Australia Sydney Travel

Sydney Harbour Cruise with Captain Cook Cruises

To many travellers, Sydney is synonymous with its harbour and the first attraction a new visitor to the city seeks to explore.

Captain Cook Cruises
Captain Cook Harbour Cruise

Captain Cook Cruises run several harbour cruises departing from Circular Quay. The Coffee Cruise runs for two hours and loops from its departure point towards the Eastern Suburbs’ coastline and Watson’s Bay then onto the northern beaches before returning via North Sydney past Luna Park.

Sydney Harbour Cruise
Sydney skyline

A running commentary explains the various sights and locations and affords the visitor a great opportunity to learn a little about its history while appreciating the beauty of the harbour.

Sydney Harbour Cruise
View of Sydney

There are three decks on the cruise ship, two with indoor seating. The top deck offers the best views but has no shelter. It is advisable to dress well for the weather by bringing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen if you choose to sit outside. In winter, it can get a little chilly and windy, particularly when on the approach to the heads.

Sydney Harbour Cruise
Upper deck

Sydney Harbour Cruise
Outdoor seating on middle deck

Morning or afternoon tea is served halfway through the cruise and consists of brewed coffee, tea or juice with a help-yourself pack containing a mini chocolate muffin, a Lamington, Tim Tams and biscuits.

Sydney Harbour Cruise
Afternoon tea

Sydney Harbour Cruise
Luna Park

Sydney Harbour Cruise
Bridge climb on Sydney Harbour Bridge

For moody photographs, the best time to take the cruise is in the afternoon when the oblique sunlight bathes the building and scenery in a warm glow.

Sydney Harbour Cruise
Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunset

The Captain Cook Coffee Cruise is a good way of seeing Sydney Harbour from the water. There are many beautiful sights and photo opportunities along the way. Two hours can be a little too long, particularly when the best scenery is in the first half of the cruise, when the boat gets a little close to the shore. On the north side, some attractions such as Manly Beach can only be seen from a long distance. The coffee and food can do with a revamp but overall it is a pleasant experience that unites visitors and locals in awe of the city.

The Captain Cook Coffee Cruise costs $49 for adults and runs twice a day.

Captain Cook Cruises

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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.