Cruise Holidays

Best cruises from Sydney, Australia

Cruise ship in Sydney Harbour

Cruises are popular in Australia and most of them depart from Sydney Port.

The best part about cruising from Sydney is the stunning view as you are treated to as you depart from Sydney’s iconic harbor.

Sydney has numerous cruise lines offering attractive cruises packages, and delightful weather almost the whole year round.

In fact, cruises leaving from Sydney are so popular that they have given the region’s tourism a lift.

Popular destinations from Sydney

There are all kinds of cruises that leave the shores of Sydney. Cruises that sail from Sydney can help you visit the nearby beautiful islands of the South Pacific, or take in the beauty of New Zealand.

Sydney cruises also go the distance, what with long expeditions to destinations such as Hawaii, parts of Asia, Venice etc.

If you are short on time, you can also cruise to the east-coast of Australia.

Sydney Cruising Seasons

Cruises depart Sydney shore all year around.

While larger ship and Barrier Reef cruises are available year round, the Specialty cruises are seasonal.

Short Tasmanian cruises with a stopover at Hobart operate in the Southern summer months of November to March.

The top end cruises sail out of Sydney mostly during the months April to October. This is also known as the ‘wave season.’ This is the time when the Aussies spend their cruise budgets on the best choice of departures, vessels, and itineraries.

If you want to save money on your Sydney cruise, we recommend the low/shoulder season between June to August. These are Australia’s winter months and are perfect for finding cheap cruise deals.

Sydney is also a great holiday destination so we suggest you spend a few days in the city before boarding your cruise.

Cruise terminals in Sydney Port

Sydney Harbour is Australia’s premier cruise take off spot and destination as well. Sydney Port has two dedicated cruise-passenger terminals, both of which are bang in the middle of the city.

Be aware of the terminal from where your cruise departs, to avoid later disappointment.

1. Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay

Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal on Circular Quay is also known as OPT. This is the prime terminal for cruise ships docking at Sydney.

Entry to Overseas Passenger Terminal is located off George Street onto Argyle Street, Circular Quay. Get Directions

While a cruise vessel is in port, passenger pick up and drop happens in the terminal area. The best way to reach the terminal is by train – Circular Quay train station is two minutes’ walk from the terminal.

If you are flying down to Sydney, a 30 minutes’ drive from the Airport can get you to OPT.

Only traveling passengers with valid tickets will be allowed inside the terminal.

2. White Bay Cruise Terminal

White Bay Cruise Terminal is Sydney’s newest port terminal. To reach this terminal, you must first reach James Craig Road in Rozelle. Get Directions

The best way to reach the terminal is by a private drop, taxi or a cruise line transfer.

Again, only passengers with tickets are allowed inside the terminal.

Best cruises departing from Sydney

1. Crystal Symphony

Cruise Line: Crystal Cruises

Crystal Symphony at Sydney
Crystal cruises often win the popularity vote from cruises for the World’s best cruise. In the pic you can see Crystal Symphony departing Sydney port. Image: Therussell.com.au

First built in 1995, the Crystal Symphony underwent a thorough redesign in 2014. Now it ranks as one of the best cruises that depart from Sydney, equipped with all modern amenities.

With a capacity of 922 passengers and 545 crew members, personalized service will be the highlight of your cruise itinerary.

Indulge your senses in the spa or work up a sweat at the outdoor fitness garden. Take dance lessons or take in musical performances. Pamper your taste buds at any or all of the nine onboard restaurants.

Make sure your cruises packages include a trip to Chef Nobu’s specialty restaurant.

The biggest highlight as far as accommodation is concerned is that all the cabins boast of breathtaking ocean views. More than half the cabins have attached balconies.

Size of Ship: Small
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.55
Health Rating: 4.0
Best cruise from Sydney for: Singles, Couples

2. Seabourn Sojourn

Cruise Line: Seabourn Cruise Line

This Seabourn Cruise Line ship is undoubtedly one of the best cruises that start from Sydney.

An almost one-to-one passenger-to-crew ratio, a suite stewardess specially assigned to each cabin — personalised attention is the main attraction of the Seabourn Sojourn.

Complimentary champagne on arrival will kick-start your cruise itinerary on a royal scale.

Luxurious accommodation meets its match in onboard relaxation and entertainment on the cruise deals offered by the Sojourn.

There is a casino, a spa, a fitness center, bars, four dining options, a swimming pool, hot tubs, shuffleboard, golf facilities and much more.

When the ship is anchored, make sure to take the kayaks and paddleboats out into the sea and have the experience of a lifetime!

Size of Ship: Small
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.45
Health Rating: 4.50
Best cruise from Sydney for: Singles, Couples

3. Seven Seas Voyager

Cruise Line: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Though built in 2003, the Seven Seas Voyager underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation in late 2016.

Cruises packages on this ship now include every modern facility imaginable.

A capacity of 698 passengers and 447 crew members ensures a low cruiser-to-crew ratio and hence, excellent service.

Accommodation facilities are top notch. Sample this: all cabins come with flat screen televisions, marble bathrooms, and private verandas.

Cruise deals include dining at the six restaurants onboard, which serve everything from steaks to French cuisine.

Worried about onboard entertainment? Don’t be! The Voyager has a swimming pool, a spa, a casino, a theatre and four bars and lounges.

Size of Ship: Small
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.40
Health Rating: 4.50
Best cruise from Sydney for: Singles, Couples

4. Azamara Quest

Cruise Line: Azamara Club Cruises

There are many cruises leaving from Sydney, but none quite like the Azamara Quest. If this Azamara Club Cruises ship had to be described in a few words, it would no doubt be called ‘the small ship with a big heart’.

Accommodating 690 passengers, the Quest provides all-inclusive cruises that are a perfect blend of intimate charm and varied entertainment. Luxurious accommodation is complemented by a relaxing spa and a fitness center.

If casinos and lounge bars sound cliché to you, try the special enrichment programs like seminars and wine tastings.

Cruise deals including seven or more nights have something more to look forward to—a free night to soak in local culture at the selected ports of call!

Size of Ship: Small
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.40
Health Rating: 5.0
Best cruise from Sydney for: Singles, Couples

5. Crystal Serenity

Cruise Line: Crystal Cruises

Crystal Serenity ranks as one of the best cruises that depart from Sydney, for multiple reasons.

One, it has a dozen restaurants, including specialty venues like Prego and Silk Road & The Sushi Bar.

Two, the ship after renovation boasts of a beautiful herb garden laden with lavender and olive trees.

Three, cruise deals offering Penthouse accommodation have personal butlers, nightly refreshments, and Jacuzzis.

Four, a passenger capacity of 1,070 and a crew accommodation of 655 ensures smooth and personalized service.

Five, a spa inspired by feng shui, five lounges and bars and a casino.

If you feel your cruise itinerary feels sparse even after so much variety, don’t worry. Indulge in some retail therapy at one of the four shopping boutiques onboard. Or sweat it out at the extravagant sports deck.

Size of Ship: Medium
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.40
Health Rating: 4.50
Best cruise from Sydney for: Singles, Couples

6. Seabourn Encore

Cruise Line: Seabourn Cruise Line

Seabourn Encore in Sydney
The Seabourn fleet has pioneered, expanded and enriched small-ship cruising for decades. Seabourn Encore leaves no stone unturned to wow you during your cruise holiday. In the pic you see the Seabourn Encore sail past Opera House in Sydney. Image: James Morgan / Travelmonitor.com.au

One of the newer ships of the Seabourn fleet, Seabourn Encore is small but packs a big punch.

It accommodates 600 passengers and almost as many members of the crew, which ensures smooth and uninterrupted service.

The highlights of your cruise itinerary will include all accommodations with views of the ocean, high-end designer toiletries, a stocked mini-bar, personalized stationery and free all-day room service.

You can also expect complimentary champagne and fresh fruit when you check in.

