Sydney Harbour Cruises
English
AUD
Language
Currency

Book Sydney Whale-Watching Cruises

4.4(3.7K Ratings)
Panoramic Views
Panoramic Views
Frequent Departures
Frequent Departures
Sightseeing & Onboard Meal Options
Sightseeing & Onboard Meal Options



Select Your Experience

sydney whale watching cruise-1
sydney whale watching cruise-2
sydney whale watching cruise-3
sydney whale watching cruise-4
sydney whale watching cruise-5
sydney whale watching cruise-6
sydney whale watching cruise-1
sydney whale watching cruise-2
sydney whale watching cruise-3
sydney whale watching cruise-4
sydney whale watching cruise-5
sydney whale watching cruise-6
sydney whale watching cruise-1
sydney whale watching cruise-2
sydney whale watching cruise-3
sydney whale watching cruise-4
sydney whale watching cruise-5
sydney whale watching cruise-6
NEW

Sydney Whale Watching Cruise

from
AU$59
Instant confirmation
Mobile ticket
2 hr. 45 min.
Highlights
Inclusions
Need to know
Cancellation Policy
  • Marine life lovers, spend 2 hours 45 mins watching whales up close on a Sydney Harbour cruise, guided by an onboard expert naturalist.
  • Get engrossed in the live commentary as you see them propelling their giant bodies completely out of the water and crashing back with a loud splash.
  • Keep all worries at bay! The expert crew will ensure a whale of a time, whether you're snug indoors or soaking up the sun outdoors with your family.
  • While the humpback whales are the crown jewel, make sure to catch sight of landmarks like the Opera House and Harbour Bridge from your comfy vessel.

Inclusions

  • 2-hour & 45-min whale watching cruise
  • Marine biologist
  • Live informative commentary
  • Indoor & outdoor seating

Exclusions

  • Snacks & drinks (available for purchase onboard)
  • Tip: Keep your eyes peeled for other marine life, such as dolphins, seals, and seabirds. They are often spotted on these cruises.
  • The vessel has an indoor area, so the cruise is still set to depart in the rain. The tour may get rescheduled or canceled due to severe weather conditions or other safety concerns.
  • These tickets can't be cancelled. However, they can be rescheduled up to 72 hours before the experience begins.
More details
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-1
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-2
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-3
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-4
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-5
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-6
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-7
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-8
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-9
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-1
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-2
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-3
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-4
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-5
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-6
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-7
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-8
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-9
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-1
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-2
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-3
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-4
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-5
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-6
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-7
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-8
sydney whale watching express cruise on speedboat-9
NEW

Sydney Whale Watching Express Cruise on Speedboat

from AU$89
AU$75

16% off

Free cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Instant confirmation
Mobile ticket
2 hr.
Highlights
Inclusions
Need to know
Cancellation Policy
  • Speed through Sydney Harbour on a 2-hour whale-watching cruise, witnessing humpback whales' majestic annual migration from an exhilarating speedboat.
  • Experience the thrill of humpback spotting up close and personal aboard a comfortable, climate-proof speedboat, swiftly bringing you to the action.
  • Enjoy the adventure in a small group for a personalized, intimate atmosphere, with insightful commentary on whale behavior and migration patterns.
  • With a sightseeing guarantee, you can join another cruise for free within 3 years if no whales are spotted, ensuring a risk-free experience.
  • While on your way to the whales, keep an eye out for iconic Sydney landmarks like the Opera House, enjoying the city's views from the water.

