Best Vivid Sydney Cruises for 2019

Get the best view of the festival of light aboard a Vivid Sydney harbour cruise.

Vivid Sydney lights up the city’s foreshore each winter since it began in 2009 with the display getting larger each year. The grand illuminations on the Sydney Opera House sails, interactive displays found throughout Circular Quay and the smaller unique displays lining the piers at Walsh Bay attract more than 1.7 million visitors.

This year the event runs from 24 May - 15 June 2019.

Spreading from Darling Harbour and Barangaroo, under a lit-up Harbour Bridge, to The Rocks and Circular Quay, many of the Vivid festival’s displays take on a whole new perspective from the water, and joining a Vivid Sydney cruise is a great way to see the event’s displays without the walking and crowds.

We've listed down below some of the cruises that you can book as early as now.

Lots to see on this table? Skip down to our top picks below.

Cruise NameDeparts from:What's included?LengthPriceBook
Vivid cruise with Magic CruisesKing St Wharf 6, 7, 8
  • Sparkling wine upon arrival
2 hours$19Book now
Vivid Sydney cruise with Thunder JetJetty 1, Circular Quay
  • BYO food
45 minutes$29Book now
Vivid Cruises On BundeenaKing Street Wharf 6
  • One free drink
1 hour$29Book now

Vivid Sydney cruise Supercat Cruise

King Street Wharf
  • Premium drinks package
2 hours$30Book now

Vivid Harbour cruise with Sydney Pearl Cruises

Towns Place East or West Millers Point
  • Standing buffet
  • Onboard DJ
1.5 hours$32Book now

Vivid Sydney BYO Catamaran cruise

Sydney Harbour
  • Sandwich and wrap platters
  • One non-alcoholic beverage
  • BYO drinks
1.5 hours$32Book now

Vivid Sydney Cruise with Aboriginal Performance

Pyrmont Bay
  • Aboriginal performance
2 hour$35Book now

Vivid cruise with Starship Sydney

King St Wharf 41.5 hours$36Book now

Sydney Vivid Lights Cruise

King St Wharf 11 hour$39Book now

Vivid Sydney Catamaran cruise

Sydney Harbour
  • Canapes
1.5 hours$49Book now

Vivid cruise with Starship Sydney

King St Wharf 4
  • One Luna Park ticket
1.5 hours$49Book now

Vivid cruise on a glass boat

Wharf 9
  • Standing buffet
  • Drink
2 hours$55Book now

Vivid cruise

King St Wharf 1
  • Standing buffet dinner
  • One beer, wine or soft drink
2 hours$55Book now

Vivid tall ship cruise

Ives Steps Wharf
  • Dinner
  • Drinks
1.5 hours$59Book now

Vivid Sydney Harbour Tall Ship

Ives Steps Wharf
  • Drinks
  • Buffet
1.5 hours$59Book now
Vivid Cruises On La Dolce VitaTBC
  • Good for 4 people
  • Bottle of sparkling
1 hour$400Book now
Vivid Cruises On NeptuneTBC
  • BYO food and drinks
1.5 hours$650Book now

Our top picks:

Best for overall experience:

Vivid Sydney Catamaran cruise

Vivid Sydney Catamaran cruise from RedBalloon


  • 1.5-hour catamaran cruise on board Kirralee or Neaveh
  • With sandwich and wrap platters and one non-alcoholic beverage
  • BYO drinks
  • Price from $32

View details

Best for price (cheapest):

Vivid cruise with Magic Cruises

Vivid cruise with Magic Cruises from Groupon


  • 2-hour cruise
  • Sparkling wine upon arrival
  • Price from $19

View details

Best for a unique experience:

Vivid cruise on a glass boat

Vivid cruise on a glass boat from Cudo


  • 2-hour cruise on a glass boat
  • With cocktail-style standing buffet and one complimentary beer, win eor soft drink
  • Price from $65

View details

Best for length:

Vivid cruise

Vivid cruise from Experience Oz


  • 2-hour cruise
  • Includes standing buffet dinner, one beer, wine or soft drink
  • Price per person: $55

View details

Best for extra inclusions:

Vivid Sydney cruise + Luna Park pass

Vivid Sydney cruise + Luna Park pass from Groupon


  • 90-minute cruise with Starship Sydney
  • Includes one Luna Park entry with unlimited rides
  • Price per person: $49

View details

Latest deals on Vivid Sydney cruises:

Groupon Groupon

Up to 50% off Vivid Sydney cruises

Valid from 24 May - 15 June 2019. Inclusion depends on the selected cruise. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

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Cudo Cudo

Up to 62% off Vivid Sydney cruises

Valid from 24 May - 15 June 2019. Inclusion depends on the selected cruise. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

RedBalloon RedBalloon

Up to 10% off Vivid Sydney Catamaran cruises

Valid from 24 May - 15 June 2019. Inclusion depends on the selected cruise. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Popular Cruises coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
12 Apr 2019 Up to 35% off 2019 Mediterranean sailing tours 19G****
11 Apr 2019 Up to 50% off Vivid Sydney cruises ********
5 Apr 2019 Up to 62% off Vivid Sydney cruises ********
5 Apr 2019 Up to 10% off Vivid Sydney Catamaran cruises ********
22 Apr 2019 50% off deposits + up to $1,000 airfare credit with Princess cruises ********

Vivid Sydney cruises

Every year, dozens of boats sail the harbour aglow with brightly coloured lights and become part of the Vivid Sydney display. Sydney Harbour Ferries get in on the action too. If you're hoping to join a boat tour during Vivid that participates, these are the official operators that have joined the festivities in the past.

  • Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Culture Cruise
  • Magistic Dinner Cruise
  • Sydney Showboat Dinner Cruise
  • Showboat Paddlewheel
  • Oz Jet Boating
  • Manly Fast Ferry
  • Sydney Cove Water Taxis
  • Sydney's First Fleet Ferries
  • Captain Cook Cruises
  • Sensational Sydney Cruises
  • Fantasea Cruising Sydney
  • Shadow Charters

Vivid Sydney cruise reviews:

Overall the experience was really nice. You get a great view of the lights and the drinks are very reasonably priced. The only thing we didn't enjoy as much was the dinner. You're sharing with a group table so it can get a bit awkward.

-Shirley sailed with Starship Cruises during Vivid

Choosing a Vivid cruise meant that we had the best seat in the house all night and got to experience the sights and sounds of Vivid from a totally unique perspective. The cruise provided food, drinks, entertainment and a fantastic family-friendly atmosphere. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a chance to escape the crowds and enjoy unobstructed views of the harbour from start to finish.

-Ebru sailed with Rhythm Boat during Vivid 2010

A Vivid Cruise is a great way to see the lights surrounding the harbour with a group. The best part of a cruise is that there are no crowds. The cruise I did had food and drinks included - while it was more than you might pay elsewhere, not having to queue for food and drinks was priceless for me personally."

-Tash on her Vivid cruise experience

Other Vivid Sydney activities

If you’re not tempted by a Vivid cruise consider joining a photography class, Vivid Ideas event or dining at a restaurant with views of the illuminations.

What do I need to know about Vivid Sydney and Vivid Sydney cruises?

How does Vivid Sydney work?

Being a free event throughout Circular Quay, The Rocks, Barangaroo and Darling Harbour (with smaller displays in other parts of the city), Vivid is a giant open-air gallery. It's a free event where you can walk around and see light-based displays and illuminations created by a range of artists. There are guides available and each attraction is signposted with explanations of what it is you're looking at.

Is Vivid Sydney free?

Yes, Vivid Sydney's displays are free to access. If you'd like to join a cruise or bridge climb, you'll need to pay for admission.

How long does Vivid Sydney go for?

The festival runs for 23 days from 24 May - 15 June 2019.

When did Vivid Sydney start?

Vivid Sydney has been lighting up the Sydney foreshore since 2009. It began as a light festival promoting energy efficiency with light paintings displayed on the sails of the Sydney Opera House.

What time does Vivid Sydney start?

The Vivid Sydney light displays will be turned on at 6pm each night during the festival.

Do Vivid Sydney cruises go to Darling Harbour?

Yes. Most of the sightseeing cruises during Vivid depart from Darling Harbour or King Street Wharf, so you'll get the chance to wander around the area before and after your cruise. It's best to check with the operator you've booked your cruise with to see where and when you need to meet the boat.

Are there Vivid dinner cruises available?

There are a wide range of sightseeing cruise options available offering something for every budget. We've noted on each sailing above whether food or drink is included.

Are there many Vivid Sydney road closures?

Many roads leading toward Circular Quay and The Rocks are closed or restricted during the event. Given those limitations and the road closures along George Street it's recommended to take public transport to Vivid. There will be an increase number of public transport services available during the event and ferries will be illuminated from 6pm.

Can I do a Vivid Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb?

Yes! The twilight and night-time bridge climbs are available during Vivid and offer panoramic views of the harbour displays.

Do you have any tips on how to photograph Vivid Sydney?

If night photography isn't your forte, consider joining a night photography class prior to or during the festival to capture the best images.

Night Photography Course

Night Photography Course from

Perfect your nighttime photography skills and use the brilliantly coloured Vivid displays as your inspiration.This three-hour lesson meets in The Rocks at 5:30pm each Friday and will help you master composition, shoot in manual mode, control ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

View details

What is next?

Image: Vivid Sydney

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    kathJuly 1, 2017

    When does the Vivid Festival run from for 2018?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 1, 2017

      Hi Kath!

      The announcement left on Vivid Sydney website is they will be opening later this year.

      Hope this helps.


  2. Default Gravatar
    April 29, 2017

    Hi wanted to know what cruises they have for vivid that is buffet dinner and dance floor DJ on board???

    • finder Customer Care
      LouMay 4, 2017Staff

      Hi Sam,

      Thanks for your questions.

      All the cruises we have listed above except for 90-Minute Cruise with Sparkling Wine on a Sunday, Friday or Saturday and 2-hour cruise with canapés and drinks from LivingSocial, offer buffet dinner.

      However, upon checking the details, only the 2-hour cruise with cocktails and canapés which costs $29.00 offer buffer dinner and DJ. For more details, simply click the “view details’ button above.


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