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Best Vivid Sydney Cruises for 2020

Get the best view of the festival of light aboard a Vivid Sydney harbour cruise for as low as $39.


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Vivid 2020 cancellation update

Following the recommendations of the Australian Government and health authorities, Vivid Sydney 2020 has been cancelled to limit non-essential, organised gatherings of more than 500 people for outdoor settings and 100 people for indoor settings.

If you have purchased tickets for a Vivid 2020 event, contact the company you booked through to find out your refund options.

Vivid will be back to shine bright in 2021.

Spreading from Darling Harbour and Barangaroo, under a lit-up Harbour Bridge, to The Rocks and Circular Quay, many of the Vivid Sydney 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.

Whether you're looking for the cheapest option, one that includes a buffet dinner, or the longest sailing possible, we've listed all the cruises bookable online that we could find so you can compare your options.

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 review

What can you expect from a Vivid Sydney cruise? We sat down with Naseem Hemmati, who sailed on this Starship Sydney Vivid Cruise in 2019 for a quick chat about his experience.

Q: What did you like about your Vivid cruise?

What I loved most about the cruise was the live performance from the band and the dancers. It amplified the atmosphere and was an entertaining way to complete the cruise as guests were encouraged to join in. The food stalls were another aspect I loved - there was always something to eat or do when you weren't enjoying the view.

Q: What didn't you like about it?

The lack of seating is the only aspect of the cruise that I didn't enjoy however throughout the night as people moved around more became available.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone going on a Vivid cruise?

Dress warm so that you are able to enjoy the view.

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

How long does Vivid Sydney go for?

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

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.

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

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

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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
    SamApril 29, 2017

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

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeMay 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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