Inclusions

  • 2-hour whale-watching cruise from Sydney Harbour
  • Expert commentary
  • Small group (max 46 guests)
  • Sightseeing guarantee (Get another cruise for free, if no whales spotted)
  • Tip: Always keep your eyes on the horizon and look out for a spout of water. This is often the first sign a whale is nearby!
  • Safety is a priority so this experience is restricted for guests under the age of 5 years.
  • This experience is not suitable for pregnant people and those with back, neck, or limb issues.
  • The option for a free cruise, in case no whales are spotted during the original cruise, remains valid for up to 3 years.
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
More details
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-1
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-2
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-3
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-4
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-5
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-6
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-7
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-8
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-1
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-2
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-3
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-4
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-5
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-6
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-7
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-8
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-1
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-2
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-3
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-4
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-5
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-6
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-7
sydney whale watching cruise with onboard buffet-8
NEW

Sydney Whale Watching Cruise with Onboard Buffet

from
AU$104
Free cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Instant confirmation
Mobile ticket
4 hr.
Meals included
Highlights
Inclusions
Need to know
Cancellation Policy
  • Epic views, sightings of majestic whales, and a plate decadent with deliciousness? That's right! We've got a 4-hour whale-watching cruise with a buffet spread calling your name!
  • Spot humpback whale breaching the surface, before crashing back into the sea with a splash. Get unobstructed views of these beings as they frolic and feed.
  • Your expert marine guide becomes your whale whisperer, filling you in details about their lives, migration patterns, and those gravity-defying leaps!
  • Don't miss out on your buffet lunch or breakfast (on weekends), with options catering to vegetarians and specific dietary needs!
  • Multiple viewing decks mean everyone gets a prime spot for the epic show. Relax in the indoor lounge, or outdoor lounge, or grab a celebratory drink from the bar.

Inclusions

  • 4-hour whale-watching cruise
  • Fully qualified crew onboard
  • Live commentary
  • Buffet lunch/breakfast
  • Tea, coffee, and water

Exclusions

  • Alcoholic beverages (available for purchase onboard)
  • Tip: While everyone gets the classic bridge and opera house shot, look for unique angles and compositions. Capture details like hidden coves, working harbor areas, or sailboats gliding by.
  • If you are prone to seasickness, it is recommended to consult a medical professional for pills.
  • The experience is not accessible for people with back and neck problems, serious medical conditions, injuries, and pregnant women.
  • The lunch menu is tailored to suit vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free guests.
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
More details
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-1
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-2
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-3
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-4
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-5
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-6
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-7
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-8
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-9
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-10
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-1
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-2
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-3
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-4
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-5
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-6
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-7
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-8
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-9
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-10
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-1
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-2
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-3
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-4
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-5
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-6
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-7
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-8
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-9
combo: whale watching cruise + taronga zoo tickets-10
4.5(2.1K)

Combo: Whale Watching Cruise + Taronga Zoo Tickets

from
AU$125
Free cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Instant confirmation
Mobile ticket
7 hr.
Highlights
Inclusions
Need to know
Cancellation Policy
  • With these combo tickets to the Taronga Zoo and whale watching cruise, get the best of this emerald city while you save money.
  • Venture out into the sea on a 2.5-hour whale-watching cruise and catch a glimpse of these glorious beasts going about their business.
  • With informative live commentary onboard, you'll learn interesting facts about humpback whale migration patterns, behaviors, and their role in the ocean ecosystem.
  • Discover the wildlife that thrives in Taronga Zoo with its population of platypuses, koalas, red kangaroos, Sumatran tigers, and more.
  • Treat your eyes to million-dollar views of Sydney Harbor from Taronga Zoo, with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge as a backdrop of a stunning landscape.

Inclusions

Whale Watching Cruise

  • 2.5-hour whale-watching cruise
  • Live commentary

Taronga Zoo

  • Entry to Taronga Zoo
  • Return Rocket ferry back to Circular Quay

Whale Watching Cruise

  • Tip: If you are lucky you might spot Southern Right Whales, Minke Whales and Blue Whales. Plus, be on the lookout for dolphins, seals, penguins, and sea birds!
  • This experience is wheelchair accessible.
  • Smoking is strictly prohibited inside the cruise.
  • Pets are allowed on board provided they are restrained in a suitable box, basket, or another container at all times whilst onboard.
  • This is an open water cruise and you will experience sea motion. It is recommended to eat lightly before the cruise.

