Sydney Harbour Weekend Cruises

It is said to be the biggest natural harbour in the world; but its size pales into insignificance when compared to the sheer beauty of Sydney Harbour.

Most people would be aware of the brilliant juxtaposition of Sydney’s famed and iconic Opera House that is framed by the Sydney Harbour Bridge to its right and one of the world’s most impressive skylines to its left. Such a postcard perfect scene offers a good representation of Sydney Harbour, but it does no tell the whole story.

Captain Cook Cruises, which for years has been offering day and night cruises of the harbour, has now introduced a two night weekend cruise itinerary which really does explore Sydney’s waterways in great detail.

The harbour is far bigger than photos of the Opera House and Bridge would suggest. Comprised of the main harbour, Middle Harbour, the Parramatta Rive and the Lane Cove River there is over 250kms of foreshore to explore.

Ironically, the ship chosen for the cruise, the MV Captain Cook’s Explorer, is named after a sea captain who never actually ventured into Sydney Harbour.

Captain Cook was one of the world’s finest navigators, and indeed he was the first European to explore the east coast of Australia, but he was enthused about Botany Bay, which is 12kms south of Sydney Harbour. He did sail past Sydney Heads on his journey north, but didn’t realise that he had just ignored a place which, within 200 years of his visit, would be considered to be one of the world’s great cities.

The ship sails on Friday evening for a two night leisurely cruise packed full of fine food and wine, spectacular views, sightseeing, excellent service, exciting shore excursions, music, dancing and relaxation.

Whilst the MV Captain Cook’s Explorer will negotiate many of the nooks and crannies to be found around the Harbour, there are also some interesting shore excursions, such as tours of Sydney’s historic Rocks area and the magnificent Botanic Gardens, both of which are well known to those who have visited Sydney.

But there is also a tour of the Bradley Head gun emplacements. Bradley’s Head is located in the suburb of Mosman, and is quite close to Taronga Park Zoo. It juts out into the Harbour, directly opposite the entrance to the harbour through Sydney Heads. The whole area is riddled with tunnels and protected battlements where huge guns were placed to protect the harbour entrance.

Although Sydney Harbour was invaded by Japanese midget submarines, the fortress was originally built in the late 19th century when Australia thought it may have been in danger of attack by the Russians.

The ship has 60 cabins for overnight comfort with a choice of twin or double berths all with harbour views and ensuite facilities.

Dining on board is first class with hearty buffet breakfasts, al fresco luncheons featuring fresh local seafood and the elegant Captain’s Dinner with live music and dancing and the city skyline as the perfect backdrop.

After two days of exploring one of the world’s great harbours, and indulging in a lifestyle that is casual yet sophisticated, odds are that you will fall in love with Sydney and realise that its soul is represented by its waterways and not the magnificent buildings which grace them.

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