Sydney Harbour Cruises (Captain Cook | Sightseeing) 2024

(77 customer reviews)


Last updated on April 15, 2024 8:13 am
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A Sydney Harbour Cruise is one of the best ways to get acquainted with the city. Many of Sydney’s best-known sights and attractions lie right on the water’s edge, allowing you to soak them up from the comfort of a cruise boat. Popular sights include the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The cruises come in a variety of types and available options. Amongst others, you can choose to dine on a cruise at sunset,  enjoy a fast-paced tour of the main attractions, or make use of a hop-on-hop-off ticket to get around the city by boat.

Whichever option you choose, you’ll get to experience Sydney from a whole new perspective, and take in some amazing views.


  • See some of Sydney’s most popular sights including Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House
  • Experience the city from a fresh perspective
  • Enjoy cozy-cabins with large windows
  • Open-air decks where you can take in the ocean breeze
  • Choose from a wide range of options, many of which include meals and/or drinks
  • Most Sydney boat cruises include live on-board commentary

Know before you book:

  • Some cruises are not wheelchair accessible
  • The top deck of most boats is only accessible via stairs
  • Book tickets in advance to ensure there’s availability for your chosen dates

Sydney harbour dinner cruise boat on the water surrounded with lights and reflections

Located on Australia’s east coast, Sydney is the most populous city in the country. and an extremely popular tourist destination. At the heart of the city is Port Jackson, an extensive body of water around which Sydney was built. Often referred to as Sydney Harbour, here is where you’ll find many of the city’s main sights, activities, and attractions.

A cruise in Sydney Harbour is one of the most popular ways to enjoy all it has to offer. You’ll get to drift right past all of the city’s waterfront attractions, including Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Most cruises include live on-board commentary, so you can learn about the city through a series of facts and stories while you admire it.

A myriad of Sydney boat cruise options is available, to suit all tastes and preferences. Many of the best options are offered by Captain Cook Cruises Sydney, the most popular and trusted cruise provider in the city. We’ll discuss these options later on in this post.

Sydney Cruise Tour Prices 2021

The price of a Sydney Harbour boat cruise varies depending on what’s included, the type of cruise, and how long it lasts. The quickest and most affordable cruise costs around $40 AUD ($27 USD) per person, while the priciest can cost up to around $200 AUD ($138 USD).

Of course, there are plenty of mid-range options available too. See the price list below for up-to-date prices and the most affordable deals.

Enjoy Sydney's best value for money sightseeing cruise. See all the famous Sydney Harbour landmarks with GPS commentary on this 1 hour 15 minute cruise around the harbour, with time to enjoy the rest of your stay in Sydney.
Sydney Harbour Highlights Cruise
Explore Sydney aboard a hop-on hop-off Sydney Harbour cruise that stops at top destinations including Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, Watsons Bay, Manly and Luna Park. Get a great vantage point for photo ops of icons such as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Simply jump on and off...
Sydney Harbour Hop-on Hop-off Cruise
Take in panoramic views of lovely Sydney on a Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruise that lasts up to two hours. Choose from two options a morning or afternoon tour that takes you close to the majestic Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Fort Denison and other top sights. Listen to live...
Sydney Harbour Coffee Cruise
Discover the beauty of Sydney Harbour on a 2-hour sightseeing cruise. Hear stories about Sydney's history and enjoy morning or afternoon tea.
Sydney Harbour Story Cruise
The City Sights and Highlights Cruise is the perfect introduction to Sydney Harbour. Enjoy breathtaking views of world-famous Sydney sights including the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, Fort Denison and many more.
City Sights and Highlights Cruise
Book a table for a 3-hour lunch and sightseeing cruise on Sydney Harbour. Pass top landmarks including the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge as your boat glides along the water. Your sit-down dining experience includes attentive service and the choice of a 2- or 3-course lunch. A...
Sydney Harbour Top Deck Lunch Cruise
Enjoy an exquisite 3-course a la carte meal or 6-course degustation with live music whilst taking in the incredible views Sydney Harbour has to offer. The perfect experience for a night out or a special occasion.
Sydney Harbour Captains Dinner Cruise
Enjoy this relaxing lunch cruise whilst cruising Sydney Harbour aboard the prestigious MV Sydney 2000. Let your taste buds run wild while enjoying a delicious a la carte lunch as you admire stunning harbour views.
Sydney Harbour a la carte Lunch Cruise
Cruise through Sydney Harbour in style on board a spacious flagship vessel that departs from Circular Quay and King Street Wharf. Glide by landmarks, including the floodlit Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, and watch the city change colors with the sunset. Then sit down for a 3-course...
Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise
Hop on board a Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruise for a comprehensive, yet speedy introduction, to all of Sydney's waterfront landmarks. Keep your camera handy for great photo ops of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, and admire pretty harborside suburbs such as Point Piper and...
Sydney Harbour Highlights Cruise


While Sydney Harbour is always open for visitors to enjoy, most cruises depart at fixed times throughout the day. The time of your cruise will depend on which option you pick. The earliest cruises generally depart around 10 am, while the latest cruises set off at around 7:30 pm.

