent Departures
Multiple Route Options
Multiple Route Options

Select Your Experience

Discover the best of Sydney’s top attractions on a Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruise! 

Cruise over the sparkling blue waters of Sydney Harbour as you go on a sightseeing cruise! As you bask in the golden Aussie sun, soak in the views of Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour, The Rocks, and some hidden coves and beaches. Get a chance to learn about Sydney's colonial history with live commentary on board, and if you’re extremely lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of some dolphins, or humpback whales in the water!

Navigate your Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruise guide

  1. Why go on a Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruise?
  2. Things to know before going on a Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruise
  3. Find the perfect Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruise for you!
  4. Your experience on a Sydney sightseeing cruise
  5. Know before you go on a sightseeing cruise in Sydney
  6. Frequently asked questions about Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruises

Things to know before going on a Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruise

  • In the standard sightseeing cruise, classic, express, and premium options are offered. The classic cruise provides a peaceful 1.5-hour journey with live commentary, while the express cruise offers a speedy ride to Manly Wharf with flexible departure times. Opting for the premium cruise will bring a high-end experience with reserved lounge seating on the Sydney 2000, accompanied by a welcome beverage and an Australian cheese & charcuterie board during the 1.5 to 2.5-hour circuit of Sydney Harbour.

  • The sightseeing cruise with lunch provides a convenient option for those who want a meal included during their exploration. Choose between chicken dishes, casseroles, and other veggie and gluten-free options on your cruise. For flexible exploration of Sydney, the Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) option is ideal for tourists looking to explore the city at their own pace, offering a convenient way to see multiple sights in one day. Finally, for a unique boat experience Pirates of the Caribbean-style, consider the tall ship cruise, or the catamaran cruise for a comfortable, luxurious experience. 

  • Each cruise lasts 60-120 minutes on average, and takes you on a full round of the Harbour. However, we’d recommend the longer cruises for some great photo opportunities and to get an unparalleled view of Sydney Harbour. The express ticket will get you a fast, 80-minute cruise around the harbor, and comes with commentary, while the classic option is a peaceful 1.5 hour cruise which is great for families and also comes with commentary. The premium option includes a welcome beverage, cheese and charcuterie boards, premium lounges and viewing decks, and a choice of commentary options. 

  • It's important to note that meals are not included on any cruise except for the sightseeing with lunch buffet experience. However, refreshments may be available depending on the chosen cruise option: the Classic and Premium sightseeing cruises offer snacks, and a free welcome drink.

  • Avail a special family bonus on your Express sightseeing cruise. Get one child’s ticket free with every paying adult!

Find the perfect Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruise for you!

Cruise name
Ideal for
Food & beverages
Booking link
Sydney Harbour Sightseeing Cruise - Express
Families, couples
Sightseeing + Live commentary + Free WiFi + Indoor and outdoor seating
Sydney Harbour Sightseeing Cruise - Classic
Sightseeing + Live commentary + Snacks + Beverages + Activities for kids
Sydney Harbour Sightseeing Cruise - Premium
Solo traveller, couples
Sightseeing + Live commentary + Welcome beverage + Aussie cheese and charcuterie + Reserved lounge seating + Air-conditioned super cruiser
Tall Ship Sydney Harbour Sightseeing Cruise
Families, couples, solo travelers
Sightseeing + Live commentary + 1850s cruiser + viewing decks
Sydney Harbour Hop on Hop off Cruise
Families, couples, solo travelers
Sightseeing + Recorded smartphone commentary + 1 or 2-day unlimited hop-on hop-off + Free Wi-Fi + Entry to Taronga Zoo
Sightseeing Cruise on Sydney Harbour with Buffet Lunch
Families, couples, solo travelers
Sightseeing + Live commentary + Refreshments + Buffet lunch + Open-air viewing decks

Know before you go on a sightseeing cruise in Sydney

Getting there
Safety guidelines
What to carry
Timings - Sydney Harbour Sightseeing
  • Timings: While there isn't a fixed time for all cruises, remember that most Sydney Harbour cruises start around 9am, or earlier in the day.
  • Average duration: Sydney Harbour cruises last 60 to 120 minutes, on average.
  • Crowds: To avoid Sydney Harbour cruise crowds, set sail during the shoulder seasons (March-May, September-November) or even winter (June-August) for the least crowded experience, though dress warmly!
  • Weather: For pleasant weather, we'd recommend going in the months of March to May (shoulder season) and September to November (spring).
Getting there - Sydney Harbour Sightseeing

Circular Quay

  • Train: Arrive at Circular Quay Station, directly connected to the wharf area.
  • Ferry: Multiple ferries service Circular Quay. Wharves 2, 3, 4, or 6 are most common for whale watching cruises.
  • Light Rail: Circular Quay is a stop on the light rail network.
  • Walking: Easily accessible on foot from the city center (15-30 minutes).

