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Sydney Harbour with Watsons Bay on the left
Photo: Sydney Harbour with Watsons Bay on the left

Sydney Harbour Cruises - 5 Tips

Sydney Harbour Map

Sydney celebrates a great New Year Eve with masses of fireworks watched by hundreds of thousands of Sydneysiders and visitors from around Australia and the World.

One very popular way to enjoy the fireworks, of course, is to take in a New Years Eve Cruise. Bring in the New Year with an eyepopping clear hemispherical view with earpopping live surround sound!

Five Useful Cruising Tips

List of five things to consider before booking your Sydney Harbour Cruise -- for New Years Eve or any other time.

1. What is included in the package? Food, drink, music, entertainment, dancing, etc?

This is very important to understand from the beginning. For example, on some boats, only beer and wine will be included, spirits you will have to pay for on top of any other charges. If you book a cruise you believe to be fully inclusive, it should be exactly that.

2. Any extra charges?

Depending on the wharf being used, there may be an additional charge for its use. When traffic gets busy on Sydney Harbour, time slots are at a premium. The vessel will have 15 minute to embark passengers and 15 minutes to disembark them.

3. Vessel safe, with a professional crew and clean?

The best way to ensure you are with a safe and reputable cruise company is to ask for feedback from previous visitors and cruise reviews. Are they positive/favourable? Is the company in good standing in the industry and experienced? Do they have a functioning website and customer service team? Not all cruise companies are created and run equally.

4. Which wharf will the boat be picking you up from?

This is important to know for arranging transportation to the wharf. With strict wharf time slots, it is imperative everyone arrives on time and knowing the where and how of the pickup point will help with this. If taking taxis, they should be called well in advance or if driving checking to ensure there is sufficient parking is advised.

5. What time will you need to be there?

On New Years Eve especially, this is very important due to the heavy traffic on roads leading to the city. If you are in the City or Eastern Suburbs and need to get to North Sydney for example, it will take a long time to get there. You can catch a train to Circular Quay, but leave yourself time to get to the wharf from there.

Same also for after your cruise. If possible, I would recommend driving to the pickup point and parking nearby as it is would be difficult to find a taxi after midnight.

Cab companies charge for additional time spent at waiting at wharves. If someone misses the boat, their only option will be to use a water taxi to transfer.

Paying close attention to my top 5 tips will ensure a memorable and stress free Sydney Harbour Cruise. See you on the Harbour.

- By Michael Davies

Michael Davies is Managing Director of Flagship Charters, a Sydney based cruise and charter company.

Having run a charter company here on Sydney Harbour since 1982, Michael Davies has enjoyed assisting thousands of people in that time bring in the New Year, watching the Sydney Harbour fireworks.

Flagship Charters: Cruises and Party Boat Hire

Harbour Cruises

Lunch cruises, dinner cruises and sightseeing cruises operate daily from Circular Quay and Darling Harbour.

Getting to Circular Quay is easy, as it is a major train, bus, taxi and ferry terminus. See Rocks and Circular Quay Map.

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