From $75.00 per adult

Normally $92.00. Save $17.00.

*Specials available on selected dates only and subject to limited availability. T&C's apply.


18 May - 03 November 2024

  • Approx. 2.5 hour cruise
  • Expert commentary
  • Family friendly, comfortable indoor and outdoor seating
  • Whale sighting guaranteed or cruise again for free*

Whale Watching 18 May - 5 November 2024

2024 Season is underway!

Sydney is the envy of Australia with a whale watching season that lasts over five months of the year. Over 20,000 Humpback whales make the 3,500km journey from sub-Antarctic waters to the Great Barrier Reef every year. Whale numbers peak off Sydney in June-July for the Northern migration to give birth, and September-October for the return southern migration. In August, whale behaviour is often more spectacular with younger males showing off with amazing breaches.

  • Start your cruise from Circular Quay
  • Experience the wonder of the Humpback Whale migration
  • Expert commentator providing fun and educational insights into whale behaviour
  • See dolphins, seals and birds as you cruise past the Opera House and Harbour Bridge
  • Option to visit Australia's most famous zoo - Taronga Zoo after your cruise
  • Option to make the most of your time in Sydney with a 2-day Whale Explorer pass
  • Family friendly indoor and outdoor leisure decks
  • Whale Sighting guaranteed or cruise again for free

9:30am and 1:30pm Whale Watching

  • Approx 2.5 hour cruise from Circular Quay

From $75 per adult

Whale Watching & Taronga Zoo

  • 9:30am Whale Watching Cruise from Circular Quay
  • Disembark Taronga Zoo 11:55am
  • Direct entry to Taronga Zoo via the lower entrance
  • Return Rocket ferry back to Circular Quay
$125 per adult

Whale Explorer

$115 per adult

Every cruise comes with a whale guarantee

Captain Cook Cruises Whale Watching tours operate on family-friendly catamarans, with indoor and outdoor seating over multi-levels. Passenger numbers are strictly limited to ensure everyone has great views of all the action while the onboard Marine Naturalist provides expert commentary and insights into the whale behaviour. We have over 95% whale sighting success rate, but in the unlikely event we don’t spot whales, your whale guarantee ensures you can cruise again for free.

Whale Sightings

Prices 18 May - 3 November 2024

Whale WatchingWhale Watching ExplorerWhale Watching & Taronga Zoo
Adult Retail
Child 4-15
Adult Online Special from$75-85$92n/a

Prices are valid to 03Nov24. All prices are per person. Specials subject to change.

Whale Watching Cruise Circular Quay Wharf 6
Departs 9:30am
Returns 12:00pm
Fri, Sat & Sun: 18 May-03 Nov 2024
Wed & Thu
27 May-4 Aug, 23 Sep–13 Oct 2024
Departs 1:30pm
Returns 4:00pm
Fri, Sat & Sun: 18 May-03 Nov 2024
Wed & Thu:
27 May-4 Aug, 23 Sep–13 Oct 2024
Extra DeparturesCheck Availability for Extra Departures

Whale Watching & Taronga Zoo:

  • 9:30am Whale Watching Cruise from Circular Quay disembarking at Taronga Zoo approx. 11:55am
  • Enter and exit the Zoo from the Lower Entrance or catch the bus to or from the top ( own expense)
  • Make your own way back to Circular Quay or Darling Harbour at your leisure via our rocket ferry service
  • A ferry timetable will be issued at check-in.

Whale Watching Explorer:

  • 9:30am Whale Watching Cruise from Circular Quay disembarking at Circular Quay approx. 12:00pm
  • Jump on the Hop-on Hop-off Harbour Explorer from the same wharf.
  • The 2-Day pass is valid from the same day of the Whale Watching cruise and the following day.
  • A timetable will be issued at check-in, however if you wish to plan in advance, you can view the timetable here.

  • This cruise is subject to weather, please refer to the predicted weather and comfort levels information for a 7-day forecast
  • Call our reconfirmation hotline +61 2 8062 3623 from 7:15am on the day of your cruise
  • Check out our recent Whale Watching sightings this season
  • View our Whale Watching FAQ below or here
  • Whale Watching Frequently Asked Questions

    What types of whales will I see?
    Humpbacks are the most commonly seen whales along the east coast. Occasionally we may also see Southern Right Whales, Minke Whales and Blue Whales. Plus, be on the look out for dolphins, seals, penguins and sea birds!