Cruise deals are not restricted to luxurious accommodation alone. Venture out of your cabin and indulge in the twin swimming pools, half a dozen whirlpools, a spa, a library and a fitness center.

If the all-night bars and lounges don’t excite you take in a live performance or try your luck at the casino. As for dining, check out one of the five onboard restaurants every night.

All things considered, the Encore is undoubtedly one of the top cruises that start from Sydney.

Size of Ship: N/A
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.40
Health Rating: 4.50
Best cruise from Sydney for: Singles, Couples

7. Silver Whisper

Cruise Line: Silversea Cruises

As its name suggests, Silver Whisper is a grand and luxurious experience. No wonder then that it is considered by many as one of the finest cruises that sail from the Sydney port.

To begin with, it accommodates only 382 passengers and employs a crew of 302 to look after them. These numbers immediately set this Silversea ship head and shoulders above its peers.

Most of the cabins have private balconies ensconced in teak, enhancing the luxury cruise feel.

Cruise deals are designed mostly with mature adults in mind. Hence daytime activities include afternoon tea and various enrichment courses.

Usual cruises packages highlights like a casino, spa, lounge bars, a salon, pool deck and four onboard restaurants are available. An active theatre is an added attraction.

Size of Ship: Small
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.35
Health Rating: 4.50
Best cruise from Sydney for: Singles, Couples

8. Seven Seas Mariner

Cruise Line: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

The Mariner has ports of call in Alaska and sails mainly in the Pacific Ocean. It is ranked as one of the top cruises that depart from Sydney.

On Seven Seas Mariner the passenger-to-crew ratio is an enviable 1-to-1.

Onboard activities range from cooking classes to golf in the day and a mix of casinos and lounge bars in the night.

Your cruise itinerary will not lack spice on the dining front. There are four specialty restaurants and two casual ones to indulge your taste buds.

Rooms have marble bathrooms, private balconies and come with complimentary champagne.

Size of Ship: Small
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.35
Health Rating: 4.50
Best cruise from Sydney for: Singles, Couples

9. Regatta

Cruise Line: Oceania Cruises

Regatta cruise in Sydney
The Regatta cruise ship which sails out of Sydney walks the thin line of being a full luxury cruise and yet being affordable. Image: Foodandwinetrails.com

One of the top cruises that depart from Sydney, the Oceania Regatta is designed for the affluent adult. A cruiser with a taste for luxury.

There are five onboard restaurants that serve all kinds of fare, from grills to the exotic.

When it comes to accommodation, the highlight is the teak veranda. Cabins range in size from cozy to sprawling.

Your cruise itinerary must include the musical performances that take place every night.

There are casinos and lounges, should you wish for a more relaxed environment.

With a passenger capacity of 684, the Regatta offers less crowded public spaces, making your cruise an intimate experience.

Size of Ship: Small
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.30
Health Rating: 5.0
Best cruise from Sydney for: Singles, Couples

10. Seven Seas Navigator

Cruise Line: Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Seven Seas Navigator boasts of the trademark Regent cruises packages— that is, all-inclusive cruises with specialty dining and shore excursions. Yes, your cruise deals come with these expenses already paid!

The ship accommodates 496 passengers and has only suites. All suites have their own private balconies, marble bathrooms, and free Wi-Fi.

There are five onboard restaurants.

The Pool Bar will definitely be the highlight of your cruise itinerary. Evenings can be spent in the lounges or taking in musical performances.

Size of Ship: Small
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.25
Health Rating: 4.0
Best cruise from Sydney for: Singles, Couples

There are dozens of other cruises leaving from Sydney. Silversea, Azamara, Oceania and the other cruise lines have various other cruises that depart from this city. It all depends on what you expect from your cruise holiday.

Looking for 3-day cruises or 2-day cruises? Try the Celebrity Solstice. Want something in the affordable cruises category? Check out the Voyager of the Seas, run by Royal Caribbean International.

Remember, last minute cruises will cost you more. So, start planning already!

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