Best Vivid Sydney cruises 2017

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

Vivid Sydney has lit up the city’s foreshore 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 Walsh Bay, 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.

Joining a Vivid Sydney cruise is a great way to see the event’s displays without the walking and crowds. Here's some of our top picks for Vivid cruises during the event, which event takes place 26 May until 17 June.

Latest Vivid cruise deals

Store Discount Expiration Description Last verified Redeem
Vivid Festival Deals from $16 (up to $49 value)

Deal expires 31 May 2017

Sample cruise package include Vivid harbour cruise with a drink from $16, Vivid harbour cruise with a buffet from $28, Vivid cruise with buffet & drink from $49 and more.

Last verified 26 May 2017

Vivid dinner cruises from $35

Deal expires 17 Jun 2017

Valid on select dates 27 May 2017 - 17 June 2017. Sunday-Thursday cruises available for $35, Friday and Saturday cruises available for $45. Includes a buffet dinner and one complimentary drink.

Last verified 15 May 2017

Vivid Sydney cruises from $20 including drinks

Deal expires 31 May 2017

Valid during Vivid Sydney from 26 May 2017 - 17 June 2017 on select cruises.

Last verified 14 Mar 2017

Our picks for Vivid Sydney cruises and deals in 2017

Magical Vivid Festival Cruise with Bubbly & Buffet from Scoopon

Vivid Aflroad

  • This is a 2 hour cruise on Sydney's supercat catamaran. It includes two glasses of sparkling, wine or beer and a buffet. Cruise is 2 hours on weekdays and 90 minutes on weekends.
  • Departures daily from 26 May to 17 June 2017. Sailings at 5:45pm and 8pm (Mon-Thu) and 5:45pm, 7:30pm and 9:15pm (Fri-Sun).
  • Pick up from King Street Wharf.
From AUD


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90-Minute Cruise with Sparkling Wine on a Sunday, Friday or Saturday from Groupon

Cruise Vivid

  • This 90-minute cruise includes a sparkling on arrival.
  • Departures on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 26 May and 17 June 2017. Sailings at 6pm, 7:30pm and 9pm.
  • Price varies depending on day.
From AUD


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2-hour cruise with canapés and drinks from LivingSocial

Vivid Cruise Sydney

  • 2 hour cruise with drink on arrival and canapes.
  • Departures Thursday to Sunday from 26 May to 11 June 2017. Various sailings from 5:30pm depending on the day.
  • Pick up from King Street Wharf.
From AUD


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Weekend Vivid Cruise with Buffet and Drink with Magic Cruises from Groupon

Magic Cruises

  • This two-hour cruise includes a drink on arrival and a stand-up buffet menu
  • Departure dates are: 26 and 27 May 2017 and 2 , 3, 9, 10, 11, 16 and 17 June 2017. Boats depart at 5:30pm and 7:45 pm.
  • Discounts available for children.
From AUD


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2-hour cruise with cocktails and canapés from Scoopon

Sydney Pearl Cruises

  • This is a 2 hour cruise on Sydney's fabulous floating nightclub. It includes a drink on arrival and canapes. Optional upgrade to a 3-hour cruise with buffet dinner from $45pp.
  • Departures daily from 26 May to 17 June 2017. Sailings at 5pm and 6pm.
  • Pick up from King Street Wharf.
From AUD


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2.5 hour cruise with buffet and wine from Groupon


  • 2.5 hour cruise with welcome drinks and a cocktail style buffet dinner.
  • Departures daily from 26 May to 17 June 2017. Sailings at 6pm from Monday to Wednesday and 5:15pm and 8pm Thursday to Sunday.
  • Pick up from King Street Wharf 9.
From AUD


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Sydney Glass Island from LivingSocial

Sydney Glass Island

  • 1 hour 45 minute cruise with drink on arrival and standing buffet.
  • Departures Thursday to Sunday from 26 May to 11 June 2017. Sailings at 6pm or 6:15pm depending on the day.
  • Pick up from King Street Wharf.
From AUD


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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 joining the festivities.
  • 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.

Behind-the-scenes Opera House tour during Vivid
Night Photography Course

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, Martin Place, Walsh Bay 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 26 May to 17 June 2017.

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 extra 3,500 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 from

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What is next?

Image: Vivid Sydney

Alex Keshen

Alex takes care of the travel section here at If there's a new sale on tours or cruises, discounted flights or hotels, or anything else that can be on offer, she'll fill you in.

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2 Responses to Best Vivid Sydney cruises 2017

  1. Default Gravatar
    | April 29, 2017

    Hi wanted to know what cruises they have for vivid that is buffet dinner and dancefloor DJ onboard???

    • Staff
      Anndy | May 4, 2017

      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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