Last weekend, I enjoyed a Captain Cook Long Lunch Cruise for my partner’s mum’s birthday. My partner and I joined the cruise at 12pm at King St Wharf, and the rest of our party joined us at Circular Quay ay 12.30pm. 3.5 hours later, we disembarked at 3.30pm at King St Wharf and the rest left at 4pm at Circular Quay.
As with most Captain Cook cruises, there are optional extras such as a guaranteed window table (the cost depends on the cruise, for the long lunch it is usually $20pp*) and bar packages (this is included on some cruises, for the long lunch it is usually $25 for adults or $7 for soft drinks for children). You can also decide to order drinks on the day, on a consumption basis, which is what we did as it gives you more flexibility. We also decided against the surcharge for a guaranteed window table, as expansive windows throughout the vessels offer superb viewing no matter where you are seated on the vessel. We also realised once on board, that it may have been tricky to give our party of 11 a window table.
The 3-course menu gives adults 2 choices for entree and dessert, and 4 choices for their main. The children’s menu consisted of just chicken schnitzel (strangely, it came with a lot of green beans, a couple of small roast potatoes, but no chips) and ice cream for dessert, but it is possible to pay an additional fee to upgrade to the adult’s menu. I chose the Smoked Ocean Trout with shaved fennel and dill, capers with black caviar dressing, Australian Beef Tenderloin Fillet with sautéed mushrooms, roasted vegetables and seeded mustard jus, and Slow Baked Lemon and Lime Tart, served with a dollop of thickened cream. All of the food was delicious, in particular the Lemon and Lime Tart, though again I was surprised that the mains did not arrive with chips to share. As it was Easter Sunday, we were also greeted with Hot Cross Buns upon arrival. There are worse things to happen at sea though.
One of the best things about the cruise, apart from the stunning harbour vistas of course, is that (unlike many other cruises), they pick up and drop off at 2 different ports (King St Wharf and Circular Quay). This is great, as not only did it mean our party of 11 could join and depart the cruise at the port most convenient to them, but it also meant that the food service was staggered. We finished eating long before the cruise ended, which gave us time to relax and enjoy the harbour and city from the top deck with 360-degree views. If you fancy a Captain Cook lunch cruise, but don’t have time for the Long Lunch one that we did, they also offer a 2-course and a seafood buffet option which runs from 12pm-1.45pm (King St Wharf) or 12.30-2.20pm (Circular Quay). I have to admit that at first I thought 3.5 hours would be too long, but in hindsight 1h45 hours would have been far too short.
Whether you are celebrating a special occasion like we did, or simply fancy a relaxing day on the harbour, there is not a better way to do it!
* For a limited time, we have access to a Guaranteed Window Table for just $1! Valid for 2 course Top Deck and Long Lunch cruises for travel 1-30 April 2016. Window upgrade valid for new bookings only. Minimum 24 hours advance booking. Limited availability.