Tourists have their pick of boat tours and cruises that can be found in Sydney’s Harbor, Australia. We tried a few of them, including the OZ Jet Boat. But for something a little slower and more scenic, we hopped aboard Fantasea Cruises.
This harbour cruise adventure begins in Circular Quay, a popular neighbourhood at the north end of the Sydney Central Business District at the foot of the Sydney Harbour. It is here that tourists board the vessel — a high-speed aluminium catamaran with modern interiors, and two decks.
The lower deck features wall-to-wall windows for passengers to view the sights of the harbor, as well as comfortable padded seats and a tuck shop where passengers can purchase drinks, snacks, and souvenirs. Additionally, this boat has a section filled with children’s toys, for passengers traveling with infants. The top deck, however, is where passengers are treated to the best views!
On the day of our adventure, the weather in Sydney was beautiful so all the windows were open in addition to an open roof for unobstructed views and cooling breezes. As we set sail on our Classic Aussie Cruise, passengers were encouraged to help themselves to possibly the most iconic Australian snack – Vegemite. The Vegemite tasting booth was self-serve and allowed passengers to taste the salty yeast paste the proper way, on toast with butter (not as a spoonful, which is a mistake many tourists make).
As we departed Circular Quay, leaving the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the wake of the boat, we moved to the back of the vessel for fantastic views of the iconic structures, and the perfect opportunity for views of the skyline.
This wouldn’t be an Aussie cruise without a BBQ Burger! Onboard, a chef prepares fresh food for passengers, and the burgers are made with locally sourced ingredients.
In true Aussie fashion, it contained bacon and beetroot – common additions to burgers Down Under. The food was fresh, hot and very delicious! In addition to the burger, guests have to option to purchase Australian beers, ciders, wines and pop or water.
This cruise is a great way to view the Sydney Harbour, the coastline, and all of its beautiful landmarks. The guide provided informative commentary as the tour progressed, including historical tales and information about Aussie life.
All members of the crew are friendly, energetic and eager to speak to travellers about their trip and where they are from. The boats are very clean and safe and arrive at each port on time as per the schedule.
As a way to cater to the needs of passengers, Fantasea offers different package levels. The base package is an 80-minute cruise of the harbour, however, if passengers would like to disembark at the different stops, they have the option to purchase an all-day pass, which turns the basic cruise into a “Hop-on Hop-off” adventure, allowing passengers to leave the vessel at different locations such as Watsons Bay, Taronga Zoo and Darling Harbour.
The package includes the 80-minute cruise and the Aussie Burger and drink. This is a great value and the cruise is suitable for anyone visiting Sydney and looking for a relaxed tour of the harbour.
Fantasea also offers whale-watching cruises that will thrill and delight travelers.