The majority of cruises from Australia begin in the iconic and picturesque city of Sydney, and it’s easy to see why. World class facilities, fantastic weather for most of the year and multiple cruise lines to choose from make cruising out of Sydney an absolute joy. Tourism statistics reflect this with record passenger numbers, more ship visits and unprecedented industry growth.
• P&O Cruises from Sydney- P&O Cruises is a quintessentially Australian line which recently upgraded its 5-strong fleet to enter the next generation of cruising. Use Australian dollars onboard and get ready for cheap luxury and a whole lot of fun.
• Royal Caribbean - The most innovative of cruise lines, Royal Caribbean boasts the largest ships in the world and never ceases to amaze guests with its new technology. Enjoy robot bartenders, simulated skydiving, ice skating rinks and so much more when you cruise with Royal.
• Carnival - Known for its Vegas-meets-Disney decor and affordable prices, Carnival’s “fun ships” are sure to delight the whole family. Enjoy waterslides and a never ending list of exciting activities when you cruise out of Sydney with Carnival.
• Princess - Catering to a more traditional crowd of cruisers, Princess offers an elegant experience supported by incredible dining options, world class shore excursions and comfortable staterooms. Cruise from Sydney in style with Princess Cruises.
• Celebrity - Celebrity ups the ante in terms of cruising luxury. With a flair for style, this cruise line delivers on adult-focused fun. Fantastic wine and dining options paired with sophisticated shore excursions make Celebrity a standout choice for Sydney cruisers.
• Norwegian - Norwegian departs from the average cruise line with its modern holiday concepts and casual atmosphere. The signature colour splashed on each of their ships says it all - they are light, fun and altogether different. Cruise out of Sydney with Norwegian for a unique holiday experience.
• Holland America Cruises - Holland America offers something a little more refined, with traditional nautical decor and low-key entertainment. It's elegant and classy, perfect for couples and cruisers who aren't looking for parties and waterslides.
Destinations - Where can you sail to on a cruise from Sydney?
Most cruises from Australia, cheap and luxurious alike, offer both domestic and international sailings as per below:
• Australia - Depart Sydney and head north to Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, go west and cruise to Adelaide, south to Tasmania and Melbourne or go all away around the country to visit the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Discover your own backyard when you cruise from Sydney. Feel free to check cruises departing Brisbane as well if you're coming from there. A short cruise to Melbourne from Sydney is also a popular choice for those looking to get away for a few days and so is cruising to Cairns.
• South Pacific - Many cruises from Sydney chase the sun and sail to the tropics visiting idyllic destinations like Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia. Select your paradise.
• New Zealand - Cruise from Sydney across the Tasman Strait and circumnavigate the stunning North and South Islands of New Zealand.
• Asia - Cruises from Sydney give you the opportunity to discover the exotic countries of Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and so many more. Expand your horizons when you choose a cruise from Asia.
Cruises are no longer just for the "newlywed and nearly dead". In fact, more than 20 million people are now cruising each year - how many more people will discover the joys of holidaying at sea in the future, only time will tell. In Sydney, over 340 cruises depart from the city annually - that's almost one for every day of the year.
Passenger numbers - How many Australians go cruising?
Cruise passenger numbers has seen record growth in recent years, and the most recent numbers from the Cruise Lines International Association show more than 1,200,000 Australians cruised in 2016, 21% up from the 2015 statistics. This equated to more than 12 million days at sea for Aussie cruisers in 2016! Sydney hosted 336 cruise ship visits and 355 days in port for the 2016-17 season, a 10 percent increase on an already record-breaking figure.
Domestic cruising is a big driver for the Australian cruise market, with departures for local itineraries up more than 23% from the previous year. The South Pacific remains the most popular destination. Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) predicts a volume of two million passengers on cruises from Australia by 2020.
Where does the cruise ship dock in Sydney?
This depends on what size your cruise ship is. Large ships coming into Sydney will dock at Circular Quay, with passengers disembarking at the Overseas Passenger Cruise Terminal. Smaller vessels are able to pass underneath Sydney Harbour Bridge to dock at the White Bay Cruise Terminal, within sight of Anzac Bridge.
Location of Passenger Port - Where do cruises depart from in Sydney?
Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay
The Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay is among the most beautiful cruise departure ports in the world. It has the capacity to host the largest cruise ships in the world and passengers are able to board right in the thick of city action. Sailing out of Sydney Harbour provides a one-of-a-kind experience with an incredible view of the Opera House, Circular Quay and harbourfront Sydney.
Its location on a main train line and in a thriving city location makes the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay a fantastic place to board a cruise. With incredible restaurants, the Rocks and the Opera House nearby, it’s easy to while away a morning waiting to embark on a cruise from Sydney. Enjoy easy access to ATMs and convenience stores for last minute items, and make use of the baggage drop service so you can freely walk around and take in the sites prior to boarding. There are numerous parking stations near the terminal for short-term parking and a designated pick up bay. You can catch a taxi at the on-site taxi rank, or buses, trains and ferries are just a short walk away.
