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“New Years' Eve 2014”

James Craig Tall Ship
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Sydney’s Tall Ship Sailing Adventure on James Craig
Ranked #76 of 493 things to do in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Barque James Craig is rightly famous around the world. She is Sydney’s only 19th Century square rigger (or Tall Ship) and her incredible restoration to full sailing condition was recognised in 2003 by the World Ship Trust’s award of their prestigious Maritime Medal. Her restoration cost almost $A30 million and took nearly 40 years to complete after she was rescued from Recherche Bay in far southern Tasmania. This beautiful ship regularly goes to sea with up to 80 passengers and is open for public inspection at her berth at Wharf 7, 58 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont. She is also available for charter and for functions. Tall Ship James Craig is looked after by Sydney Heritage Fleet, a community-based non-profit organisation, with the following mission: To build and maintain an internationally recognised centre of excellence in maritime heritage for the benefit of all Australians by presenting through research, acquisition, conservation, restoration, education and operation, our continuing maritime history. The Fleet is funded through donations, membership subscriptions and income from vessel charters and tours. The Fleet’s 1200 strong membership and 450 dedicated volunteer workers restore, operate and maintain the fleet of vintage vessels. In the process they preserve traditional technical methods and skills.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 11 January 2014

Absolutely incredible. Great staff, great food, lots to drink. Incredible band to dance to. Watching the fireworks to bring in the New Year aboard this historic ship was priceless.

2  Thank MagsWorldUS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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101 - 105 of 135 reviews

Reviewed 9 January 2014

We actually booked the New Years Eve cruise on the James Craig before we booked our flights to Sydney as I was determined to be aboard this magnificent ship in order to have prime position in the Harbour and boy was it worth it ! One of the most incredible evenings we have ever spent. The drink flowed all night, the food was delicious, the crew ( all volunteers) were very welcoming and friendly, the band played a wide range of music brilliantly and our fellow passengers proved to be interesting sailing companions. I would not hesitate to recommend this experience to anyone lucky enough to find themselves in Sydney on NYE. Well worth the money.

3  Thank Geminitraveller1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

We planned our trip to Australia to be in Sydney for NYE and after much deliberation we chose the James Craig as the place to see in 2014.

We embarked at 7pm to be greeted with what turned out to be an endless supply of champagne, wine, beer and canapes. There were 170 people on board including hospitality staff and at no time did we feel crowded; there was plenty of space for everyone.

The volunteer crew on board were very helpful and passionate about the Heritage Fleet. We were given a wealth of information about the history of the vessel and would like to thank Margaret, Michael and Mr Blow for their attention.

At just before 8pm we entered the main harbour and watched the aerial acrobatic show, then the boat sailed under the bridge and stopped midway between the bridge and the Opera House to view the 9pm firework display. At 9.15 the Harbourmaster gave the signal for all the boats taking part in the Harbour of Light Parade to switch on their lights. The simultaneous switch on of these was a spectacular sight which was greeted with approval by many of the harbour side viewers. The James Craig then sailed around the harbour returning to the same spot to view the magnificent display of fireworks at midnight.

On board we were treated to a delicious buffet of seafood, chicken, beef and many different salads. Later we were served mini ice-creams dipped in chocolate and then sandwiches before departure. We were very happy with the quality of catering.

In addition to the outside entertainment we were entertained on board by the band Venus who were great crowd pleasers and we got to chat to some lovely and interesting fellow passengers.

Overall we had a fantastic night which we will remember forever. It is also worth noting that the James Craig is not a commercial venture and the staff volunteer their time, any profits made helps to keep the Heritage Fleet afloat.

3  Thank YoshisMum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2013

Boarded vessel and greeted with champagne beer and wine,that's nice but we drink sprits and for $690 each we expected the basic sprits.After settling for mineral water we then looked for a seat which were as rare as hens teeth,so we had to resign ourselves to the fact we would be standing for the 6 hour cruise.As I'm elderly knew I would not be able to stand for that amount of time,we reassessed the situation and chose to leave the vessel before it left the wharf dissappointing and overpriced.

2  Thank Louisa N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ross M, General Manager at James Craig Tall Ship, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2014

Hello Louisa,

I am sorry that your intended New Year’s Eve outing on James Craig was a disappointment for you and Bev. As an organisation that puts passenger safety and well being first, Sydney Heritage Fleet adopts a policy of not serving spirits of any kind on any of our charters. I believe that our website booking page you would have used to make your booking indicated that only beer and wine would be available.

There are plenty of seats onboard the ship as we certainly do not expect our passengers to stand for any length of time. These may not have been readily available on the main deck when you boarded as we must leave sufficient room for all passengers to board the ship and ‘get settled’. Any crew member would have happily brought seats from below deck for you if the issue had been raised with them.

James Craig is an authentically restored 1874 Square-rigger and as such it does not have many of the luxuries of modern ships – and nor should it. Part of the charm and attraction of our charters is to be onboard a 19th century Tall Ship on Sydney Harbour. I hope you will join us again one day to experience this thrill.

Kind regards and New Year Greetings,

Ross Muir
General Manager
Sydney Heritage Fleet

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013

We booked a family trip to celebrate a son's 21st birthday, and as an excuse for the family and partners to get together doing something fun, in the fresh air. The adult tickets cost $150 each, and the students (even though adult-age students) were $135 - seemed a little steep but they were well worth it. Even though we live in Sydney and frequently use ferries it was an absolute pleasure to sail the length of the harbour (and seem to just 'scrape' under the harbour bridge) on this beautiful ship, before getting under sail and going out into the ocean through Sydney Heads. The volunteer crew on board were very knowledgable and entertaining, including the banjo player/singer who kept us entertained with sea shanties and little singalongs through the day. All the passengers took part in various activities including heaving on ropes to get sails up and down, pounding ships biscuit to make a variation of biscuit, ringing the ships bell to mark the changing hours etc. It was possible to climb up the rigging to a crows nest for a birds eye view, for a fee of $75. All very safe as you are attached to a 2-point harness and a crewmember climbs alongside you. The birthday boy did the climb and stayed up there for quite a while enjoying the view. We were looking for whales out in the ocean but didn't see any. See the ship under sail is magnificent and our voyage was not too rough. We had taken Kwells beforehand and no-one was sick in our group. We were on board from 9.15am until we berthed at 4pm and disembarked and it was really a fun day. Very relaxing and enjoyable. Of course there was also the excitement of sailing through lots of smaller yachts taking part in races near Sydney Heads, and some near misses. I had a gluten free meal, and everyone in our group thought the snacks and lunch was fine. Plenty of tea and coffee included, plus you could buy soft drinks and alcohol if you wished. It is interesting below decks seeing the little cabins and captain's area. Thanks again to the crew who did the bulk of the hard work in getting sails up and down. We would highly recommend this day trip. I think its often booked out weeks in advance so try and get in as far ahead as you can. A memorable day trip on a bit of history. I probably would not recommend children younger than 10 or so go on this day trip. The ship rolls around a bit and they might get bored, plus you do need to take care amongst all the activity going on that you aren't in the way or in danger. Take a hat (which will stay on), wind/rainjacket, and sensible shoes. They provide sunscreen.

2  Thank CowTails
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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