Although Aussies who hail from other towns often disparage Sydney for its flashiness and hectic pace, urban inconveniences seem minor here compared to places like New York and London. Tourism is a huge industry around Sydney, and locals are accustomed and happy to provide visitors with service, helpful directions and a warm welcome to the stunning city that they call home.

Sydney is a definite stop on just about any cruise that travels Down Under and often serves as a starting or ending point for ships that also travel to New Zealand. It is the largest city in Australia, and while many of the nation’s cultural and financial institutions are located in Sydney, the city’s real draw is its dramatic natural scenery.

Latest Sydney Deals

12-Day Australia & New Zealand from Sydney

03 Feb 2021 (12 Nights) Fly Cruise from £2711pp
Norwegian Jewel

Papua New Guinea

02 Apr 2021 (13 Nights) Cruise Only from £1150pp
Sea Princess

Australia's Iconic Kimberley

18 May 2021 (10 Nights) Cruise Only from Call Us
Le Bellot

New Zealand

24 Nov 2019 (14 Nights) Cruise Only from Call Us
Sea Princess

Australia Short Break

27 Nov 2020 (4 Nights) Fly Cruise from £579pp
Queen Elizabeth

New Zealand & Tasmania

25 Feb 2021 (11 Nights) Fly Cruise from £1560pp
Queen Elizabeth

10 Night New Zealand Cruise

13 Nov 2019 (10 Nights) Cruise Only from £1110pp
Ovation of the Seas

11 Night New Zealand Cruise

30 Oct 2020 (11 Nights) Cruise Only from £840pp
Serenade of the Seas

Outrageous Outback

03 Feb 2020 (14 Nights) Fly Cruise from £5453pp

16-Day Orchid Isles & Queensland Coast

05 Dec 2020 (16 Nights) Cruise Only from £7999pp
Seabourn Encore

Australia's Iconic Kimberley

20 Jul 2021 (10 Nights) Cruise Only from Call Us
Le Laperouse

Auckland to Bali

13 Feb 2021 (18 Nights) Fly Cruise from £5400pp
Silver Whisper

Cruise Companies that sail to Sydney

Why visit Sydney ?

Sydney location iamge - CruiseDirection

A big city lifestyle

Laid-back Australian mentality

Cruise ships of all lines dock in Sydney at two locations, each of which can accommodate one vessel at a time. There is the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay which is mainly for tall ships that won’t fit beneath the Harbour Bridge and there is also White Bay which has been in operation since 2013 replacing the former Darling Harbour location.

In addition to the two berths listed, occasionally cruise ships dock at the naval base at Garden Island, a little to the east of Circular Quay, especially for very large ships.

Although it is a modern city strongly influenced by British roots and current American popular culture, Sydney’s real character is derived from its exotic location and brash beauty. Walking through the glass and concrete downtown, known as the Central Business District, you could be in any other Western-culture metropolis - until a fluorescent red and green lorikeet parrot swoops overhead or an unexpected flash of the brilliant blue harbour appears between the skyscrapers. 

Any proper visit to Sydney must begin in the harbour, which is both the birthplace of the city and its current iconic centrepiece. The area is called Circular Quay (pronounced "key" by locals). It is hard to imagine a more picturesque setting for a city’s heart than this, with the Opera House and harbour Bridge displayed against the inlet’s bright water. 

Sydney spreads across a massive geographic area, but the majority of its most interesting areas can be found near the ocean coast, in the area known as the Eastern suburbs. Oxford Street, the main thoroughfare running east from downtown to the ocean beaches is popular because of its upscale shops and cafes. 

Take a tour of the world-famous Sydney Opera House. There are a handful of varieties (backstage, historic and what is called the "tour de force" for travellers with special interests in architecture, engineering or the arts). Guided tours are conducted between 8:30 a.m. - 5p.m. daily. Of course, schedule permitting, travellers can also take in a show. 

The best way to see the harbour is to get a bird’s eye view from the top of the harbour Bridge on a Sydney harbour Bridge Climb - not your ordinary stroll across a bridge and not just for the young and crazy. The 3.5-hour trek up and down the famous landmark is safe, slow and suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels; you’ll don a bridge suit and wear a bridge harness along the ladder-like stairways and narrow catwalks.

The climbs are guided tours and are offered during the day as well as at night. There are lots of rules and regulations, including: no kids under 10 (and children aged 10 to 16 must be accompanied by an adult), no women more than 24 weeks pregnant, climbers must wear rubber soled shoes, and all climbers must pass a breath-test (for a blood alcohol limit of less than .05 percent). 

From the bridge, visitors can walk around the inlet to tour the always-crowded Opera House. It is easy to continue from there through the Royal Botanical Gardens, a collection of flowers and trees overlooking the water, where it is possible to see some of Australia’s unique flora without having to leave the city. 

If  you are in need of some retail therapy then you will find a great selection of shopping in Sydney. Head to central areas like Pitt Street Mall, downtown and Castlereagh Street (from Hunter Street to Goulburn Street) for chi-chi designer stores. Also include the aforementioned Rocks and Darling harbour, Oxford Street and Five Ways in Paddington. Sydney also has an excellent collection of weekend outdoor markets. Glebe holds its version every Saturday, while Bondi hosts a market each Sunday.

Shops and services are generally open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and until lunchtime on Saturday. In cities and larger towns, many shops stay open late on Thursday or Friday evening - usually until 9pm - and all day on Saturday. Shopping malls are often open on Sundays as well.

In remote country areas, roadhouses provide all the essential services for the traveller and, on the major highways, are generally open 24 hours a day. In tourist areas, even ones well off the beaten track, tourist offices are often open every day or at least through the week plus weekend mornings; urban information centres are more likely to conform to normal shopping hours. 

Tourist attractions such as museums, galleries and attended historic monuments, are often open daily, though those in rural communities may have erratic opening hours.

Sydney is a destination in itself, full of cultural diversity and heritage along with a fantastic choice of things to do for all the family. So be inspired on your arrival there and discover the delights this great place has to offer.

Interested in Sydney Cruise Holidays?

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