Taronga Zoo

  • Tip: You will be treated with breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour; with boats bobbing about at Sydney Cove, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
  • Animal costume, ball, balloon, scooter, skateboards, rollerblades, apparatus alcohol, audio equipment, or musical instrument is not allowed inside Toranga Zoo.
  • Please refrain from touching animals, feeding animals, throwing objects, damaging structures, or signs, lighting fires, or littering.
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
More details
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-1
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-2
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-3
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-4
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-5
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-6
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-7
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-8
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-9
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-10
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-1
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-2
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-3
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-4
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-5
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-6
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-7
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-8
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-9
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-10
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-1
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-2
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-3
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-4
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-5
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-6
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-7
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-8
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-9
sydney whale watching cruise on catamaran by captain cook-10
4.4(3.7K)

Sydney Whale Watching Cruise on Catamaran by Captain Cook

from AU$92
AU$79

14% off

Free cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Instant confirmation
Mobile ticket
Flexible duration
Highlights
Inclusions
Need to know
Cancellation Policy
  • Calling all ocean adventurers! Spot humpback whales aboard a high-speed catamaran to the Pacific Ocean on this 2.5-hour cruise.
  • Double win! You’ll also get stunning views of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House from various levels of viewing decks or comfortable cushioned seats inside the vessel.
  • Spot a breach humpback whale dive out the waters as your knowledgeable crew fills you in on their social behaviors, migration patterns, and those leaps.
  • See adorable breach calves take their first leaps, learning the ropes from their majestic parents–a scene straight out of a wildlife documentary.
  • Enhance your adventure with a ticket upgrade, adding Taronga Zoo entry or a 2-day hop-on hop-off pass to explore Sydney Harbour at your leisure.

Inclusions

  • 2.5-hour whale-watching cruise
  • Expert commentary
  • Indoor & outdoor seating
  • Sightseeing guarantee (Get another cruise for free, if no whales spotted)
  • Entry to Taronga Zoo (as per option selected)
  • Return rocket ferry back to Circular Quay (as per option selected)
  • 2-day hop-on hop-off pass (as per option selected)
  • Printed map & highlights (as per option selected)
  • Tip: Get some ginger pills with you to combat sea-sickness.
  • This experience is wheelchair and pram/stroller accessible
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
More details
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-1
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-2
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-3
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-4
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-5
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-6
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-7
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-8
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-1
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-2
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-3
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-4
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-5
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-6
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-7
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-8
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-1
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-2
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-3
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-4
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-5
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-6
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-7
sydney intimate whale watching cruise on small boat-8
NEW

Sydney Intimate Whale Watching Cruise on Small Boat

from
AU$119
Free cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 48 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Instant confirmation
Mobile ticket
2 hr. 30 min.
Highlights
Inclusions
Need to know
Cancellation Policy
  • Witness the grandeur of humpback whales in their natural habitat, a spectacle few get to experience. Hop on the custom-built vessel promising intimate whale encounters.
  • Humpback whales come in great numbers and love to show off with breaches, tail slaps, and even a sneaky wink when they are feeling extra curious.
  • Not just a watching experience, you'll also be educated about the harbor and its rich whaling history by knowledgeable staff onboard.
  • This experience is designed for everyone. So, bring along your family and create lifelong memories together.
  • Setting sail from Crown Tower's Wharf, the trip not only takes you to whales but also past Sydney's iconic landmarks like the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge!

