Port of Departure  Sydney, Australia

Circular Quay at Sydney, Australia

Circular Quay at Sydney, Australia

Sydney, Harbor City

Sydney is the largest and most economically important city in Australia, with a total population of over four million. The city is sited on the eastern coast of Australia. The Blue Mountains are located to the west, and the Pacific Ocean to the east.

The city of Sydney was established in 1788 when a convict fleet arrived in Sydney Cove from England. The transportation of convicts to Australia was the suggestion of the British Secretary of State, Lord Sydney. Consequently the new town’s name. At first life in the new settlement was harsh, as the new arrivals slept on simple bunks in wooden hovels, ate meagre food, and suffered a savage system of discipline.

Even worse suffering, however, was meted out to the native population of Australia, the Aborigines, who were struck down in vast numbers by the infectious diseases brought by the colonists.

Five years later, in 1793, the first boat of free colonists arrived, attracted by the warm climate and cheaply available land. The settlement grew speedily throughout the nineteenth century, as the citizens founded a whole variety of businesses, free of burdensome bureaucracy. Through the twentieth century, growth carried on as immigrants came from both Asia and Europe.

Nowadays Sydney is a large, modern and multicultural city, with citizens hailing from all over the world. The city has become a popular destination for tourists. Celebrated sights include Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach and The Rocks.

The city’s many attractions and seaboard location have made it a top cruise ship port. Today the number of cruises from Sydney each year is well over one hundred and fifty.

Sydney Cruise Ship Terminals

Sydney’s cruise services are separated between 2 sites, the Overseas Passenger Terminal and White Bay.

Overseas Passenger Terminal
The OPT offers an eight hundred foot mooring, able to berth one large vessel. The terminal is a modern building with a complete variety of functions for passengers. It also has an hotel, restaurants and magnificent views of Sydney Harbour. The OPT is located at Circular Quay, across from the Opera House and within walking distance of Sydney’s main sights.

White Bay
In 2013 Sydney Ports converted a ro-ro/grain terminal at White Bay wharf number 5 into a cruise terminal. The terminal's large open plan arrivals and departures hall is designed to process up to 2,400 passengers. Short term parking and passenger drop-off areas are located next to the terminal.

Two cruise ships can moor at the same time at White Bay, as in busy periods wharf 4 next to wharf 5 is also available. Together with Circular Quay, this gives Sydney a total capacity of 3 cruise ships.

White Bay has the disadvantages of being a half-hour taxi ride away from central Sydney, and of being unavailable to larger cruise ships due to height restrictions under Sydney Harbour Bridge, but it is envisaged the facility will be used mainly by homeporting mid-sized vessels.

cruises from sydney

Cruises From Sydney

The cruise vacationer can choose between a super range of cruises from Sydney.

Novice cruisers may appreciate the popular 3 day cruises to nowhere, which give a great introduction for cruising. 7 Day itineraries include sunny subtropical Queensland, or verdant Tasmania. Slightly longer 9 or 10 day cruises journey to the wonderful beaches of the Pacific islands New Caledonia and Vanuatu. 14 day itineraries take in a circumnavigation of New Zealand, or a journey to the stunning Pacific islands of Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

Longer cruises include trips to the oriental wonders of China and Japan, or the ambitious circumnavigation of the Australian continent.

Cruises from Sydney are easily accessible to anyone living on the east of the continent, thanks to its good rail and air links.

Out and About in Sydney

If you have a day or two to spare at either end of your cruise vacation, Sydney makes a wonderful tourist destination, with several ‘must-see’ sights.

The Rocks
The first settlers landed near The Rocks, and several of the buildings here are well conserved, like Cadman’s Cottage, the Merchants House, Susannah Place and Campbells Storehouse. Within this historical area, the tourist will find galleries, bars, cafes, restaurants and shops. The Rocks area is adjacent to Circular Quay.

Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House, sited on Bennelong Point on Syney Harbour, is considered by many to be one of the archictectural wonders of the world. Designed by Jørn Utzon and built with much controversy, it was opened in 1973. Be sure to go to an opera, a concert or a ballet, if your travel timetable enables you to. The Opera house is a short walk along the coastline from the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Royal Botanic Gardens
The beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens is an oasis of greenery placed between the ocean and the busy city center. A walkway follows the water’s edge, offering great vistas over Farm Cove and Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge has a footpath giving good access to the sightseer. Visit the Pylon Lookout on the southern end of the bridge to see an interesting display on the construction of the bridge. If heights don’t scare you join the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, a three and a half hour expedition to the summit of the bridge. The outing takes you up girders, ladders and catwalks at day or night.

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach is famous across the world as a home of surfing. In summer Bondi beach is a centre for surf, fun and sun. The white sandy beach looks out on a large moon shaped bay of wave swept water. Bus no 380 from Circular Quay takes 45 minutes to Bondi.

Traveling to Sydney’s Port

Passengers booked on cruises from Sydney will benefit from Sydney's excellent road and air links.

From Sydney Airport
Catch the train from either the International Train Station or the Sydney Airport Domestic station to Circular Quay (Airport and East Hills line). The OPT is within walking distance of Circular Quay Station. (Or take a cab).
Wharf 5
The quickest way is by cab or a shuttle bus.

From Central Train Station
Central Railway Station is the main junction for interstate and intrastate rail services.
The Inner West or South lines connect Central station to the center of the city. Get off the train at Circular Quay. A further option is a cab.
White Bay
Public transport is limited so the easiest option is to take a taxi from the station to the cruise terminal.

By Car
Neither cruise terminal has integrated parking lots, but long stay parking is possible nearby.

Cruise Port Map (click on image for larger image)

Sydney Cruise Port Map

Port Authority  Sydney Ports

Port Website  Sydney Ports

Current Marine Traffic  Sydney Marine Traffic

Currency  AUD

Timezone  UTC/GMT +10 hours

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Cruises From Sydney, Australia

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