The festive season is over, the Christmas trees have been taken down and life for most is back to normal.

We are lucky here in Australia though that we still have so much to look forward to over the next few months: Summer has only just started and Australia Day is around the corner.

With just over 1 week to go until Australia Day, please find below our Ultimate Guide to Australia Day Cruises on Sydney Harbour:

Bass & Flinders Cruises

  • Ferrython BYO cruise
    • Departs Manly at 9.40am and Circular Quay at 10.10am
    • $30 for adults, $15 for children and $75 for 2 adults and 2 children
    • Includes: BYO food and drink
  • 2.5-hour Fireworks BYO Cruise
    • 7-9.30pm
    • $27 for adults and $20 for children
    • Includes: BYO food and drink
  • 3-hour Fireworks Cruise
    • $75 for adults and $37.50 for children
    • Includes: Fresh & cooked seafood buffet plus carvery & dessert on George’s River, Watch Carss Park fireworks display

Captain Cook Cruises

  • 4-hour Sky Deck lunch cruise
    • 10.15am-2.15pm
    • $199 for adults and $149 for children
    • Includes: Upper deck seating, 4 course premium menu and premium wines, beers, spirits & soft drinks
  • 4-hour Club Deck lunch cruise
    • 15am-2.15pm
    • $179 for adults and $99 for children
    • Includes: Middle deck seating, buffet with seafood and dessert, still & sparkling house wines, beer & soft drinks
  • 4-hour Show Deck lunch cruise
    • 10.15am-2.15pm
    • $139 for adults and $59 for children
    • Includes: Seating on the expansive show deck, buffet with seafood and dessert, still & sparkling house wines, beer & soft drinks
  • 1.5-hour Ferrython cruise
    • 10.30am-12pm
    • $45 for adults and $25 for children
    • The Ferrython is one of Australia’s best-loved spectator events. Cheer on the beloved First Fleet ferries as they race around Shark Island to the Harbour Bridge, battling it out for line honours.
  • 1.75-hour afternoon Parade cruise
    • 12.30-2.15pm
    • $45 for adults and $25 for children
    • Experience the Australia Day afternoon highlights including Australia Day Parade, Tall Ships Race & Australia Day Regatta.
  • 5-hour dinner cruise
    • 5-6.30pm
    • $81 for adults and $50 for children
    • Guaranteed window table is an additional $25 per person
    • Includes: 2 course meal, sparkling & still wines, beer & soft drinks

Coast Cruises

  • 4-hour lunch cruise
    • 10.15-2.15pm
    • $65 for adults and $50 for children under 12
    • Includes: a glass of sparkling on arrival (for adults), canapes, burgers and pies

Fantasea

  • 3-hour lunch cruise
    • 10.30-1.30pm
    • $75 for adults, $45 for children, $200 for 2 adults and 2 children
    • Includes: Light lunch with tea and coffee

Pontoon

  • 3-hour lunch cruise
    • 11am-2pm
    • $82 for adults and children
    • Includes: Bbq lunch. Drinks are available to purchase at the bar.

Rhythm Boat Cruises

  • 5-hour day cruise
    • 10.30-3.30pm
    • $125 for adults and children
    • Includes: Morning tea, Bbq Lunch, and Beer, Wine, Sparkling and Soft Drinks
  • 3.5 to 4-hour dinner cruise
    • 5.30-9.30pm
    • $89 for adults and children
    • Includes: Finger food and nibbles, Live entertainment and DJ and viewing of Australia Day fireworks

Sail Australia

  • 3.5 hour lunch cruise
    • 10.30am-2pm
    • $78 for adults and children
    • Includes: Bbq lunch. Drinks available for purchase at the bar.
  • 3.5 hours dinner cruise
    • 6.30-10pm
    • $60 for adults and children
    • Includes: 4 course dinner. Drinks available for purchase at the bar.

Starship Cruises

  • 3-hour lunch cruise
    • 11.30am-2.30pm
    • $99 for adults (was $149) and $79 for children (was $129)
    • Includes: buffet with tea and coffee. Drinks are available to purchase at the bar.

Sydney Heritage Fleet

  • 4-hour lunch cruise
    • 10am-2pm
    • $120 for adults and $50 for children
    • Includes: fresh fruit and cake for morning tea, followed by sandwiches and brownies with tea and coffee. Drinks are available to purchase at the bar. There is also live music.

Sydney Tall Ships

  • 4-hour lunch cruise
    • 10.45am to 2.45pm
    • $240 for adults and $190 for children
    • This ship takes part in the Tall Ships Race
    • Includes: BBQ including seafood, pavlova, all drinks (soft drinks, beer, wine and sparkling wine), and you can climb the mast for free if you like (usually $50).
  • 4-hour dinner cruise
    • 6-10pm
    • $190 for adults and children
    • Sydney Tall Ships is holding an evening race between our two authentic tall ships. The mighty Southern Swan will be taking on the Soren Larsen and you have the opportunity to get involved and help the crew sail your ship to victory.
    • There will also be live music on board and a fireworks display on the harbour
    • Includes: BBQ including seafood, all drinks (soft drinks, beer, wine and sparkling wine), and you can climb the mast for free if you like (usually $50).

Vagabond Cruises

  • 3-hour lunch cruise
    • 10.30am-1.30pm
    • $89 for adults, $59 for children, or $280 for 2 adults and 2 children
    • Includes: Seafood & Carvery Buffet Lunch, live commentary, followed by freshly percolated coffee and tea.
  • 3-hour dinner cruise
    • 7-10pm
    • $99 for adults, $69 for children and $320 for 2 adults and 2 children
    • Includes: Seafood & Carvery Buffet Dinner, Tempting desserts, Freshly percolated coffee and tea, Amazing firework spectacular and Professional all night DJ

Additionally, here are a couple of non-cruise options for Australia Day:

  • Shark Island Picnic
    • $49 for adults and $25 for children
    • Includes: return ferry to Shark Island, National Parks entry fee. Bring your own picnic lunch.
    • Shark Island is one of the best vantage points on the harbour for Australia Day events including the Ferrython, sailing regatta & parade. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the day on this fabulous Harbour Island.
  • Fort Denison Restaurant
    • 2.15-4.30pm
    • $99 for adults and children
    • Includes: 3 course lunch and stunning 360 views of the harbour
    • Return ferry transport, National Park entry fee is an additional $29 per person

Please note

  • All prices above are subject to availability and change.
  • The quality and quantity of food varies from cruise to cruise.

Not sure whether to do a lunch or dinner cruise? The dinner cruises give you a front seat to the fireworks display, whilst the lunch cruises allow you to enjoy the following events:

  • Australia Day Best Dressed Vessel competition
  • Australia Army 21 Gun Salute
  • RAN Sea King helicopter will fly over Sydney Harbour with the giant Australia Day Flag
  • Ferrython
  • 180th Australia Day regatta
  • RAAF Aerial display and Qantas fly over