Inclusions

  • 2.5-hour whale-watching cruise
  • Small group tour
  • Expert crew onboard
  • Safety briefings
  • Tip: Keep your eyes peeled not just for whales, but other marine life too. Dolphins are often spotted.
  • This experience is pram/stroller accessible.
  • Outside food & drinks, photography with flash & tripods are not allowed,
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 48 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
More details
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-1
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-2
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-3
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-4
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-5
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-6
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-7
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-8
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-9
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-1
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-2
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-3
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-4
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-5
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-6
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-7
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-8
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-9
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-1
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-2
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-3
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-4
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-5
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-6
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-7
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-8
sydney whale watching adventurous cruise on inflatable boat-9
NEW

Sydney Whale Watching Adventurous Cruise on Inflatable Boat

from
AU$129
Free cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Instant confirmation
Mobile ticket
2 hr.
Transfers included
Highlights
Inclusions
Need to know
Cancellation Policy
  • Buckle up because this whale-watching tour is about to get wild! Go for a 2-hour extreme adventure cruise on an inflatable boat to see humpback whales closer than ever.
  • You'll set sail from either Circular Quay or Manly Wharf, weaving past ferries and yachts. Get ready for wind-tousled hair and a splash of seawater – it's all part of the thrill!
  • Spot whales breaching the surface, before crashing back into the sea. Get unobstructed views of these beings as they frolic and feed.
  • With a skipper onboard, you'll learn about whale migration patterns, behaviors, and their role in the ocean ecosystem.
  • This exclusive trip is capped at small groups. It's the perfect escape for adventurers who crave an unforgettable time cruising alongside these majestic giants.

Inclusions

  • 2-hour whale-watching cruise on inflatable boat
  • Pick-up from Circular Quay or Manly Wharf (based on the option selected)
  • Expert skipper
  • Sightseeing guarantee (Get another cruise for free, if no whales spotted)
  • Tip: Always keep your eyes on the horizon and look out for a spout of water. This is often the first sign a whale is nearby!
  • This experience is restricted for children under the age of 12 years.
  • Pregnant woman is not allowed on this experience.
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
More details
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-1
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-2
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-3
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-4
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-5
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-6
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-7
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-8
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-9
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-10
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-1
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-2
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-3
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-4
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-5
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-6
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-7
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-8
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-9
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-10
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-1
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-2
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-3
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-4
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-5
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-6
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-7
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-8
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-9
luxury whale watching cruise with lunch & open bar-10
NEW

Luxury Whale Watching Cruise with Lunch & Open Bar

from
AU$549
Free cancellation

You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.

Instant confirmation
Mobile ticket
3 hr. 30 min.
Meals included
Highlights
Inclusions
Need to know
Cancellation Policy
  • Luxury charter but not as you know it. Take to the seas on a private charter boat that offers million-dollar views of humpback whales, a BBQ lunch, and an open bar.
  • There are comfy spots to lounge, open-air decks for prime whale watching, and a guide to enrich you with facts about the harbor and its whaling history
  • But wait, there's more! With a delicious BBQ lunch spread and a bar stocked with frosty beverages, see these magnificent beings as they frolic in the Pacific playground.
  • This exclusive trip is capped at just 10 guests! It's the perfect escape for families, couples, or a squad of friends who crave an unforgettable adventure.
  • The charter not only takes you to whales but also past Sydney's iconic landmarks like the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, and more!

Inclusions

  • 3.5-hour whale-watching cruise along Sydney Harbour
  • Informative commentary on whales
  • Buffet BBQ lunch on board
  • Open bar of beer, wine, sparkling and soft drink
  • Tip: While everyone gets the classic bridge and opera house shot, look for unique angles and compositions. Capture details like hidden coves, working harbor areas, or sailboats gliding by.
  • Keep in mind smoking is prohibited on this experience.
  • The experience is not accessible for people with back and neck problems, serious medical conditions, injuries, and pregnant women.
  • You can cancel these tickets up to 24 hours before the experience begins and get a full refund.
More details
Sydney Harbour CruisesWhale-Watching Cruises

Whale-watching at Sydney Harbour: Witness these elusive creatures from up close

Did you know that only 1% of humans are guaranteed to spot whales in their lifetime? Get a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cruise to Sydney Harbour and catch glorious views of humpback whales migrating along the coast. These majestic mammals are known for breaching, tail-slapping, and spy-hopping, putting on a show right before your eyes. Seeing these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat is rare, making it a bucket-list experience for any Sydney visitor.

