Harbour Cruising: Sydney explored by sea
SYDNEY’S ICONIC HARBOUR
has pretty much seen it all since then Lieutenant James Cook arrived aboard the Endeavour in 1770 and named it Port Jackson. It was here that the first settlers set up camp in 1788 and the harbour has been an important part of city life ever since, used for transportation and recreation.
Little wonder it is widely regarded as the greatest leisure harbour in the world. On any given day, the harbour is alive with boats of all shapes and sizes, be it passenger ferries, state-of-the-art yachts or kayakers. This is particularly true during the traditional Boxing Day launch of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race, when hundreds of craft follow the racers out of the harbour. And on New Year’s Eve, there’s no better spot to be than on a boat beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge as the breathtaking fireworks display takes place in the skies above.
While the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House are its two most famous landmarks, the harbour has plenty more sights up its sleeve. Circular Quay, Luna Park and Anzac Bridge are all accessible and visible from the water along with hundreds of bays, coves, beaches and waterways. Several islands can also be found in the harbour, the most notable being Fort Denison, Shark Island and Cockatoo Island.
Historians will no doubt want to head round to Green Point in Watsons Bay where the remains of fortifications designed to protect the harbour from a submarine attack in World War II can still be seen. The net anchor points are still in place and one of the midget submarines caught up in those defences in 1942 is now on display at the Australian War Memorial.
With so much to see and do, it pays to plan ahead and the good news is that there are plenty of ways to get out on the water, designed to suit all budgets, time frames and interests.
Multi-award winning Captain Cook Cruises offers premium dining, sightseeing, ferry and whale watching cruises. The new Harbour Story cruise combines premium sightseeing with the stories of Sydney’s most fascinating characters every day at 10am and 2.15pm from Circular Quay. Upgrade to the premium package including a glass of sparkling wine, morning afternoon tea selection and coffee to order.
The Hop On Hop Off Harbour Explorer cruise combines the fun and flexibility of a rocket ferry with the comfort and ease of a cruise with commentary. Your 24 hour ticket lets you hop off at up to nine harbourside attractions including Taronga Zoo, Manly, Watsons Bay, Fort Denison, Shark Island, Garden Island, Luna Park, Darling Harbour and Circular Quay every 30 to 45 minutes. Save up to 95% on attraction entry with a Captain Cook cruise and attraction combo ticket including entry to Sydney’s most popular waterfront attractions. The company’s flagships Sydney
2000 and John Cadman 2 take Sydney Harbour dining to an impressive level. A comprehensive range of breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner options operate daily with a choice of contemporary Australian buffet, à la carte, and six-course degustation menus.
Celebrate Christmas in July on Sydney Harbour with all your favourite winter treats on special lunch cruises departing 22 to 30 July. For the more adventurous, book a Whale Watching cruise online and save up to 35% aboard Captain Cook Cruises’ spacious ocean catamaran. Cruises operate daily with a whale guarantee and expert commentary. For a great value, full-day, adventure try the Taronga Zoo and Whale Watching combo priced at only $99.
Experience the best of Sydney Harbour with the Ecohopper 24-hour hop-on hopoff sightseeing pass. Visit popular harbour locations; Manly, Darling Harbour, Watsons Bay, Taronga Zoo, Fort Denison, Quarantine Station, Circular Quay, Rose Bay, Pyrmont Bay and North Sydney.
Photo: Lana Bogunovich.
Captain Cook Cruises.