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Sydney New Years Eve Cruise

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386 posts
Sydney New Years Eve Cruise

Hi all,

Ellemay suggested something I think many would find quiet useful, which is a review of NYE cruises.

Since many people visit for NYE and want to be on the Harbour for the night. I thought the best way of gathering the relevant info is to post a forum question to gather reviews/opinions then possibly post them as an inside page.

So, just some basic questions to answer is you have been on a Sydney NYE cruise and enjoyed it (or not).

Boat name:

webpage/contact details:

Cruise cost:



please don't worry about mentioning land based places for NYE in Sydney, yes, there are plenty and they can be great, but thats not the point of this post.

Level Contributor
386 posts
1. Re: Sydney New Years Eve Cruise

Ok so just to start the ball rolling, Ill post a quick rundown of NYE options from an operators point of view, some of this is a repost .

We operate charter boats on the Harbour, and also do NYE cruises too, but I'll be very careful not to solicit and try and give an idea on the range and things to consider.

So that said,

There are about 300+ commercial vessels on the Harbour, they range from the biggest charter boat to a small self hire dingy. Most of these and about 30-50 boats from other areas of Australia also turn up for NYE.

So there is a pretty wide choice, in general you will find that you pay a premium for the bigger operators because they have access to greater sales points, like oversees travel agents, so can sell the more expensive tickets more easily than those who only have a small boat and an ad in the yellow pages.

However they usually do have a good product and you can be safe in the knowledge that the service, food, and amenities will be good quality.

The other operators will range from top price luxury to great value to dodgy bros.

Some pack on as many as they can for the night for hefty prices and people are left stuck inside with no more room to see any of the fireworks.

Online prices are just as tricky, there are some agents/resellers that will give you a good selection of boats to chose from at the retail price and others that will sell you a poor value cruise because they are adding $100's in commission.

I would recommend going to the agents sites, check out the boats, if they give a name then see if that boat has a direct website and details/prices so you can compare. Most operators post the next NYE tickets/prices and details by the middle of the year, but the bigger ones tend to have them on sale by Jan 1.

If you want the greatest choice, you will need to book before October at the very latest, but around July is a better bet, don't wait for the last minute, because prices tend to go up not down.

Keep in mind thou, that the price you pay on NYE is about $40-90 for the food and drink etc..and the other $200-$900+ for the opportunity to be in the prime location in a limited market.

On the evening, there is an exclusion zone in place on the Harbour for most of the night. There is a designated charter boat area just outside this zone and all boats in it are required to anchor, so they do not cruise the whole night.


Another section of the charter boats are in what is called the parade of lights:


they are part of the stage display and parade inside the exclusion Zone, stopping in prime locations for the fireworks. There are only about 50 boats in this parade.

The rest of the charter fleet are scattered at various areas around the exclusion zone.

Some of the water taxies and smaller vessels do short tours, just for the fireworks periods of about 15-30 mins.

There are two fireworks displays, one at 9pm and the other at midnight, they tend to use most of the barges for both, but the show changes from year to year. The biggest show is naturally the midnight one.

Finally, beware of people that have a private boat that they decide to cash in on the night and sell tickets. Its illegal and unsafe.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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31,419 posts
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2. Re: Sydney New Years Eve Cruise

What a great post Sydney Whalewatcher........unfortunately, I have never done a NYE cruise, as we are always on a yacht. So with that, I guess the best advice I can give, is it really depends on your budget.

Apart from the big operators, the only one I know which I can highly recommend is the Bennelong. There are other operators such as sunsail which are more intimate....for a private yacht cruise.

Hopefully, this post will be successful, and we as TA adviser's can refer this info back to tourists.



this boat has character and charm, its probably one of the cheapest around. Food and wine are included in the price. Suited for those who do not want big crowds and are not terribly fussy about the decor. Good viewing areas from the deck and also inside.

Brisbane, Australia
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431 posts
119 reviews
3. Re: Sydney New Years Eve Cruise

Ok I went on



Cost around $350 (au) p.p. all food and drink included in 2006/07 NYE

Opinion : a great experience overall. The boat is a reasonable size (I think 120 people) there are viewing areas on the top, back and front outside and an interior deck (handy if it rains).

