New South Wales is Australia’s pre-eminent tourism destination offering cruise holiday memories to last a lifetime.
With its iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, Sydney is Australia's cruise gateway and one of the world's most beautiful ports.
Visitors to Sydney can immerse themselves in the best in art, culture, dining and events, a vibrant cityscape and authentic Aboriginal experiences. The City’s stunning harbour is a natural playground and with beautiful beaches and five national parks so close to the city, Sydney and its surrounds delivers unforgettable experiences.
Sydney and its surrounds is a must for pre-and-post cruise stays.
Ask the Expert - Why Cruise Sydney?
'Cruise ship captains who visit ports around the world multiple times consistently tell us there’s one destination they never tire of docking in - Sydney! It’s easy to see why. Dramatic headlands mark the gateway to one of the world’s most beautiful harbours, with passengers greeted by the spine-tingling sights of the world-famous Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Most ships dock in the historic heart of the city while smaller ships treat passengers to a spectacular passage underneath the Harbour Bridge, berthing within eyeshot of the drawcards they came to see. All cruise passengers receive a warm ‘G’day’ from friendly locals who embody the zestful energy for which Sydney is famous.' Meg Hill - Managing Director - Cruise Express International
- New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous state, is on the south-east coast, between Queensland and Victoria.
- Central NSW has a temperate climate with temperatures in the region of 26 °C in summer and 16 °C in winter.
- Cruises depart from Sydney year-round, with peak cruise season from October to April.
- NSW has two long-standing regional cruise ports, Newcastle and Eden, offering an extensive range of attractions and experiences.
- Sydney Harbour is Australia's premier cruise ship destination and the only port in the country with two dedicated cruise passenger terminals.
- Both the OPT (Overseas Passenger Terminal) and White Bay cruise terminals are next to Sydney's tourist attractions and shopping precincts.
- Both terminals are within 30 minutes of the city's domestic and international airport, with daily services to hundreds of destinations.
- The OPT is at Circular Quay’s transport hub with ferries, buses, taxis and trains available, including a train to the airport.
- A direct ferry service operates between White Bay and Circular Quay.
- Time in NSW is GMT + 10.
Must See Destinations
Sydney – Port
Cruises sail into sparkling Sydney Harbour, past the Sydney Opera House and the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. With a day or two ashore, passengers can go from world famous beaches like Bondi to chic bars, stroll along coastal cliff walks, jump on a ferry and explore Sydney Harbour like a local, or shop in the City’s fashion boutiques. Sydney boasts Australia’s most vibrant food scene with world-renowned chefs catering for all tastes and budgets. Aboriginal culture experiences and harbourside tours are also available close to the port.
The Blue Mountains – Shore Excursion
This World Heritage Area offers fresh mountain air and breathtaking vistas. Bushwalks abound, with trails to suit all ages and abilities. Scenic World’s cablecar or famous scenic railway allows panoramas of the wilderness, waterfalls, valleys and rugged tablelands. Enjoy rustic cafes and restaurants serving locally sourced produce, wine, beers and ciders.
Newcastle – Port
Ranked as one of the top 10 cities in the world by Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list, beachside Newcastle boasts a vibrant arts culture, bars and restaurants. Discover intriguing colonial and maritime history on a coastal walk or take an excursion to the Hunter Valley, Port Stephens or the Australian Reptile Park.
The Hunter Valley – Shore excursion
From Newcastle or Sydney, a tour to the much-loved Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine region, is a delight any time of year. Home to more than 150 top-class wineries, vineyards and cellar doors, cruise guests can sample gourmet food and wines on a tasting tour.
Port Stephens – Shore excursion
Port Stephens’ golden beaches, vast blue bay and inlets make it a must-do excursion from Sydney or Newcastle. Daily dolphin watching cruises boast a 99 per cent success rate in dolphin sightings, and adventurous guests can take a quad bike tour in the sand dunes. Get a flavour of the region with local hand-shucked oysters, freshly caught seafood or its range of abundant, quality produce.
Eden and the Sapphire Coast – Port or Shore Excursion
Halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, Eden and the Sapphire Coast offers passengers the experience and hospitality of a small Australian town completely surrounded by national parks, state forests and golden coastal beaches. Eden is also home to a rich maritime history and some of Australia’s most significant whale heritage sites.
Wollongong – Port
Wollongong is a beautiful seaside city nestled between the dramatic Illawarra escarpment and the Tasman Sea. The buzzing city centre offers shopping, art galleries, restaurants boasting fresh seafood and a lively bar scene. This is complemented by the abundance of natural beauty on offer with 17 stunning beaches, historic harbours and coastal rainforests – making it the perfect spot for outdoor adventure and activities.
Must Do Experiences
- Explore inside the famous sails of the Sydney Opera House on a tour.
- Climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for 360 degree city views.
- Experience Aboriginal culture on a guided tour through Barangaroo Reserve or the Royal Botanic Garden.
- Take the Sydney & Bondi Explorer to the famous Bondi Beach.
- Breakfast with koalas at WILD LIFE Sydney.
- Explore the cobbled laneways of The Rocks historic precinct.
- Sample fine wine and gourmet food in Australia’s oldest wine region, the Hunter Valley.
- Hear the dreamtime legend of the Three Sisters rock formation in the Blue Mountains.
- Meet the resident dolphins and ride the boom net on a cruise in Port Stephens.
- Enjoy an Oyster Farm tour and tasting in Eden.
Regarded as a “marquee” port, Sydney is an essential stop for cruises to Australia. International cruises from ports in Asia, United States, Europe, along with World circumnavigations stop here. Depart Sydney and circumnavigate Australia or explore the beautiful islands of New Zealand or the South Pacific. Sydney is also the gateway to cruising NSW and feeds sister ports, Newcastle and Eden. Regional Australian and east coast cruises include short 2 - 5 night ‘taster’ cruises along with themed journeys such as nature, comedy, music, food and wine.
- Pacific Jewel
- Pacific Aria
- Pacific Pearl
- Pacific Eden
- Carnival Legend
- Carnival Spirit
- Ovation of the Seas
- Radiance of the Seas
- Voyager of the Seas
- Emerald Princess
- Sun Princess
- Norwegian Jewel
Azamara Club Cruises: Azamara Journey, Azamara Quest
Carnival: Carnival Spirit, Carnival Legend, Arcadia, Aurora
Celebrity Cruises: Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Millenium
Costa: Costa Luminosa
Crystal Cruises: Crystal Symphony
Cunard: Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria
Fred Olsen: Black Watch
Global Cruise Line: Astor, Magellan
Hapag Lloyd: Europa
Holland America: Maasdam, Noordam, Amsterdam
MSC Cruisetech: MSC Magnifica
Norwegian Cruise Lines: Norwegian Star, Norwegian Jewel
Oceania Cruises: MS Sirena, MS Insignia
P&O: Pacific Aria, Pacific Jewel, Pacific Pearl, Pacific Eden, Pacific Explorer
Phoenix Reisen: Albatros, Artania
Regent Seven Seas Cruises: Seven Seas Navigator, Seven Seas Voyager
Princess Cruises: Dawn Princess, Sun Princess, Sea Princess, Golden Princess, Emerald Princess, Pacific Princess, Sapphire Princess, Diamond Princess
Residences at Sea: The World
Royal Caribbean: Radiance of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, Explorer of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas
Seabourn: Seabourn Odyssey, Seabourn Sojourn
Silversea Cruises: Silver Whisper, Silver Shadow, Silver Muse
V Ships: Amadea
Hot local Itineraries
Regarded as a “marquee” port, Sydney is an essential stop for cruises to Australia. International cruises from ports in Asia, United States and Europe, along with World circumnavigations stop here. Sydney is also the gateway to cruising NSW’s sister ports, Newcastle and Eden. Regional Australian and east coast cruises include short 2 - 5 night ‘taster’ cruises along with themed journeys such as nature, comedy, music, food and wine.
Sydney and Surrounds
- Explore Sydney and Surrounds
- Aboriginal Culture in Sydney
- BridgeClimb Sydney
- Daves Brewery Tours & Pub Walks
- Sydney Opera House Tours
- Sydney Explorer City Sightseeing
- Taronga Zoo - VIP Aussie Gold Tour
- Ultimately Sydney Food and Wine Tours
- WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo
- Blue Mountains World Heritage Area
- Scenic World
Newcastle and surrounds
- Explore Newcastle and Surrounds
- Australian Reptile Park - Gosford
- Fort Scratchley
- Newcastle Coastal Explorer
- Hunter Valley Wine Country
- Port Stephens
- Moonshadow-TQC Cruises
- Sand Dune Adventures
- Explore Eden and the Sapphire Coast
- Bega Cheese Heritage Centre
- Ben Boyd National Park
- Captain Sponges Magical Oyster Tours
- Cat Balou Twofold Bay Cruises
- Eden Killer Whale Museum
- Kiah Wilderness Tours
- Merimbula Wharf Aquarium and Restaurant
- Wheelers Seafood Restaurant
- Illawarra Fly Treetop Adventures
- Jamberoo Action Park
- Just Cruisin Harley Tours
- Nan Tien Temple
- North Wollongong Beach
- Skydive Sydney-Wollongong
- Symbio Wildlife Park
For more information
For more information and to experience cruising into Sydney and New South Wales via video visit: