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The Australian waterway where beauty meets bling


Given Australia is an island continent, it is not surprising water is in our blood. We are a nation of water-lovers, living in coastal cities. Head inland through the arid plains on the weekend and you will still find the locals relaxing by a river or lake. From billabongs to rivers, harbour to oceans, water is the essential element that pumps through our veins.

That is not to say our waterways are all the same. Australia enjoys a diversity of natural beauty second to none. There is however, one iconic Australian waterway we love to use as our yardstick. And by comparison, give weight to the magnificence, size or beauty of our local watering-hole.

Travel Australia and locals will often proudly explain their waterway holds up to five times the volume of Sydney Harbour, is twice as deep as Sydney Harbour, or three times as salty as Sydney Harbour.

For the record, Sydney Harbour holds up to five hundred gigalitres of water, and incredibly one `Sydharb’ is an official Australian unit of measure. As impressive as that volume may be, Sydney Harbour holds much more than just a large body of water for the visitor.

If you are well-travelled, you will know very few places do `bling’ as well as Sydney. Sydney simply loves to shine. Sure, Vegas has the strip, New York has Fifth Avenue and Paris has the Champs-Élysées, but Sydney has 322kms of spectacular Harbour foreshore where the quintessential city bling meets natural beauty.

Captain Cook Cruises has been sailing on Sydney Harbour for over five decades and is unquestionably the most trusted cruise operator on the waterway. Over that time the company has grown from a humble family-owned business to an award-winning leader of experiential tourism, leisure and special event dining.

Sydney Harbour takes centre stage for all the big events on the local and national calendar and Captain Cook Cruises creates bespoke on-water experiences for every event.

The year kicks off with the Sydney Festival running throughout January culminating in the Australia Day Harbour Spectacular where a flotilla of ferries, tall ships, tugboats, cruise ships and sailing craft take to the water as aircraft, drones and fireworks light up the skies.

In February love is in the air, and on the water, for Valentine’s Day, while the sailing enthusiasts hit the Harbour for the thrilling action of SailGP.

The NSW Seniors Festival is celebrated every year in late Summer with special Lunch and High Tea cruises running throughout the festival.

The magical colours of Sydney’s iconic landscape change by the minute, month and season. Autumnal sunsets are some of the most spectacular of the year and there is no better way to experience them than on a Sunset Dinner Cruise.

The Mother’s Day Lunch in May is one of the happiest days on Sydney Harbour. It is a day filled with fun and laughter, where Mums are wined, dined and spoilt by both their families and the crew alike.

As the cooler temperatures arrive, so do the Whales. The Sydney Whale Watching Cruise season runs from mid-May to early November for an up-close experience you won’t want to miss.

Bling goes into overdrive with the start of the Vivid Sydney Festival from late May. For 23-nights the Harbour City absolutely shines. Spectacular light installations, drone shows, and laser displays turn the city into a kaleidoscope of colour with the best vantage points from the water.

The sky is so blue in Winter, you would think you were on a tropical South Pacific Island - but with a jumper. It’s a favourite time of year for a leisurely Long Lunch Cruise. Sit back and relax in the toasty warm interior, enfolded by the Harbour vista from the expansive viewing windows.

For most of the 20th Century Dad did not expect much on Father’s Day. Luckily, time has moved on and socks and jocks do not cut it anymore. That is why Captain Cook Cruises put extra particular care in creating a range of Father’s Day Cruises for all the father figures in our lives.

Grandparent’s Day is a new favourite on the family cruise calendar. The last Sunday in October is now dedicated to celebrating the special role elders play in our lives, and how better than on a Sydney Harbour Cruise.

Join the winner’s circle for a Melbourne Cup Lunch on Sydney Harbour and combine the best of two great cities. All the racing action from Melbourne with stunning 360-degree Sydney Harbour views.

Before we know it, another year has almost come and gone. It is time to cruise into Summer, and a month of goodwill, gratitude and Christmas Parties in December. By the time Christmas Day finally arrives we may be exhausted but we still have to prepare the Christmas Day family feast. That is when a special Christmas Day treat of a Christmas Day Lunch Cruise on Sydney Harbour may just be the answer.

A million eyes turn to Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day for the start of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, one of the world’s greatest ocean races. While the skippers have their sights set on Hobart, the spectators on the Boxing Day Cruises enjoy all the pre-race action as the massive fleet jockeys for the perfect starting position.

The year comes to a climactic finale with the world-famous Sydney Harbour New Year’s Eve Fireworks.  The Captain Cook Cruises fleet enjoy exclusive access as part of official Harbour Light Parade with front-row seats for both the 9pm and midnight fireworks.

For these and other special events on Sydney Harbour visit

Phone 02 9206 1111