How to get to the Overseas Passenger Terminal
The Overseas Passenger terminal is conveniently located roughly 150 meters from the Circular Quay and is easily accessible by all forms of transportation, with public transport offering a cheap and easy option.
Getting there from the airport
It takes 18 minutes to Circular Quay Station via train ($18 one way)
It takes roughly 25 minutes via car or taxi, depending on traffic (Roughly $40)
Getting there from Central Station
It takes 9 minutes to Circular Quay Station via train ($3.50 one way)
It takes roughly 20 minutes to Circular Quay via car/taxi (Roughly $26)
White Bay Cruise Terminal
The award winning White Bay Cruise Terminal is located in Rozelle, with access via James Craig Road. It offers two berths to visiting ships as well as all year round cruising. While the White Bay Cruise Terminal is not quite as centrally located as the Overseas Passenger Terminal, the views departing and arriving Sydney are just as spectacular.
White Bay Cruise Terminal facilities include basic amenities such as toilets, a food and beverage kiosk, wheelchair access, on-site short-term parking, public payphones and an ATM. Please note there is no foreign exchange or post office on-site and passengers should also be aware that there is no duty free available for purchase. Baggage drop services are available from 9am on most cruise departures. Passenger drop off and pick up is available in the terminal precinct and short-term parking is available on-site for those passengers with a valid itinerary.
How to get to the White Bay Cruise Terminal
White Bay Cruise Terminal is located in Rozelle, with access via James Craig Road. Public transportation is quite limited. Train routes are indirect and require a lot of walking (particularly if you are carrying a lot of luggage); and the nearest public bus stop for passengers is located on Robert Street.
Getting there from the airport
It takes roughly 30 minutes via car or taxi, depending on traffic (Roughly $44)
Getting there from Central Station
It takes roughly 20 minutes to White Bay via car/taxi (Roughly $26) ** We’d recommend a shared shuttle to cut down on costs.
Weather - What is the best time to cruise out of Sydney?
Sydney has a moderate climate, allowing ships to sail out of Sydney year round. Its Southern Hemisphere location means its seasons are opposite to that of its Northern Hemisphere counterparts (America, Canada, Europe, etc.) Depart Sydney to escape the rainy, winter months of May through August. The shoulder seasons of September through November and March through April are delightfully warm without getting too hot. Peak season is November through February with hotter temperatures and more crowds.
What is the cheapest month to go on a cruise?
While in the Caribbean December through April are the best months for weather, the cheapest time to cruise in this region is actually any time from northern hemisphere late summer through autumn. Cheap cruises from Sydney can often be found in December, in the days leading up to Christmas. Even later in the summer season, last minute deals often emerge thanks to the high amount of sailings available.
Your best cruise holiday is unique to you. Which cruise you choose will depend on all kinds of things including your preferred holiday style, who you’re travelling with and which part of the world you’d like to see. Visit Cruise Sale Finder for tips to narrow down your options, or contact the friendly Cruise Sale Finder team for personalised advice.
What cruise ships are in Sydney?
By their nature, cruise ships are almost constantly on the move so it’s hard to say which ships are currently in Sydney at any given time, but cruise lines like P&O Australia, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line often homeport ships in Sydney.
Where do cruises leave from Sydney?
There are two main docking spots for cruise ships in Sydney. Most larger vessels dock at Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, while ships small enough to safely pass under the Sydney Harbour Bridge often anchor at White Bay Cruise Terminal, close to Anzac Bridge.
What is the cheapest cruise to go on?
Cruise prices will vary depending on when you’re cruising and what sales are on, but you can often find short cruises from Sydney to Brisbane from lines like P&O Australia and Princess for less than $300 per guest.
Where do P&O cruises depart from in Sydney?
Most P&O sailings will leave from Overseas Passenger Terminal, off Argyle Street at West Circular Quay, though some may depart from White Bay Cruise Terminal, located off James Craig Road, Rozelle. Your cruise documentation will indicate which terminal your particular sailing is leaving from.
Where do Royal Caribbean cruises depart from in Sydney?
Royal Caribbean cruises can leave from two different locations in Sydney - Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) and White Bay Cruise Terminal. OPT can be found off Argyle Street, opposite the Sydney Opera House. White Bay Cruise Terminal can be reached via James Craig Road, in Rozelle. Larger ships will almost always leave from OPT but you can double check your departure location in your cruise documentation.
Where do Princess cruises leave from in Sydney?
The two locations that Princess sailings depart from in Sydney are the Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) and the White Bay Cruise Terminal. You can reach the OPT via Argyle Street, across from the Sydney Opera House, while White Bay Cruise Terminal (used for smaller ships which can safely pass under the Sydney Harbour Bridge) is off of James Craig Road.
Where do Celebrity Cruises depart from in Sydney?
In almost every case, Celebrity sailings will depart from Overseas Passenger Terminal. This is found off Argyle Street and opposite the Sydney Opera House.
Where do Carnival cruises depart from in Sydney?
Carnival cruises leave from the Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT), as do the majority of cruise ships these days. OPT can be found at Circular Quay, off Argyle Street and opposite the Sydney Opera House.