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Sydney is a coastal city with a world-famous harbor, so it’s no surprise that sightseeing cruises are super popular here! You get to sail past iconic landmarks such as the Harbour Bridge, and the Sydney Opera House and admire the gorgeous city skyline, and if you choose a lunch or dinner cruise, you can enjoy a gourmet meal while you’re at it!
Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney is one of the most reputable cruise companies around, and we recently embarked on their dinner cruise. We travel to Sydney often and Bailey even lived here when she first moved to Australia, so we’ve done a bunch of cruises, and we were curious to see whether or not the Journey Beyond Cruise stood out.
Not to spoil the entire article, but we had a fantastic time! So if you’re considering booking the Beyond the Cruise experience in Sydney, keep on reading because we’re going to dive into the details, explain the differences between the lunch and dinner cruise, and help you decide if it’s worth it.
Don’t have time to read the full article? If you’re looking for a standout experience in Sydney, a Journey Beyond Cruise is it! There’s a lunch cruise available, but we LOVED this dinner cruise. It has a 3-course meal with locally sourced food, beer and wine, and views of Sydney at night.
What is the Journey Beyond Cruise in Sydney?
Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney is a sightseeing cruise that also includes a gourmet meal. It lasts for 2.5-3 hours and allows you to see some of the city’s top landmarks, including the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge, the CBD, The Rocks, Luna Park, and Taronga Zoo.
One thing that we really loved about this cruise was that we got a plated meal, instead of a buffet, and all of the food was locally sourced. Plus, there was a great selection of beers and wines from New South Wales on offer. Sometimes the food on a sightseeing cruise can be a bit generic, but not with this cruise!
The boat is also super comfy and luxurious. There’s plenty of space and it doesn’t feel overcrowded. You get great views from inside the cabin but you can also go up to the top deck to snap photos and enjoy unobstructed views of Sydney as you sail past.
We took this specific dinner cruise, so we got a 3-course meal on board, which was delicious. The dinner cruise also includes an all-inclusive drinks package, so we could have as much regional wine and beer as we liked. New South Wales is known for its wine and is home to globally renowned regions such as the Hunter Valley and the Southern Highlands, so you can be sure that you’re getting the good stuff!
The lunch cruise in Sydney is slightly cheaper at $152 AUD. It lasts for 2.5 hours and includes a delicious lunch, which again consists of locally sourced seasonal food! The lunch cruise also includes local beer and wine, and we think it’s a great way to see the sights while beating the heat during the summer months. You can reserve your spot on the lunch cruise here!
How long is the Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney Dinner or Lunch Cruise?
The lunch cruise departs at 11:55 am and lasts for 2.5 hours. The dinner cruise leaves at 6:25 pm and is slightly longer as it lasts for 3 hours. It’s a great way to see a lot of Sydney in a short space of time!
In fact, most people say the best views of Sydney are from the water and I agree!
What is the food like on the Journey Beyond Cruise?
The lunch cruise includes an à la carte meal, and you’ve got a few options to choose from. The menu does change seasonally, but some sample options are Hawkesbury Bream, oven-roasted chicken breast, lamb shank, and slow-cooked beef cheek. There are also vegetarian and vegan options available, and if you have any dietary requirements, you can let the company know when you book and they’ll accommodate you.
Meanwhile, the dinner cruise includes three courses, so you also get a starter and a dessert. As with the lunch cruise, the menu changes throughout the year but there are a few options available for each, such as Wagyu Bresola to start, slow-cooked Junee lamb shank for the main, and lemon meringue pie for dessert – yum! If you have dietary restrictions, you can also let them know when you reserve your spot.
Are drinks included on the Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney?
Yes! Beer and wine are included for both the lunch and dinner cruises. The alcohol is mostly locally sourced which, trust us, is a good thing when you’re in Sydney. They sure know how to make good beer and wine in New South Wales!
However, if you want to buy spirit-based drinks, then you’ll need to pay extra for those at the bar on board. But to be honest, we were happy with the beer and wine.
