Cruising from Sydney: a Beginner's Guide
Sydney is Australia's premier cruise destination, cruises depart from Sydney year-round, but the peak cruising season is from October to April. Cruises from Sydney allow Australians to discover the wonders of their own backyard, explore the beautiful islands of the South Pacific, or soak up the beauty of New Zealand. But if your eyes are set on further horizons, such as Hawaii, Asia, or even a World Cruise, Sydney still makes the perfect starting point.
Whether you only have a few days to spare, or want to have a little taste of cruising to see what it is all about, themed cruises are a great option to consider. Departing Sydney, three night cruises are perfect for a long weekend and boast a wide selection of themes, from comedy through to food and wine. While the cruises may not dock anywhere during their journey, they do provide the perfect opportunity to escape the stresses of everyday life.
What Is Cruising Like?
If you've never been on a cruise before and you'd like to try it out, do as we did and make your first cruising experience a trip up or down the Australian coast. You need only spend a day or two at sea to get a taste of what cruising is all about. Better still, click the link below and come with us on our first cruise and we'll share our experiences.
Our First Cruise
Australian Cruise Destinations
Travelling one way to the Queensland capital, Sydney to Brisbane cruises are a great alternative to flying, particularly for those looking to savour their journey. Australia s third largest city, Brisbane offers plenty to see, do and experience. Explore the city s dining scene, spend time shopping or see the city from a different side during a scenic cruise along the Brisbane River. Similarly, Melbourne is just a quick two night cruise from Sydney, with the short cruise offering a great alternative to flying to the Victorian capital. Relax and unwind aboard before disembarking and exploring the city s vibrant dining, shopping and comedy scenes. Join another cruise back to Sydney, set off to another destination or purchase a flight to Sydney and return to the harbour city in under two hours.
Pelican feeding at Moreton Island, Queensland
Well suited to a quick escape from the bright lights of Sydney, a Moreton Island cruise offers the perfect excuse to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. Scattered with beaches, lakes, sand dunes and forest, and offering a wide variety of activities such as sand tobogganing, dolphin feeding, whale watching, fishing, snorkelling, the unspoilt sand island is far from the worries of modern life.
Taking just four nights to depart Sydney, travel to the Mornington Peninsula and return again with a cruise to the Victorian region ideal for a short break. Mornington boasts more than 50 cellar doors and a wide array of fresh food producers, making it an ideal destination for food lovers. The Mornington Peninsula's sandy beaches, local markets and famed hot springs are also well worth exploring during a visit to the region.
Port Arthur, Tasmania
Stopping at ports including Hobart and Port Arthur, cruises to Tasmania are the perfect excuse to discover the apple isle s beautiful scenery, fascinating history, and enviable food and wine scene. Travelling from Sydney to Tasmania and back again in five or more nights, there are plenty of opportunities to kick back and enjoy the experiences offered by Australia s most southerly state.
International Cruise Destinations
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Encompassing a host of beautiful cities and scenic destinations, cruises to New Zealand are a great way to travel overseas without the hassle of international flights. Travelling to popular spots such as Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Milford Sound before returning to Sydney, it s easy to see some of the country s best sights and enjoy a taste of traditional Maori culture along the way.
Island hopping from country to country on a cruise to the Pacific Islands is a great way to see the best of the region in a relatively short period of time. Docking at New Caledonia, Fiji, Vanuatu, other picturesque island nations, a Pacific Island cruise provides the opportunity to see some of the world s best beaches, dine on delicious local food and experience a handful of diverse cultures.
Sydney Cruise Terminals
Sydney is the only port in Australia that has two dedicated cruise-passenger terminals. Both terminals are in the heart of the city, but it is important to take note of which one your cruise departs from.
Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) at Circular Quay
The OPT is located at Circular Quay, and the entry to the terminal is located off George Street onto Argyle Street, Circular Quay. While a cruise vessel is in port, passenger drop off and pick up is available in the terminal precinct, but parking is not available on-site. Circular Quay train and ferry platforms are a two minute walk to the terminal, and it can also be accessed easily by busy or taxi. It is approximately a 30 minute drive from the airport to the terminal.
Departing passengers should refer to their itinerary regarding what time they need to be present at the terminal as check-in times do vary and are sometimes staggered by deck number. Bag drop facilities are available on the forecourt for the majority of ships from 9.30am. Only travelling passengers with valid tickets will be allowed to enter the terminal. Arriving passengers will need to reclaim their luggage and clear customs and immigration before exiting the terminal.
Terminal facilities include passenger lifts, escalators, wheelchair access, toilets, ATM and an on-site restaurant. There is no short or long term parking available on-site.
White Bay Cruise Terminal
White Bay Cruise Terminal is Sydney's newest port located near the iconic Anzac Bridge and best accessed from James Craig Road in Rozelle. Located 6km from the CBD and 17km from Sydney Airport, the easiest way to reach the terminal is by taxi, private vehicle or with a cruise line transfer. Passenger drop off and pick up is available in the terminal precinct and short-term parking for passengers with a valid itinerary is available on-site. The nearest public bus stop for passengers is located on Robert Street.
Terminal facilities include toilets, a food and beverage kiosk, wheelchair access, on-site short-term parking, public payphones and an ATM.