All food and drink is included in the price along with a DJ. Food is canapes and hot roast ham rolls and it is served throughout the evening. Drinks are champagne, wine, beer or soft drinks and again served throughout the evening up to midnight.

The boat picked up in 2 different spots, daring harbour and rose bay then it moored quite near the back of the harbour which has pros in that you get a great view of all the fireworks and cons, in that you can't see the parade of lights on the boats but you do still have food, drink and DJ so we didn't really miss the parade.

Overall, I really enjoyed it, definetly worth the money. The boat is clean, comfortable and well stocked. The food and drink good quality and plenty of it and it has a good atmosphere. Excellent value for money.

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659 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: Sydney New Years Eve Cruise

Just found this thread....

This past NYE I went on 'Ocean Dreaming' run by Bass & Flinders

The crowd on board was probably late 20s to fun-loving early 50s I would say. There was a DJ playing the usual retro type music - Kylie, ABBA and all the classics.

They have a buffet style dinner with seafood and other hot food (I remember the butter chicken was particularly good). The great thing was that they just kept bringing the food out so you didn't feel bad for taking a dozen oysters (then going back for a dozen more - a few times!)

There is alot of outdoor viewing space to watch the fireworks from. They have 3 decks with the top one completely open so that's a good vantage point for fireworks - probably not the best place to be if it rained though. There is also plenty of room inside too. They are in the parade of lights which means you get a harbour cruise thrown in.

Overall I was very happy with my NYE. The main problem is getting in and out of the city as taxis are nonexistent.

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118 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: Sydney New Years Eve Cruise

www.bennelong.net.au is charging $450 at the moment.

This is very high in deed and i know that the costs are going to be the same on other boats etc. Qu is the boat view better than any other view?

Also is there any boat which will go out for an hour from 11.30 to 12.30 etc...if so can you reccommend.


Yeppoon, Australia
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277 posts
1 review
6. Re: Sydney New Years Eve Cruise

Great post SWW, nice to have real info and not glossed over info like in the broshures......... Thanks hope everyone keeps contributing, I'm keen to know more on this one Cheers ThemMonkeys :)

Level Contributor
386 posts
7. Re: Sydney New Years Eve Cruise


view from any boat will tend to be good, however ones in the parade tend to have the best uninterrupted viewing of the main harbour bridge display.

as for one hour tours, yes some of the water taxi's do them but if you don]t like the 450 pp mark for a 6 hour cruise, you may not like the charges for a short 30mins of the 9pm or midnight fireworks either.

5 posts
8. Re: Sydney New Years Eve Cruise

Hi there...

this is great information, thank you!

I have some friends coming over (from Ireland) for Christmas & New Years and would love to do a harbour cruise on New Years...thing is we don't necesarily need a 5 course dinner or want to be on a boat with a corporate/ older vibe...

Can anyone recommend a nice "party" boat, not crazy just some good fun for a group of 6-10 couples & singles in their mid-twenties?

I have found 2 cruises with a price ag of 300/ 350...can anyone tell me anything (good or bad!) about them please...


affordable harbour cruises

Thanks x

Level Contributor
386 posts
9. Re: Sydney New Years Eve Cruise

hi jensypops,

well, I cant comment on the product they provide since ive never been on the cruise but on the character of the owners:

Affordable are good guys, the boat is a bit old but they do the best for what they charge.

MV Eve skipped out on 4 months rent for berthing their boat so I wouldn't put a lot of trust in them.

London, UK
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
10. Re: Sydney New Years Eve Cruise

Hi there,

Wondered if I can have your opinion. My husband and I are visiting Sydney and for New Years Eve wanted to do a dinner cruise. We wanted to go into the exclusion zone etc for better view. Also, I wanted a stylish vessel.

I have come across Majestic Cruises...


The majestic dinner cruise is AUD$1600 for 2 people which includes 5 course meal and drinks/entertainment/disco from 7pm until 1.30am and they promise the best position for the fireworks.

Can anyone tell me whether this is a good deal and whether this is a good product?

My husband and I are both 31 years old.... so would this suit our age group?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.