2018: Vivid Sydney Cruises & Spectacular Harbour Views

Submitted by Vivid Sydney

16 Apr 2018

Once a year, Sydney undergoes a stunning transformation during its annual Vivid Sydney festival, a celebration of innovative light, music and ideas.

With the use of LED lighting, many vessels travel through a spectrum of light, movement and changing colours through the city’s harbour. So, what better way to take in all this creativity from the city, than to enjoy a spectacular perspective of the festival’s enchanting lights on a cruise through Sydney Harbour. Read on to discover some of the best ways to enjoy Vivid Sydney from the iconic Sydney Harbour.


Twilight Ferry Trip

Get on the Manly ferry after sunset to soak in the all-encompassing views of the city’s lights. Better yet, make a stop at Taronga Zoo to enjoy the interactive animal light sculptures. To avoid crowds, be aware that ferries are expected to reach capacity, especially on Friday evenings and weekends.

Vivid Sydney Cruise

Some cruise operators will offer nightly cruises of the city’s incredible lights, with some even playing a part in the festival - simultaneously changing colour as they pass through the cityscapes. Many of the sightseeing cruises during Vivid Sydney will depart from Darling Harbour or King Street Wharf, so you will have the opportunity to wander around the festival before and after your cruise.

Vivid Sydney with Captain Cruise

Choose between a Vivid Sydney Lights cruise, a Great Value Vivid Sydney Dinner cruise, or a Premium Dinner cruise. Cruises will be running every evening throughout the festival, giving revellers the opportunity to explore the harbour precinct up close. Experience a one-of-a-kind cruise, with the vessel even being a part of the Harbour Lights display.

Vivid Sydney with Tribal Warrior Cruise

During Vivid Sydney, the Mari Nawi will also be adorned with stunning LED lighting. Experience the spectacular views from the water with this unforgettable cruise, and enjoy great hospitality from the Tribal Warrior Crew. Savoury snacks and refreshments are available from the on-board bar.

Vivid Sydney with Vagabond Cruise

Tantalise your taste buds with a cocktail dinner as you watch Sydney’s most iconic structures being transformed by 3D light and laser shows. The two hour ride includes spacious indoor and outdoor deck views for great comfort and relaxation.


Harbourside Vivid Sydney Vantage Spots

Experience the beauty of the futuristic light shows sparkling off the clear waters of Sydney Harbour. Head to these incredible spots to enjoy breathtaking views from the water’s edge.

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney will feature giant electric flowers and an illuminated forest of spiralling trees, leading to a world full of magic. You’ll first wander through the Nautilus Forest, offering spiral-like creatures that could be either be trees, corals or some form of animal life. Adding to the world-famous Vivid Light Walk, you’ll be able to not only enjoy the great gardens and plants of the Royal Botanic Garden, but the spectacular light art installations, large-scale illuminations and 3D-mapped building projections lighting up Sydney’s waterfront.

Luna Park

Luna Park is the place to be during the festival, with the year marking the first time the iconic Ferris wheel will be adorned with extra lights to be a part of the annual event. Indulge in some old-fashioned romance by riding on the wheel, and you’ll discover a lesser-known vantage point. Enjoy the amazing views from above.

Circular Quay

Circular Quay offers prime views of Sydney Harbour and of course, who could forget the Sydney Opera House! Be sure to catch the dazzling Lighting of the Sails each night throughout the festival and be amazed by the glorious flowing illuminations. Not only will you be mesmerised by the changing colours of the iconic structure, but you will be captivated by the wide range of music events in the Vivid Live program.

Walsh Bay

To see ships of all sizes twinkling in bright colours, head down to Walsh Bay.  Not only is it a great harbourside vantage spot,it is well-placed in between a couple of exciting Vivid 2018 precincts. To get there, enjoy a scenic walk through The Rocks and explore the precinct installations, or walk along the Barangaroo foreshore for even more grand harbour views.


Only minutes from King Street Wharf and Wynyard station via Wynyard Walk, explore the views from Barangaroo’s waterfront as the sun sets. The modern precinct will display a giant luminescent and breathtaking puppet, operating by a team of performers. Don’t miss out on the action as the puppet will venture along the waterfront in a highly theatrical display of sound and light.


How will you see Vivid this year? Click here to explore festival deals, download the app on iOS and Android now and get involved in the many talks, performances, light installations and exhibitions at Vivid Sydney 2018.



Related Blogs
It’s almost time for the skies above Circular Quay to be painted with 700+ drones for Love is in the Air, this year’s heart stopping drone show. Universal symbols of love will light up the night on the 8, 9 and 15 June at 9.10pm – it’s one of the festival’s most popular events so read on below to make the most of this stunning show directed by our Vivid Sydney Festival Director, Gill Minervini.
View more
As Vivid Sydney 2024 lights up Sydney again for 23 nights of brilliance, the city welcomes some incredible installations to the harbour foreshore. This year, prepare to be wowed by light projections and installations that are truly larger than life, both in terms of size but also imagination and ambition. Evoking a sense of wonder and awe, these works are amongst some of the biggest we’ve ever showcased at Vivid Sydney. Read on below for our top picks of the large-scale light works that you can’t miss.
View more
Located within Darling Harbour, Tumbalong Park is one of the Sydney CBD's most iconic public spaces. During Vivid Sydney, the area transforms into a dazzling playground of Light and Music for the 23 nights of the festival. Whether you visit for the lights, music, or near-by mouth-watering eats, there's something magical for everyone — families, friends or first dates — at every turn. Join us and be part of Sydney’s most vibrant cultural showcase with our top-Tumbalong highlights below.
View more