Best Time to Go

Sydney opera house and harbour bridge at sunset

Any time is a great time to take a cruise on Sydney Harbour, but we think the best time is in the evening. The harbour is particularly stunning around sunset.

Ideally, you’ll catch the last of the golden-hour light, for a spot of sightseeing, before the sun sinks below the horizon. Then the evening lights start to make an appearance, casting stunning reflections on the water of the bay.

If this sounds appealing, be sure to check what time the sun sets in Sydney, and book a cruise that lines up with it. While it might not always be possible to capture the full sunset, booking a  Sydney dinner cruise will usually be your best bet.

Sydney Harbour Cruise Options

red cruise boat in Sydney Harbour

As mentioned previously, there are plenty of options to consider when booking a Sydney Harbour cruise. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most popular harbour cruises Sydney has to offer.

Sydney Harbour Story Cruise

Marvel at Sydney’s most magnificent waterfront attractions on this comprehensive story cruise around Sydney Harbour. The live on-board commentary provides fascinating stories of Sydney’s heritage as you admire the views and enjoy a selection of snacks and drinks.

Choose between a morning and afternoon cruise, and pick your choice of refreshments. The standard cruise includes simple snacks, tea, and coffee. The Premium Harbour Cruise includes a selection of cakes, cheeses, and macrons, as well as a glass of sparkling wine.

What we liked: A simple and affordable Sydney cruise tour that’s keeps you entertained.

  • Drinks and snacks
  • Live on-board commentary and stories

  • A full meal
  • hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Gratuities

This is a great option for anyone who wants a simple, but informative and enjoyable cruise on Sydney Harbour.

Check Price & Book

Sydney Harbour Cruise Hop-on-Hop-off

Cruising around the harbour isn’t reserved entirely for sightseeing. It can also be a great way to get around the city. This hop-on-hop-off captain cook cruise offers the best of both worlds!

It’s a 2-day pass that allows you to jump on and off the cruise boat at a selection of stops, such as Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Luna Park, Watsons Bay, and Manly. Between the stops, you’ll get to admire the main sights and landmarks from the boat, and enjoy live commentary. It even stops at Taronga Zoo, with the option of including tickets in the price of the cruise.

What we liked: A nice, affordable blend of sightseeing and attraction-hopping.

  • 2-day hop-on-hop-off pass
  • See the main sights and landmarks
  • Live on-board commentary

  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off

This option is an affordable way to experience a Sydney sightseeing cruise, while also travelling around the city.

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Lunch Cruise, Sydney Harbour

Slice of cheesecake on the lunch cruise

Glide past Sydney’s top harbour-side attractions while enjoying a delicious lunch on this Captain Cook cruise. Sydney Harbour is home to some breathtaking views, which can be admired in all their glory from the top deck of the lavish yacht. The cruise lasts 3 hours and allows you to choose between a 2 or 3-course meal.

What we liked: Tasty food, attentative staff, and breathtaking views.

  • 2 or 3-course lunch
  • See the main sights and landmarks
  • Upper-deck seating

  • Detailed commentary
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Drinks (available for purchase)

Your lunch will be a la carte, with a variety of meal options available.

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Dinner Cruise, Sydney Harbour

Departing from King Street Wharf and Circular Quay in the early evening, this dinner cruise offers a classy, romantic, and beautiful experience of the harbour. Experience the vibrant city lights from the viewing deck as you cruise past Sydney’s popular landmarks. Then enjoy a delicious 3-course meal along with some live entertainment.

What we liked: The evening lights are gorgeous and the fresh seafood is delectable. This is the best harbour cruise Sydney has to offer.

  • 3-course internationally inspired dinner
  • See the main sights and landmarks
  • Live on-board entertainment
  • Upper-deck seating

  • Detailed commentary
  • Hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Drinks (available for purchase)

While this Captain Cook Harbour cruise is pricier than some of the others, it’s a stunning experience and makes for a great evening in Sydney.

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7.9Expert Score
These Sydney Harbour sightseeing cruises offer a wide variety of experiences, each with their own unique charm. Seeing Sydney from the water is a real must-do while visiting the city, and a harbour cruise is a great way to do so.
Value for money
  • See Sydney’s main water-side sights and landmarks
  • Learn about the city’s heritage
  • Take in some beautiful views
  • A variety of enticing options
  • Some cruises aren’t wheelchair accessible
  • Pay extra for guaranteed window seats

Specification: Sydney Harbour Cruises (Captain Cook | Sightseeing) 2024


No (unless specified)


1-3 hours


live commentary, Sydney Harbour sightseeing


Meals (unless specified), Snacks and drinks (unless specified), Gratuity (optional)

Meals & Drinks

Only on select cruises


Not included

Suitable For

Corporate outings, Couples, Families, Groups of friends, Solo travelers

77 reviews for Sydney Harbour Cruises (Captain Cook | Sightseeing) 2024

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    Our luncheon cruise was a great day lovely food lovely staff our waitress so nice cruise ship was very clean

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