    How close can we get to the whales?
    There are strict guidelines on how close vessels of all kinds, from kayaks to cruise boats, can approach whales. It also depends if there are calves in the pod and the number of vessels in the area. As a guideline, the approach distance can range from 100m to 300m. This however does not stop whales from taking matters into their own hands for a closer look of us! At all times, Captain Cook Cruises operates with the safety and enjoyment of both our passengers and the whales.

    What to bring
    Layers! It will often feel colder at sea, so please ensure you dress according to the weather. And, don't forget to bring your camera as there will be plenty of photo ops on your cruise!

    Will I get seasick?
    This is an open water cruise and you will experience sea motion. We recommend you eat lightly before the cruise. Travel sickness tablets are generally most effective if taken prior to the cruise. View 7-day Wind & Wave Weather Forecast.

    Do you guarantee sightings?
    We have a whale sighting success rate of over 95%. In the unlikely event a whale is not sighted during the cruise, passengers are welcome to cruise again for free, in the same season.

    Reconfirmation & Cancellation
    Cruises are subject to cancellation due to weather & other operational requirements. Please call (02) 8062 3623 from 7:15am on the day of your cruise for the latest information. If your cruise is cancelled by us passengers may (1) rebook another Captain Cook Whale Watching Cruise in the same season or (2) seek a refund from the original place of purchase or (3) a credit can be made with Captain Cook Cruises towards another cruise within 12 months of original date of travel. If purchased through and agent, please refer to the agent's terms and conditions.

    Is commentary included?
    All Whale Watching Cruises include expert commentary from marine specialists with a passion for whales. We carry some of the most experienced commentators on Sydney Harbour.

    Can I bring food and drinks onboard?
    Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food and drinks onboard. We sell light snacks, soft drinks and water onboard.

    Is the cruise wheelchair accessible?
    Yes, our sea-going Whale Watching vessels are wheelchair accessible. View our Accessibility page for further details.

    Are there bathrooms onboard?
    Yes, all vessels are fitted with wheelchair accessible bathrooms.

    Are seats assigned?
    Seating is not assigned for sightseeing cruises. All vessels feature spacious outdoor and indoor seating. The starboard side is usually closest to the shore and the port side closest to the harbour action.

    Are there facilities for children?
    All children must be escorted by adults. Children are welcome to cruise, however please keep in mind that you are on a vessel for up to 3 hours and sometimes children do get restless. Infants under 4 years are free of charge but not recommended on open water cruises.

    Visit our FAQ page for info on all scheduled cruises.

    Save on City Parking

    Wilson Parking

    Captain Cook Cruises' guests receive special rates at selected parking stations when you pre-book your car park online with Wilson Parking.

    Remember to check with local authorities for special event road closures.

    Still looking? You might find it here

    Map & Directions

    Wharf Check-in Offices

      Other products you might like

      Related blog posts

      View all
      Kids Cartwheeling

      Making the Most of the School Holidays

      The Spring School Holidays are almost upon us and if you haven’t already planned the kids holiday activities, Sydney has plenty to offer. From a Sydney Harbour ferry to Taronga Zoo, riding the rollercoaster at Luna Park to Whale Watching, museums and beaches, the digital devices will be quickly forgotten!

      Two whales swimming underwater non-ccc dnsw

      The best places to go whale watching in Sydney

      May marks the start of the whale watching season, and Sydney is one of the best places on the planet to spot these gentle giants as they make their way from Antarctica to our picturesque shores every year.


      Send an enquiry

      If your enquiry is regarding availability and/or pricing, click the 'Book now' button and live availability and pricing will be displayed.

      Please note, if your preferred date is disabled on the calendar, it is unavailable.

      Please be as specific as you can. The more information you add, the easier it is for us to help you.

      This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

      We use cookies on this website so we can provide you with a better browsing experience and show you more relevant content and promotions. By continuing, you consent to our use of cookies. For more details, please check our Privacy Policy.