What are the views like on the Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney?
The views are pretty amazing! You’ll sail past the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, which are two world-famous landmarks that people travel from far and wide to see. You also cruise past Taronga Zoo and Sydney Harbour National Park, which means you get to admire the dramatic coastline and lush greenery of the area.
If you book the dinner cruise during the summer, you’ll also get to see one of those amazing Sydney sunsets, which is a pretty awesome experience.
Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney Lunch vs Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney Dinner
With the lunch cruise, you get one course and a selection of regional beers and wines to choose from. It lasts for 2.5 hours and costs $152 AUD per person.
Meanwhile, the dinner cruise lasts for 3 hours and costs $205 AUD. We think it’s definitely worth the extra money because you get a 3-course dinner and a bit longer to enjoy the cruise. Overall, we preferred the dinner cruise!
We thought the dinner cruise was the better value for money, especially since there are cheaper day cruises available, such as this Sightseeing Cruise. It costs $45 AUD and lasts for 1.5 hours, so it’s significantly cheaper. There are complimentary hot drinks on board and you also get to listen to some interesting commentary along the way.
What did I like about the Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney?
The views that you get on the Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney are just fantastic. Not only do you get to admire the city’s skyline and beautiful buildings, you get to see the dramatic coastline. I love the fact that you can go out on the upper deck as well as admire the views from inside the cabin as you enjoy your food.
The service on board is excellent. The staff are super friendly and make you feel really welcome. The service is really fast, too, so you never have to wait too long to ask a question or get a top-up of your drink.
We loved the atmosphere on this cruise. It was warm and relaxed, and we could tell that everyone was having a good time. Sometimes, when sightseeing cruises are overcrowded, passengers get stressed but that’s not the case with this cruise at all, so you just get to chill out, eat good food, and enjoy the views.
Treatment by staff
The staff really couldn’t have been nicer. They were super attentive and made everyone feel at home. We really felt like they went out of their way to make sure that we had a good time!
The 3-course meal that we had on the dinner cruise with Journey Beyond Sydney was delicious. It was way better than the typical fare you would expect on sightseeing cruises. It was restaurant-quality food, but better since we got to enjoy it while cruising around Sydney. We also love the fact that the menu really showcased amazing meat, seafood, and seasonal produce from New South Wales.
Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney includes as much wine and beer as you like! We loved sipping on local blends as we sailed around Sydney, and you don’t need to worry about the price because it’s all complimentary. This made the experience even better and we felt like it was good value for money, because drinks at bars in Sydney can be pretty pricey.
What didn’t I like about the Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney?
Spirits not included in drinks package
The drinks package is perfect for beer and wine lovers, but unfortunately, it doesn’t include spirits. This is a bit of a shame if you’re more partial to cocktails because you’ll have to head to the bar and pay extra for these. However, it was a small thing and we were happy with the beer and wine that we had.
The dinner cruise missed sunset in spring
The dinner cruise leaves at the same time every year. We set sail at 6:25 pm, which meant that we missed the sunset because we went during the early spring. We loved seeing Sydney lit up at night, but it would have been even better had we caught the sunset. However, if you go during the summer, then you will see the sunset on the Journey Beyond Sydney dinner cruise.
Is the Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney worth it?
Yes! We thought it was 100% worth it and easily one of the best tours in Sydney.
In our opinion, it’s worth spending a little extra to do the dinner cruise instead of the lunch cruise, because you get so much more food and longer on the boat. The dinner cruise is really a bargain given everything that’s included.
You really can’t put a price on this type of experience. Whether you’re in Sydney for just one day or several, we highly recommend the Journey Beyond Cruise. It’s just magical, and the delicious food and wine on board really make it feel like a VIP experience. We would definitely do it again!
