This year’s Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of lights, is already a spectacular hit. Throngs of tourists and Sydneysiders are jostling each night for the best vantage points around the harbour foreshores, but T&I recommends a savvy alternative to being swallowed by the crowds. Setting off from the King Street Wharf at Darling Harbour on a sleek white vessel , the Captain Cook Vivid Dinner and Drinks Cruise provides unfettered views of the Vivid Sydney installations and projections. The elegant dining section comes with cheerful table service and soothing live music; an all-inclusive (and very palatable) three-course meal is served, plus selected drinks. There are ample views from the indoor eating area but the coup de theatre is the open-air upper deck, which provides a breathtaking 360degree panorama. Grab a glass of champagne and head up to toast the harbour city’s illuminated finery. Vivid Sydney ends June 8; dinner and drinks cruises from 5pm ($59) or 7.30pm ($89); one-hour Vivid Lights voyages (from $29) are also offered. (Tip: It’s worth the extra to book a window-side table on dinner outings.) More: captaincook.com.au.