Cruise from Sydney

Drone shot of a Royal Caribbean ship docked in front of the Sydney Opera House

What you need to know about cruising from Sydney

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Frequently asked questions

You can sail just about anywhere in the world from Sydney. Cruises travel all around Australia, from short jaunts along the NSW South Coast to Queensland island adventures, Tasmanian gourmet safaris and full circumnavigations of the continent. Popular international destinations from Sydney include the South Pacific (like Noumea, Vanuatu and Fiji), New Zealand and Asia. You can also set out on an epic Transpacific voyage, crossing over the world’s largest ocean to Hawaii and the USA.


Yes – a cruise from Sydney is the ultimate family-friendly holiday. The state-of-the-art megaliners that depart from here are packed with kid-friendly features that will keep them entertained. Swimming pools, waterparks, games rooms, video arcades, rock climbing, bumper cars and even surf simulators are onboard. There will also be kids’ clubs suitable for toddlers to teens and family-friendly entertainment. Popular destinations like Queensland, the South Pacific and New Zealand will also appeal to all ages.


Absolutely! The world’s best cruise ships visit the Harbour City and that includes the most luxurious liners. Onboard these five-star floating hotels, you can expect spacious suites, fine dining, free-flowing wines, indulgent spas and wellness spaces, and impeccable service. You might even have your own butler to cater to your every whim. Top luxury lines sailing from Sydney include Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Ponant, Oceania and Crystal Cruises.


Check in times for your cruise will be staggered to cut down on wait times for passengers. The process varies across different cruise lines, but you will be allocated a check in time based on your cabin or given the option to choose a check in slot when you book or through the lines’ app. At a minimum you will need to be at the cruise terminal at least one hour before the ship is scheduled to depart – remember, they won’t wait for you!


 

There are two ports in Sydney – the Overseas Passenger Terminal and White Bay Cruise Terminal – and you ship won’t necessarily return to the same port you sailed from. Always double check your itinerary or your tickets before your cruise. Sailing on a round trip voyage means you will start and finish in Sydney while a one-way cruise will depart from Sydney and finish in another destination.


Because so many ships sail from Sydney, there are cruises of every length imaginable. Hop aboard for a two-night sampler cruise to get a taste of life at sea, spend a week exploring the Australian coastline or set out for a two- to three-week voyage into the South Pacific and New Zealand.


The most advanced cruise ships in the world sail from Sydney, so you can expect the latest in fun facilities, entertainment and dining onboard. That includes activities like swimming pools, waterslides and waterparks, sports courts, mini adventure parks with rock climbing or flying foxes, and even realistic surfing and indoor skydiving simulators. There will also be multiple restaurants and bars onboard, theatres for live shows and nightclubs for dancing until the small hours.


Whether you fancy a bit of line dancing, an 80s-style disco or a laugh out loud comedy club, there’s a themed cruise to suit your interests departing from Sydney. These cruises tend to be short and focus on a specific theme, like music, an era or a sporting event, and have lots of activities, entertainment and passionate passengers in full costume.


Yes, but there are some conditions. Be aware that there is essentially no free or street parking near either cruise terminal, so you will need to pay for one of the designated lots. For the Overseas Passenger Terminal, Wilson Parking operates a number of secure parking lots nearby in The Rocks and you can book online to guarantee your spot. There is no long term parking at White Bay Cruise Terminal and the closest parking lots are in Darling Harbour, a 10-minute taxi ride away. You can also book a spot through one of the external operators who have parking lots further away from the terminals and provide shuttle bus transfers.


Sydney’s peak cruise season is known among savvy sailors as the Wave Season. It runs from October to April, covering the warmer months and the busy summer school holidays. You can expect to see cruise ships from all over the world bobbing in the harbour at this time of year, often with multiple arrivals and departures each day. Cruises depart from Sydney all year-round however and some lines will have a ship based permanently at the port.


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