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Taking a sunset dinner cruise of Sydney Harbour is a truly magical experience that is worth every moment.
As the sun sets over the glistening waters, you are treated to breathtaking panoramic views and a serene ambiance that is unmatched.
It allows you to witness the iconic landmarks of Sydney from a unique perspective, as well as enjoy a delicious dinner prepared for you onboard.
Whether it’s a romantic dinner or a casual social cruise, a sunset cruise is a great way to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city, and unwind and soak in the tranquility of the harbour.
But if you’re not sure what to expect, here is our cruise experience of doing a Sydney Harbour sunset dinner cruise!
Disclaimer: I sailed as a guest of Destination NSW, but all thoughts, ideas and opinions in this guide are my own.
Is A Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise Worth It?
A Sydney Harbour sunset dinner cruise is an experience that is absolutely worth it.
As you set sail on the tranquil waters of the harbour, you are treated to breathtaking views of the sun setting over iconic landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
The ambiance is enchanting, creating a magical atmosphere that is perfect for a romantic evening or a special occasion. You also get to hear a commentary of Sydney’s history as you sail.
We also felt it was incredible value with the addition of a three-course dinner. The food was delicious, and you are offered a premium dining service.
The combination of fine dining, live music, and panoramic vistas make it an exceptional way to see the harbour, or even as a way to celebrate an occasion and create cherished memories.
Our Experience of a Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise
The big tours that herd you around in massive boats lose that personal touch.
Our sunset cruise was small, and made up of warm, friendly people and was full of laughter and conversation.
The joy of taking a small sunset cruises of Sydney Harbour, or any tour really, is you get to know the stories behind the people who work there and your companions as well.
Shawn, a Yankie from upstate New York, originally came to Australia for love. That love soon turned to a love for the opal industry and he began selling opals to all the tourists coming to Oz.
Although his first marriage fell apart, he remained in Australia and soon discovered a new business opportunity with his now wife, Pip.
He saw the number of charted vessels that were sailing the harbour and realized that there was an opportunity to make it an affordable experience for all sorts of travellers.
Tours run daily regardless of how many people are sailing and each sail has a maximum of 14 people, helping your to feel like you are more on a sailing day out with friends rather than a sight seeing tour.
We learned Shawn’s story sitting on the back deck of our small yacht as we sailed in and out of the Harbour’s bays and past the Super Yachts of Rose Bay, some of which race each year in the prestigious Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
Scotty, our host on-board, spoke to us of his experience being on the starter boat for the race.
He was like a little kid in a candy store just telling us about it.
An enthusiastic mariner, he nearly broke out of his skin when we passed the Australia Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour.
He confessed that he’d often go there in his spare time.
Just a few boats up sat the floating restaurant, South Steyne, an old steamer where he has taken his lovely lady before for a romantic meal.
Later this year he heads to school to fulfil his dream of being a cruise boat captain.
We docked in at the bay just out the front of Taronga Zoo for dinner where it was calm unlike the opposite side which was blustery and choppy.
Oysters, smoked salmon, King Prawns, crab, cheese and fruit were laid out for us to enjoy with a glass of Shiraz wine. Or if we wanted, there was other alcohol options such as beer and cocktails, as well as soft drinks and juices for children.
Is there a better way to experience the harbour at dusk?
We sailed back to Circular Quay sitting on the bow watching the sun set behind the Harbour Bridge.
Front row views. No bodies to push out of the way for a glimpse through strands of stranger’s hair.
Just the six of us gazing in silent wonder.
FAQs About A Sunset Dinner Cruise of Sydney Harbour
Here’s what people usually ask about a Sunset Dinner Cruise of Sydney Harbour…
What do you wear on a Sunset Harbor cruise?
There is no official dress code on a Sunset Dinner Cruise of Sydney Harbour, though people use it as an opportunity to dress nicely and so smart casual is the norm. Jeans, a Hawaiian shirt and flip flops is a little too underdressed. For men, a smart shirt and trousers is enough, and women may want to wear a nice dress. Bring a cardigan or shawl for when it gets dark.
What food is served on a Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise?
You will have a three course dinner which usually focuses on seafood dishes, but you can get vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options as well. The menu will usually have a choice of two or three options, plus a child menu and adult menu.
How long is the cruise?
The cruise typically lasts for 4 hours.
Don’t miss these other popular Sydney Harbour experiences:
- Experience Sydney Harbour by helicopter
- Sail the tall ships on Sydney Harbour
- Sydney Harbour Bridge climb – is it worth it?
- Walking across Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Cockatoo Island – cheap Sydney Harbour camping
- Free things to do in Sydney
- 11 Fun things to do in the Rocks Sydney
- Kayaking on Middle Harbour Sydney
What would be the perfect sunset Sydney Harbour cruise for you? Let us know in the comments.