Navigate your Sydney whale-watching cruise guide

  1. 5 reasons you should go on a whale-watching cruise in Sydney
  2. Things to know before booking your Sydney whale watching cruise 
  3. Your Sydney whale watching cruise options 
  4. Find the perfect Sydney Harbour whale-watching cruise for you! 
  5. Know before you go on a Whale watching cruise in Sydney 
  6. Your visual guide to Sydney Harbour: Whales, Sydney Opera House, and more! 
  7. Your whale watching experience: Learn about whale migration, behaviors and more! 
  8. Frequently asked questions about Sydney whale watching cruises

Things to know before booking your Sydney whale watching cruise

  • Before booking your Sydney Harbour cruise, consider the various ticket options available to find the best fit for your needs. The Express Cruise (2 hours) offers a quick 20-minute trip to the ocean, reaching speeds up to 20 knots, with comfortable seating, climate-controlled cabin, and multimedia presentations. The Classic Cruise (2.5 hours), provides a personal experience for up to 27 passengers, featuring high-speed engines. The Discovery Cruise (3 hours) boasts three levels of viewing decks, complimentary tea and coffee, and informative commentary. 

  • If you’re worried about not being able to spot any whales during your cruise, don’t panic! You’ll get a free return ticket (valid for a year) if you don’t spot any whales during your cruise. 

  • The luxury cruise is priced at AU$549, with the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the MV Ocean Blue tanker. This cruise is perfect for families and couples alike – the vessel can hold up to 10 or 12 people in an intimate setting.  

  • The prices for the standard, express, and discovery whale watching cruises start at AU$92. You can choose between the 24-meter high-speed Fantasea Avalon vessel for the Express cruise, the super-fast 80 kph, Totally Wild vessel for Standard cruises, or the Ocean Dreaming 2, a 30-meter high-speed aluminum catamaran for your discovery cruise.

  • If you’re worried about not being able to spot any whales during your cruise, don’t panic! You’ll get a free return ticket (valid for a year) in case you don’t spot any whales during your cruise.  

  • Decide if you prefer live commentary from experts or a more relaxed atmosphere without commentary during your journey. Live commentary will usually include information about migration cycles, species, whale behaviors and more. You can also choose cruises offering onboard meals, like buffets, a la carte menus, and open bars.

  • When it comes to whale watching, time is of the essence. Opt for longer cruise durations (2-4 hours) to increase your chances of spotting these elusive creatures in their natural habitat. For example, the whale watching with buffet lunch option offers a 4 hour cruise, giving you ample time to spot the whales.

  • Combo tickets are your best friend if you’re a tourist and want to explore more of Sydney on a budget! Avail special discounts and bundles, and get access to other attractions across Sydney!

Your Sydney whale watching cruise options

Couple on a Whale Watching Cruises, Sydney

Cruises for small groups

Average duration: 2h 30m

Average price range: AU$109

  • Experience whale watching in an intimate setting, as these cruises only take up to 10 people at a time! 
  • With onboard live commentary, dive into the wild world of Australia’s whales! If you’re lucky, you’ll also spot dolphins and other Aussie sea animals!

Recommended experiences:

Intimate Small Boat Whale Watching Cruise in Sydney 

Luxury Whale Watching Experience with Lunch & Open Bar

A bar setup on a whale-watching cruise, Sydney

Luxury cruises

Average duration: 3h 30m

Average price range: AU$549

  • Go on a glamorous whale-watching cruise and experience Australia’s sea life on a royally comfortable ship.  
  • With open-air viewing decks, an open bar, luxe cushions and lounging areas, as well as a sumptuous BBQ lunch, this cruise takes you on an opulent adventure like no other.

