Harbour Cruis­ing: Sydney ex­plored by sea

Where Sydney - - Contents -

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 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.

Sydney’s of­fi­cial Hop On Hop Off Harbour Ex­plorer pass now in­cludes 11 stops and up to two days to visit them. These red rocket fer­ries zoom be­tween Cir­cu­lar Quay, Taronga Zoo, Wat­son’s Bay, Fort Deni­son, Shark Is­land, Gar­den Is­land, Luna Park, Manly, Baranga­roo, ICC Sydney and Dar­ling Harbour with com­men­tary. Start your jour­ney from Cir­cu­lar Quay, Dar­ling Harbour or Manly and 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.

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 price at only $99.

Ex­pe­ri­ence the best of Sydney Harbour with the Eco­hop­per 24-hour ho­pon hop-off 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.

Of­fer­ing great value, Eco­hop­per 24-hour hop-on hop-off pass pro­vides travel on five dif­fer­ent ferry ser­vices, in­clud­ing the new Eco­hop­per City Loop ferry in­tro­duced last sum­mer. This ver­sa­tile ticket has the most in­clu­sions, high­est ser­vice fre­quency and long­est op­er­at­ing hours and is the only ticket which in­cludes un­lim­ited travel on Manly Fast Ferry, so there’s no need to rush back from Manly in the evening. Com­men­tary and al­co­holic re­fresh­ments are avail­able on-board. Why not also in­clude a visit to Taronga Zoo or Sydney SEA LIFE Aquar­ium with the pop­u­lar Combo Pass. This is the only zoo combo ticket that al­lows travel on other ser­vices as well, al­low­ing you to get the most value out of your stay in Sydney by giv­ing you greater free­dom to stay longer at your location.

If you don’t have time to do it all, but still want to ex­pe­ri­ence Sydney from the wa­ter, one-hour and two-hour cruise options are also avail­able. With com­men­tary and li­censed bar on­board this is a great, re­lax­ing way to see iconic Sydney. There are reg­u­lar de­par­tures from Wharf 6 Cir­cu­lar Quay and Dar­ling Harbour each day.

Also on of­fer is a Week­end Harbour Beaches ser­vice which pro­vides a quick and af­ford­able cross harbour con­nec­tion be­tween Manly and Wat­sons Bay. A ferry is the per­fect way to ex­plore Sydney, and with so many options avail­able there is sure to be some­thing for ev­ery­one.

It’s that time of year again! Whale watch­ing sea­son is here, with Septem­ber be­ing par­tic­u­larly special as mother’s jour­ney back with their ba­bies in tow. The three-hour dis­cov­ery cruise on Ocean Dream­ing II will take you on Sydney’s largest and best pur­pose built whale watch­ing boat, en­sur­ing a smooth and com­fort­able ride over three lev­els with 360-de­gree wrap around spa­cious decks, per­fect for spot­ting whales from all an­gles. The two-hour Adventure Cruise on To­tally Wild takes you on a pur­pose

built, 27-seat high speed craft, per­fect for thrill seek­ers want­ing an adrenalin rush. The ves­sel is low to the wa­ter for an up close whale watch­ing ex­pe­ri­ence en­sur­ing wind in your hair and salt spray on your face. Both cruises reach the whales in light­ning speed, promis­ing even more time to spend spot­ting them amongst the waves, and with a 99% suc­cess rate or your next cruise free, what are you wait­ing for!

Travel with the best for less with the brand new Whale Watch­ing Sydney Dis­cov­ery Cruise Combo. In­clud­ing the three-hour Dis­cov­ery Whale Watch­ing Sydney Cruise, a 24-hour Eco­hop­per Pass, the Manly Fast Ferry, three ad­di­tional harbour ferry ser­vices plus pro­fes­sional pho­tos taken on­board a whale watch­ing cruise, there’s no bet­ter deal for the full harbour and ocean ex­pe­ri­ence.

Fan­tasea Cruis­ing of­fers a wide va­ri­ety of harbour cruise ex­pe­ri­ences, from ho­pon hop-off cruises, to morn­ing tea cruises to wa­ter taxis. En­joy Sydney like a true Aussie with an Aussie BBQ and beer on a fam­ily friendly, fun cruise. The Clas­sic Aussie Cruise has four daily de­par­tures from Dar­ling Harbour and Cir­cu­lar Quay, with a 24-hour hop on hop off pass also avail­able.

Photo: Lana Bo­gunovich.

Whale Watch­ing Sydney.

Cap­tain Cook Cruises.

Whale Watch­ing Sydney. Photo: PMG.

Fan­tasea Cruis­ing.

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