As one of the great harbour cities of the world, Sydney is Australia’s premier cruise ship destination, hosting two iconic beacons for visitors, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. With the city offering the best in art, culture, food, shopping, and vibrant events, there are countless shore excursion options to suit all tastes and budgets.
Sydney also offers travellers an abundance of pre and post-cruise options, including visits to scenic regional locations such as the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley and Port Stephens. Sydney is the only city in Australia with two dedicated cruise passenger terminals – the Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) and White Bay Cruise Terminal. Managed by the Port Authority of New South Wales, both terminals are a short distance from Sydney’s ‘downtown’ tourist attractions and within 30 minutes of the international airport.
Sydney was recently named the best cruise destination in Australia and New Zealand in the first ever Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards, led by the world’s leading cruise review website – an award based on reviews and opinions of passengers to Sydney the previous year. Sydney was also named Best Australian Homeport in the 2016 Australia Editors’ picks.
Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT)
Located at Circular Quay in the heart of Sydney, the OPT has dazzling, uninterrupted views of the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour and city skyline - icons right outside the cabin door.
It also has easy access to Circular Quay’s transport hub where trains, ferries, buses and taxis are available and is just a short walk to The Rocks, an historic precinct with cobbled laneways, cosy cafés and the oldest pubs in the country.
Around $49 million has been spent upgrading the OPT, offering an improved overall passenger experience and ensuring the facility can comfortably achieve a one day turn-around for the largest of ships. The terminal has capacity to accommodate the largest cruise ships in the world and can facilitate simultaneous embarkation and debarkation processing. The OPT also offers unique operational ability to service two cruise ships at berth at one time.
White Bay Cruise Terminal
The White Bay Cruise Terminal is Sydney’s newest award-winning terminal. Located near the iconic Anzac Bridge, White Bay is Sydney’s hub for home ported vessels with a capacity for multiple berth operations and dual processing.
Terminal facilities include a food and beverage kiosk, wheelchair access, on-site short-term parking and automatic teller machine.
The Terminal is also accessible via a direct ferry service operating between White Bay and the City (Circular Quay). Running approximately every 20 minutes the ferries operate on White Bay cruise ship arrival and departure days for passengers embarking and disembarking their cruise. Services may also operate on in-port excursion days.
Popular Sydney Shore Excursions
City Sights Tour
Experience all the excitement of Australia’s famous harbour city aboard the Big Bus Sydney and Bondi Beach open-top, double-decker buses. Both tours are included in the one flexible sightseeing Hop-on Hop-off ticket available as a one or two day valid ticket.
Sydney Opera House backstage tour and tasting plate at Opera Kitchen
Discover the stories, history and magic of Sydney Opera House followed by a world of exquisite taste at Opera Kitchen.
Take the climb of your life to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb Sydney. From its fascinating underbelly to its summit, the Bridge is the pride of Sydney.
Ultimately Sydney – Sydney’s food and wine scene private tour
Get a real taste of Sydney with one of Ultimately Sydney’s authentic small group day tours. A collection of day touring options bring the city of Sydney to life, unveiling unique perspectives on some of the city’s most famous icons and exploring some of its most colourful hidden gems.
Taronga Zoo - VIP Aussie Gold Tour
Small group tours with expert zoo guides provides interaction with some of Taronga Zoo’s unique Australian animals. The tour is 1.5 hours in duration and is an informative introduction to Australia’s unusual wildlife and includes excellent photographic opportunities.
Breakfast with Koalas at WILD LIFE Sydney
The Australian animal adventure in the heart of the city. Step into an animal adventure as you journey around Australia.
The Rocks Dreaming Tour - Aboriginal Heritage and Culture Tour
Be touched by the most ancient human culture on earth in a 90-minute leisurely walkabout with an Aboriginal guide in The Rocks, and journey into DreamTime, the culture of Aboriginal People.
Barangaroo Cultural Tours
Take a two-hour walking tour of Barangaroo Headland, Sydney’s newest and most spectacular waterfront park, connecting with the world’s oldest living culture.
Taronga Zoo Nura Diya Indigenous Tour
Nura Diya, meaning “this country or camp”, takes you on a journey through Taronga as you hear stories of Australian wildlife told through the perspective of an Aboriginal guide, with tales of their shared history with the animals and land.
Aboriginal Heritage Walk – Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens for groups
Join in a journey of discovery with an Aboriginal guide and learn about the rich Aboriginal heritage of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
Cruise - Newcastle
Cruise - Eden
Cruise - Wollongong
Cruise Destination Support
Cruise Destination Videos - Sydney
Cruise Destination Videos - Newcastle
Cruise Destination Videos - Eden