Darling Harbour: 

  • Train: Town Hall Station is a short walk (10 minutes) from Darling Harbour. Wynyard Station is also an option with a slightly longer walk (15 minutes).
  • Ferry: Wharves 4 or 5 at Darling Harbour service ferries.
  • Walking: Not as central as Circular Quay, but accessible on foot from the city center (20-30 minutes).
Safety guidelines - Sydney Harbour Sightseeing
  • Follow the crew's lead: They're there for your safety! Listen to instructions about moving around the boat, especially in rough seas.
  • Life jacket: These will be provided, and wearing them might be mandatory. Know where yours is and how to use it.
  • Be seated safely: Save the railing poses for calmer adventures. The crew will tell you when to sit and hold on tight.
  • Be sun smart: Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. The sun's reflection off the water is intense, and staying hydrated is key!
  1. Sun protection: Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to shield yourself from the sun, especially if you'll be spending time on the open deck.
  2. Camera/Phone: Capture the scenic views and memorable moments with a camera or your smartphone.
  3. Comfortable shoes: If you plan to explore the deck or hop off at different stops during a HOHO cruise, wear comfortable shoes for walking.
  4. Weather-appropriate clothing: Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. Bring layers or a light jacket if it's expected to be cool, and wear breathable clothing if it's hot.
  5. Cash/Credit card: Bring some cash or a credit card for purchasing snacks, drinks, or souvenirs onboard.
  6. Identification: Carry a form of identification, especially if you plan to consume alcohol or if it's required for ticket verification.

Frequently asked questions about Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruises

What can I see on a Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruise?

You’ll spot iconic sights like the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour bridge, and hidden gems like secluded coves and Kutti beach. On some cruises, you could even see some dolphins and whales!

What are the different types of Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruises available?

You can go on a Sydney Harbour Hop on-Hop off cruise, which will let you choose between 1 or 2 day cruises, on which you can get on and off whenever you want! Choose the Tall ship cruise if you want an 1850s vibe, and the classic sightseeing cruise if you just want to revel in the sights of the glorious Harbour. The express cruise is for fast cruising, and will finish in just 80 minutes, while the premium cruise will treat you like royalty, with charcuterie boards and lounging areas.

Is the cruise safe for children?

Sydney Harbour cruises are a great option for families. Most cruises have plenty of space for children to move around, and life jackets are always provided for every family member on board.

Which is the best cruise for me?

If it’s your first time in Sydney, we’d recommend going for the classic or premium sightseeing cruise, as you’ll get to enjoy a scrumptious meal while savoring the views of Sydney Harbour and its surroundings.

How long is the cruise?

You’ll be able to choose from a variety of timings for your express cruises that last 1-1.5 hours, Standard 1-2 hour cruises, or splurge on a premium cruise to spend 2-3 hours exploring the harbor, learning the history of Sydney, and spotting hidden beaches.

Where can I board the cruise?

Most cruises depart from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. Your specific boarding location will be provided on the ticket upon booking.

What are the peak times or dates that require early booking?

Weekends, holidays, school breaks (summer months - November to January) and special events like Vivid Sydney or New Year's Eve fill up fast! Make sure to book your cruise tickets in advance (2 weeks to a month) to secure your spot.

Are there any discounts for children and senior citizens?

Avail a special family bonus on your Express sightseeing cruise. Get one child’s ticket free with every paying adult! For other sightseeing cruises, children below the age of 12 years get a special discount.

Is it wheelchair accessible?

All Sydney Harbour cruises, except the Tall Ship cruise, are completely wheelchair accessible, with features like ramps, accessible restrooms, and wide aisles to facilitate moving around easily.