Get the best view of the festival of light aboard a Vivid Sydney harbour cruise.
Vivid Sydney has lit up the city’s foreshore each winter since 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.
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.
This year it will be on 25 May - 16 June and here are some of the cruises that you don't want to miss out to get the best view for the event.
|Cruise Name||Departs from:||What's included?||Length||Price||Book|
|Vivid Festival cruise||King Street Wharf||1.5 hours||$15||Book now|
|Vivid cruise with drink||King Street Wharf||1.5 hours||$20||Book now|
|Vivid Sydney Harbour Intimate cruise||Towns Place Wharf||1.5 hours||$29||Book now|
|Vivid cruise with cocktail||Walsh Bay||2 hours||$29||Book now|
|Vivid Festival Cruise with champagne cocktail||King Street Wharf||2 hours||$29||Book now|
|Vivid Blacklight party cruise||King Street Wharf||3 hours||$29||Book now|
|Vivid cruise with Aboriginal Cultural performance||Pyrmont||Aboriginal Cultural performance||2 hours||$35||Book now|
|Vivid Sydney Harbour cruise||King Street Wharf||3 hours||$39||Book now|
|Vagabond Vivid cruise||King Street Wharf or Circular Quay||1.5 hours||$39||Book now|
|Vivid Sydney cruise||Pyrmont||2 hours||$39||Book now|
|Sydney Harbour Vivid cruise||Darling Harbour||1 hour||$45||Book now|
|Small group vivid cruise||Pier 1||Light refreshments||1.5 hours||$49||Book now|
|Vivid cruise in glass vessel||Pyrmont||2 hours||$49||Book now|
|Vivid cruise on Coast||King Street Wharf||2 hours||$50||Book now|
|Vivid Sydney Cruise||King Street Wharf||Buffet dinner||2 hours||$55||Book now|
|Vivid Festival cruise with iToursntix||King Street Wharf||2 hours||$55||Book now|
|Vivid Sydney Cocktail cruise||King Street Wharf or Circular Quay||1.5 hours||$69||Book now|
|Vivid Festival cruise||Pyrmont||2 hours||$70||Book now|
|Tall ship Vivid cruise||The Rocks or Walsh Bay||2 hours||$79||Book now|
|Vivid experience cruise||King Street Wharf||2.5 hours||$99||Book now|
|Sydney Vivid luxury cruise||Circular Quay||1.5 hours||$125||Book now|
|Vivid Sydney private cruise for 4||King Street Wharf||1.5 hours||$400 ($125 each)||Book now|
|Private Vivid Sydney cruise||Pier 1||Light refreshments||1.5 hours||$449||Book now|
Best for overall experience:
Vivid Sydney Harbour Intimate cruise from Viator
- 1.5-hour cruise aboard Kirralee or Nevaeh
- With bread rolls and non-alcoholic beverage
- BYO drinks
- Price from $29
Best for price (cheapest):
Vivid Festival cruise from Groupon
- 1.5-hour cruise
- With glass of bubbly or a soft-drink
- BYO dinner
- Price from $15
Best for a unique experience:
Tall ship Vivid cruise from Viator
Best for length:
Vivid Blacklight party cruise from Groupon
- 3-hour cruise
- Welcome drink
- Finger food
- Price from $29
Best for extra inclusions:
Afloat Cruises weekend cruise from Groupon
- 2-hour cruise
- Buffet dinner onboard
- 2 glasses of sparkling wine or beer
- Price from $39
Latest deals on Vivid Sydney cruises:
|Vivid Sydney cruises from $29||
|Valid on select dates from 25 May 2018 - 16 June 2018. Sample price is for a 90-minute, small-group BYO cruise. T&Cs apply.||
|Up to 60% off Vivid Sydney cruises||
|Valid from 25 May - 16 June 2018. T&Cs apply.||
|Vivid Sydney cruises from just $15||
|Valid on select sailings during Vivid from 25 May 2018 - 16 June 2018. $15 cruise includes a 1.5-2 hours sailing and dinner/drink included on select sailings.||
|Vivid Sydney BYO cruises with food from $39||
|Valid on select sailings during Vivid Sydney, from 25 May 2018 - 16 June 2018. Sample price is for a 1.5 hours cruise aboard Nevaeh.||
|$20 off Vivid cruise with dinner||
|Valid during Vivid Sydney from 25 May 2018 - 16 June 2018 for a 1.5-hour cruise with cocktail-style dinner, plus tea, coffee and chocolates. Cash bar on board.||
|Vivid Sydney cruises + welcome drink from $19||
|Valid on select Vivid Sydney cruises during the festival from 25 May 2018 - 16 June 2018. Sample price is for a 2-hour cruise with Afloat Cruises and a welcome drink.||
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
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.
Bridge Climb Dance Floor In The Sky
Night Photography Course
Night Bridge Climb (Weekday)
Luna Park Ride Pass
Vivid Sydney Sidecar Tour
Vivid Sydney Tower Eye Skywalk
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?
While it's usually an 18-day event, this year the festival will be running for 23 days this year, from 25 May - 16 June 2018.
When did Vivid Sydney start?
Vivid Sydney has been lighting up the Sydney foreshore since 2008. 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.
Night Bridge Climb (Weekday)
Night Bridge Climb (Weekend)
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 from finder.comView details
What is next?
- ALSO READ: The Ultimate Guide to Vivid Sydney
Image: Vivid Sydney