Other Things to do While You’re in Sydney
Sydney is a city full of exciting things to do and see, so you’re going to want to fill your schedule while visiting this iconic city. Below are a few of our favorite activities that you should consider adding to your Sydney itinerary:
- Helicopter Ride – Sydney is a beautiful city; there is just no doubt about it! And one way to take in all the sights is on a helicopter tour! We did this helicopter ride the last time we were in the city, and it was incredible! We got the most amazing views of the bridge and Opera House, not to mention the beautiful coastline. And to top it off, we even saw whales!
- Day Trip to the Blue Mountains – The Blue Mountains is a beautiful wilderness area where you can enjoy hiking, waterfalls, mountain views, and charming towns. It’s about an hour’s drive and makes for a great day trip from Sydney or even a weekend getaway. This Blue Mountains day full-day tour is our top choice as it includes a gourmet lunch, Scenic World, the wildlife park, as well as a cruise! Plus, the 3,400 5-star reviews are pretty reassuring that it’s an excellent tour!
- Tour the Sydney Opera House – Did you even visit Sydney if you didn’t go to the Opera House?! You can walk around for free, but if you want to see the inside, then you’ll have to join a guided tour of the Opera House or buy tickets to a show. We did this guided tour and found it super interesting! They took us to all of the different theatres, and we learned all about the history of the building – all for only $43 AUD!
- Explore Darling Harbour – One of our favorite areas in Sydney is Darling Harbour, which features more restaurants, bars, and cafes than I can count! Plus, almost everything is waterfront! Here, you can enjoy the Chinese Garden of Friendship or walk across the Pyrmont Bridge. You can also visit popular attractions like Madame Tussauds, the Sea Life Aquarium, and Wild Life Sydney Zoo (which are all included on this Sydney Attractions Pass!).
- Visit Manly Beach and/or Bondi Beach – There are some pretty amazing beaches right in Sydney, so you should definitely plan for a beach day (or three!). Manly Beach is one of our favorites and you can easily get there via the public ferry. Or, head to the famous Bondi Beach! Once there you can do the walk to Bronte or Coogee Beaches – they are both also stunning!
Where to Stay in Sydney
If you’re planning a trip to Sydney, you’re going to need a place to stay. Luckily, Sydney has a huge variety of accommodations to fit every budget. If you’re overwhelmed with where to start, check out our top picks for places to stay, from luxury rooms to budget-friendly hostels. We’ve got you covered!
Four Seasons Hotel Sydney – $$$
For stunning views of Sydney Harbour and the iconic Opera House, book a room at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. You’ll have unobstructed views of the city from the comfort of your room. The hotel is located in the city center within the historic Rocks neighborhood – nice and close to lots of activities and restaurants. It’s also just an 8-minute drive (or a 20-minute walk) to the King Street Wharf where the Journey Beyond Cruises leave from!
Rooms here start at $400-$500 AUD per night and can be reserved with Booking.com.
Meriton Suites Kent Street Sydney – $$
Stay right in the heart of Sydney in a modern luxury apartment at Meriton Suites Kent Street. The suites are air-conditioned and have laundry facilities, and either a kitchenette or full kitchen to make longer stays more comfortable. You’ll also have access to an indoor swimming pool, fitness center, and hot tub. It’s about a 15-minute walk to the King Street Wharf to catch a cruise.
These full apartments are $230 AUD nightly when booked in advance with Booking.com.
Sydney Harbour YHA – $
For a hostel with a view, head to the rooftop terrace at the Sydney Harbour YHA. Located in the historic Rocks district, you’ll have amazing views of the harbor and be within walking distance of all the major sights. You can opt for a shared dorm room or a private room here. There’s a communal kitchen, TV lounge, billiards, and a 24/7 reception desk.
Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!
We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!
SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.
They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.
We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!
Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)
Thanks for reading!
If you’re looking for a fantastic way to see Sydney and enjoy a great meal, the Journey Beyond Cruise is it! Personally, I say go for the dinner cruise if you can. It was such a fun evening for us and even though we’ve lived in Sydney, this was a new and magical way to see the city!
If you liked this blog, make sure to check out our other Australia blogs as you travel the country. Here are a few popular ones to get you started: