Sydney Harbour Cruises

Enjoy marvellous views on a Sydney Harbour cruise, from the iconic Sydney Opera House to enchanting bushland, rugged sandstone cliffs and pretty gardens. There are all kinds of cruises, including an Aboriginal cultural tour, or hop a ferry for Taronga Zoo, Manly and Watsons Bay.

Couple watching out for whales aboard a Captain Cook Cruises cruise vessel off Sydney Heads, Sydney Harbour

Things to do

There’s a cruise option to suit everybody, from whale-watching cruises, tall ships, breakfast cruises and even high tea on the deep blue waterway. Seeing Sydney Harbour during the day is spectacular and at  night glide slowly across waters shimmering under the stars and city lights. 

There are wonderful heritage tours. With Tribal Warrior Harbour Cruises, learn about the stories of local Aboriginal people and their traditions while sightseeing. You’ll find out about the indigenous names for Sydney’s landmarks and watch a traditional Aboriginal performance on a harbour island.

Humpback whale spotted off Sydney Heads on its annual migration along the NSW coastline

You can take a ferry from Circular Quay to other harbour islands, such as Garden Island for a naval museum and Cockatoo Island for UNESCO World Heritage convict sites. On Fort Denison, enjoy a striking panorama of the harbour and then explore the former military facility on a guided tour.

Sydney Harbour Discovery offers summer snorkelling tours. There are tall ship adventures with Sydney Harbour Tall Ships and Sydney Heritage Fleet Cruises. Or take a ferry to to Parramatta for World Heritage-listed Old Government House and other convict heritage.

Sydney Harbour Tall Ships at Sydney Harbour, Sydney City

You can buy tickets for convenient hop-on, hop-off ferry services to popular attractions such as Luna Park for carnival rides. Between May and November, whale-watching boats depart from Darling Harbour, Circular Quay and Manly. You’ll cruise through the dramatic harbour entrance at The Heads into the ocean to spot humpbacks.

Eat and drink

Lunch and dinner cruises are a delicious way to see one of the world’s great natural harbours in comfort and style. There are breakfast cruises for early birds, afternoon tea cruises to enjoy the warm afternoon sunshine and night owls can sip cocktails on a cruise as a golden sunset fades behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Sydney Showboats offers dinner and cabaret on a paddle-wheeler. Enjoy the multiple courses and settle in for a night of entertainment. For wine lovers, join Captain Cook Cruises for a six-course degustation and elegant Penfolds wines – the platinum option includes exquisite Grange.

Cruising Experiences