Recommended experience:

Luxury Whale Watching Experience with Lunch & Open Bar

A meal being served on a cruise

Meals on cruises

Average duration: 2h 30m

Average price range: AU$109

  • As you spot humpback and southern right whales on your Sydney whale-watching cruise,  grab a bite on deck! 
  • Keep your preferences ready, as you’ll have to choose between a glorious spread of Brekkie, BBQ buffets or cheese and charcuterie during the Lunch buffet!

Recommended experiences:

Luxury Whale Watching Experience with Lunch & Open Bar 

Sydney Whale Watching Cruise with Breakfast or Buffet Lunch 

Adventure cruises

Average duration: 2 hours

Average price range: AU$129

  • This 2-hour whale watching tour is an extreme adventure on an inflatable boat, perfect for thrill-seekers who want to see humpback whales up close.
  • Cruise from Circular Quay, with the chance to spot whales breaching and frolicking, all while learning about them from your expert skipper.

Recommended experiences:

Sydney Whale Watching Cruise on Inflatable Boat 

Taronga zoo, Sydney

Combo tickets

Average price range: AU$109-AU$125

  • Experience whale watching and get a discount on another Sydney experience, like Taronga Zoo or the Sydney Hop-On, Hop-Off bus! 
  • With combo tickets, get access to an additional experience after you go whale-watching and make the most of your time in Sydney.

Recommended experiences:

Combo: Whale Watching Cruise + Taronga Zoo Tickets

Find the perfect Sydney Harbour whale-watching cruise for you!

Experience name
Duration
Inclusions
Meals included
Customize your experience
Book tickets
Sydney Whale Watching Cruise by Catamaran
2 - 3 hrs
Crew commentary + Whale watching + Viewing decks + Open ocean cruise
No
Choose an Express cruise (2 hrs), Adventure cruise (2.5 hrs), or Discover cruise (3.5 hrs)
Combo: Whale Watching Cruise + Taronga Zoo Tickets
7 hrs
Crew commentary + Whale watching + Entry to Taronga zoo
No
-
Sydney Whale Watching Cruise with Breakfast or Buffet Lunch
2.30 - 4 hrs
Crew commentary in English + Whale watching + Buffet breakfast or lunch + Refreshments
Yes
Choose between breakfast buffet or lunch buffet
Luxury Whale Watching Experience with Lunch & Open Bar
3.30 hrs
Guide commentary + Whale watching + BBQ lunch + Open bar access
Yes
-
Intimate Small Boat Whale Watching Cruise in Sydney
2.30 hrs
Crew commentary + Whale watching + Small group
No
-

Know before you go on a whale-watching cruise in Sydney

Timings
Getting there
What to pack
Safety guidelines
Timings - Sydney Whale-Watching Cruises
  • Best time: The timings of your whale watching cruise will depend on the time slot you pick, but we’d recommend choosing between 11am and 3pm for the best viewing conditions. 
  • Duration: The average duration of a Sydney Harbour whale-watching cruise is around 1.5-2.5 hours. In case you are unable to spot any whales, your vessel may stay longer on the water, but it’s highly unlikely. 
  • Best season: The best whale watching season in Sydney spans from May to November, but the most ideal months to visit would be June-July, as northern migration occurs then. You’ll see male whales displaying various behaviors, like breaching, spouting, large dives, and more to entice future mates.
Getting there - Sydney Whale-Watching Cruises

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).
What to pack - Sydney Whale-Watching Cruises
  • Dress in layers (windproof jacket, comfortable shoes)
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Seasickness medication
  • Binoculars
  • Credit card - To verify your identity
Safety guidelines - Sydney Whale-Watching Cruises
  • Listen to the crew: The captain and crew are there for your safety. Pay close attention to their instructions regarding movement on the boat, especially when seas are rough.
  • Life jackets: Life jackets will be provided, and you may be required to wear them at all times. Know where yours is located and how to put it on properly.
  • Stay seated: While you're excited to see whales, avoid standing on railings or leaning over the edge of the boat. Find a seat and hold on when instructed by the crew.
  • Respect the wildlife: Maintain a safe distance from the whales as instructed by the crew. Avoid loud noises or sudden movements that might startle them.
  • Sun and sea: Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. The sun reflects strongly off the water, and dehydration can occur quickly.

Your whale watching experience: Learn about whale migration, behaviors and more!

Humpback whale in the ocean

What is whale migration?

Whale migration is the seasonal movement of whales between their feeding grounds in the colder Antarctic waters and their breeding grounds in the warmer waters off Australia's coast. From May to November, thousands of humpback whales can be seen swimming along the Australian coastline, making it a prime time for whale watching in Sydney Harbour.

A mother Humpback whale with her calf

When does it generally happen?

Whale migration generally occurs in two phases: the northern migration from late May to August, and the southern migration from August to September. During the northern migration, whales head towards warmer waters to breed and give birth. From October to early November, you can witness mothers and their calves swimming closely together on their journey back south.

Whale breaching the surface in Sydney Harbour Bay

What whale behaviors can be seen?

On a Sydney Harbour whale watching cruise, you can witness a variety of fascinating whale behaviors. Watch as whales breach, leaping out of the water in spectacular displays. You’ll also see them spouting snot from their blowholes and, if you listen carefully, you might even hear the hauntingly beautiful songs of the humpbacks.

Whale breaching the water during a Watching Cruises

Common species to spot

Humpback whales are the most commonly sighted species during these cruises. However, keep an eye out for other species such as Southern Right whales, blue whales, and occasionally, the elusive killer whales

Quick facts about Aussie whales

  • Humpback whales are known for their incredible acrobatic breaching, sometimes leaping entirely out of the water.
  • Humpback whales travel over 10,000 kilometers during their annual migration from Antarctica to the warmer Australian waters.
  • Male humpback whales sing complex songs that can last for hours and be heard over great distances underwater.
  • Southern Right whales are known for being curious and sometimes approaching boats closely, giving passengers fantastic photo opportunities.
  • After diving, whales leave behind a smooth, flat area on the water’s surface called a "whale footprint".

Frequently asked questions about Sydney whale watching cruises

What are the different types of Sydney whale watching cruises available?

For your Sydney whale watching experience, you can choose from an express cruise, breakfast/lunch during the cruise, luxury cruises, small group cruises and many more! 

Are there any discounts for groups, families, or early bookings?

Yes, children and senior citizens can avail a discount during checkout. Select cruises also offer discounts for large group bookings, which you’ll avail while checking out.

What species of whales will I see?

The most common species you’ll spot are humpback whales, but if you’re lucky, you might get to see southern right whales, killer whales, minke whales and blue whales! You could even catch a pod of dolphins splashing in the water.

What behaviors can we expect to see from the whales?

Common whale behaviors at Sydney Harbour include breaching (jumping out of the water), lobtailing (tail slapping), and spy-hopping (poking their heads out of the water).

What if I don’t spot any whales during the cruise?

If your cruise doesn’t meet the criteria for a successful whale watching experience, i.e spotting at least one whale and at least 2 confirmed sightings from a reasonable distance, you’ll be granted a free ride on another whale watching cruise during the same year!   

What is the dress code for the cruise?

There’s no specific dress code, although we’d suggest dressing comfortably and modestly. Carry an umbrella or wear a hat as it’ll be pretty sunny, and get waterproof footwear!

Do I have to buy food on board?

Some cruises come with meals included, and some will require you to buy food and snacks on board. 

Are the vessels accessible for guests with disabilities?

Yes, the vessels are fully wheelchair accessible and come with trained staff ready to assist in any situation.

What are the safety measures in place?

Safety is a priority, with all operators adhering to strict guidelines on how close they can approach whales. Life jackets and other safety equipment are provided, and the crew is trained to handle emergencies.