Sydney, Australia cruise holidays

One of the world's great cities and harbours, Sydney always lives up to great expectations. When you are on one of our Sydney cruises, the first glimpse of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House will stay in your memory forever. Even before the 2000 Olympics, cruises to Sydney had much to offer - hosting the games just made the city even better with improved facilities and extra dining and entertainment venues all round. From the waterside restaurants fringing the historic Rocks district, the Sydney cruise tour takes you around Sydney Cove past the Circular Quay ferry terminal to that remarkable Opera House and the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens.

Top sights and attractions in Sydney

Sydney Opera House

With its distinctive roofline, the Sydney Opera House is unquestionably one of the most famous buildings in the world. Marvel at this masterpiece of 20th century architecture and engineering that became one of the busiest performing arts centres on the planet. Step inside and discover the stories that make the Sydney Opera House so inspiring on a guided tour.

Or, if you’re here on an overnight stop on your cruise holiday, why not enjoy an evening opera performance at this iconic cultural centre? Either way, no Sydney cruise would be complete without a visit to the monument that represents Australia.


Royal Botanic Garden

Located in the heart of Sydney, this tranquil 30-hectare botanical garden offers the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. Wrapped around Sydney Harbour, these heritage-listed gardens have spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and waterfront.

Established in 1816, this is the oldest botanical institution in the country and home to an incredible array of plants from Australia. Learn more about the exotic plants that are native to this part of the world and lose yourself in one of the park’s spectacular themed gardens.


Blue Mountains

This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to some of Australia’s most dramatic scenery. Only an hour’s drive from the centre of Sydney, the Blue Mountains National Park is a whole world away from the bustling streets of the big city.

Expect to be enchanted by the natural beauty of the exotic plant displays on the walking trails. From Echo Point lookout, you’ll enjoy stunning vistas of the Australian Grand Canyon and the Jamison Valley. And, if you’re feeling brave, at Scenic World you can take a ride on the world's steepest passenger railway, plunging 310 metres into the lush valley.


Things to do

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

Don’t miss your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge climb and experience a unique way to view the city’s world-famous harbour area.

Your guide will lead you up the eastern arch, through steel catwalks to the summit. From there you’ll have time to take in the panorama before descending down the western arch to receive a souvenir photo of your climb. Then you’ll continue on foot to The Rocks, Sydney's oldest village, where the city’s first settlers built a village.


Taronga Zoo

With breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour, Taronga Zoo is aptly named as it is an Aboriginal word meaning ‘beautiful view’. Enjoy a captivating walk with an experienced guide at one of the world's finest zoological gardens.

Visit the unique Australian animal displays on the Walkabout Tour, which includes kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, echidnas and many species of birds. Then take in the Platypus Pools, which recreate the wonder of a Blue Mountains sandstone gorge and are home to many species of native animals and the recently discovered ‘dinosaur tree’: the Wollemi pine.


Visit Bondi Beach

With its white-sand crescent, Bondi Beach is one of Australia’s most iconic attractions. Famous for its glistening ocean, pristine beach, surf and seaside spirit, this is the place to truly embrace the laid-back Aussie coastal lifestyle.

If catching rays on the beach isn’t your thing, then perhaps you might like to hike the Coogee Coastal walk along Bondi clifftop and immerse yourself in dramatic scenery. Or why not take your pick of the many hip and trendy beachside bars and restaurants that Bondi Beach has to offer?


Food  and drink

Eat and drink your way around Sydney

One of the best ways to get to know Australia’s largest city is through its food. And the quintessential Australian fish dish to try on your Sydney cruise is barramundi. Native to Australia and the Indo-Pacific, this succulent and versatile fish can be enjoyed grilled or fried and can be found on the menu in hundreds of restaurants in the city.

More of a meat lover? Then be sure to head to King Street Wharf, where you’ll find restaurants serving kangaroo burgers, crocodile spring rolls or even emu pizzas. If you prefer to stick to more conventional meats, then why not try a traditional Aussie meat pie? With either a beef, chicken or lamb filling in a hand-sized puff pastry pie topped with mashed potatoes, this Aussie food icon is found at many street food outlets across Sydney.

If you’re feeling thirsty after that, why not soak up Sydney’s most famous sights with a refreshing cocktail at a rooftop bar overlooking the harbour? Of course, Australia is famous for being a beer-drinking nation and Sydney proudly boasts one of the best craft brewing scenes on the planet if you want to sample a few local beers or ales.


Shopping in Sydney

From sparkling new shopping centres to quirky boutiques and lively street markets, as one of the world’s great fashion capitals, shopping is an unmissable experience on a cruise to Sydney. Located in the heart of the city’s Central Business District, Westfield Mall is a shopper’s paradise, packed with high-end shops and designer names. For high street shopping head to George Street. Stretching all the way from The Rocks, near Sydney Harbour Bridge, to Central Station, this is Sydney’s main street where you’ll find the city’s biggest department store, Myer, and all the fashion brands you could imagine.

The Strand Arcade inside the historic 1890s Queen Victoria Building, near the Sydney Tower, is not just one of the nicest looking buildings in the city, it’s also great for independent boutiques where you’ll find those special one-of-a-kind gifts. Even if you’re not a fan of shopping, this charming Victorian arcade, with its cedar staircases, tiled floors and tinted glass roof, is a must-see sight on your Sydney cruise.


Culture and history of Sydney

Sydney has a long and rich cultural history dating back to prehistoric times when Australian Aborigines settled in the region at least 30,000 years ago. The modern history of the city began with the arrival of the British in 1788 and the foundation of a penal colony by Great Britain. After this, a series of cultures emerged, bringing European and American influences, and Sydney became the capital of New South Wales in 1901.

Nonetheless, Aboriginal and indigenous cultures have not only survived but are now recognised as a vital part of Sydney’s cultural identity. And Aboriginal engravings and cultural sites are still common in the Sydney area.

Today, Sydney is Australia’s largest city and has transformed into a modern cosmopolitan society and a major international centre of culture. It is home to a vibrant arts scene and has many cultural institutions, including its world-famous Opera House.


Sydney port facilities

As one of the world's great cities and harbours, Sydney always lives up to expectations. When you arrive here on your Sydney cruise holiday, the first glimpse of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House will stay in your memory forever.

Although your Sydney cruise port is close to the city centre, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to public transport options – with trains, buses, taxis and ferries ready to whisk you away to almost anywhere in and around the city. From the waterside restaurants overlooking the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House to the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden and historic Rocks district, you’ll be able to explore the best the city has to offer from your Sydney cruise terminal.  

Frequently asked questions about Sydney, Australia

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