Sydney Harbour Tall Ships
The tall ships of Sydney Harbour offer a traditional way to see the iconic sights of the Harbour City. The ships, which are characterized by their billowing sails and wooden helms, let you escape the crowds on land and give you unobstructed views of Sydney Harbour Bridge, Fort Denison, and the Sydney Opera House.
There’s a diverse variety of Sydney Tall Ship cruises on offer. Family-friend options include pirate-themed cruises, during which kids can dress up and swashbuckle, and seasonal whale-watching cruises, ideal for nature lovers. Other popular options include a Champagne brunch cruise; an afternoon discovery cruise, which focuses on the maritime history of Sydney; and a twilight dinner cruise, during which you’ll see the harbour at the atmospheric time of dusk. Adventurous travelers can opt for a cruise that offers the chance to climb to the top of the tall ship’s mast.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There’s a tall ship cruise on offer for every type of traveler.
- You can opt to stay overnight on a tall ship; stays typically come as part of a wine-and-canapes cruise and let you see sunrise on Sydney Harbour.
- History buffs can learn more about Australia’s penal past on a cruise that visits the former prison on Goat Island.
How to Get There
Sydney Tall Ships depart from Wharf 5 on Circular Quay, where there’s also a ticket office. From Sydney CBD, Circular Quay is a short walk; it’s also home to a train station and bus depot where the lines of most Sydney buses and trains terminate.
When to Get There
The time you arrive at Circular Quay is entirely dependent on the start time of your cruise. The ticket office is open from 9am to 6pm daily, and it's recommended to arrive at least 30 minutes before your cruise departs.
The Ghosts of Goat Island and The Rocks
For history buffs, no visit to Sydney is complete with exploring Goat Island, where early Australian convicts were sentenced to work in the blazing sun. Some tall ship cruises stop at Goat Island for a walking tour—which reveal tales of punishment, death, and escape—and conclude in the historic The Rocks district.
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