Frequently Asked Questions
Important Notice: In line with the Federal Government's national response to COVID-19, Captain Cook Cruises have suspended operations until further notice. Read the latest here.
1. Where does my cruise depart from?
Cruise departure points and times are shown on the Timetable section of the specific cruise you have booked on the website. As departure details are subject to change, we recommend checking the website 24 hours prior to travel. For reference, our main departure wharves are:
- Circular Quay Wharf 6
- Darling Harbour, King Street Wharf 1 (approx 8-minute walk north of SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium and only a short walk from Wynyard via the new Wynyard Walk)
- Darling Harbour, Pier 26 (next to the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium)
2. Check-in & Boarding
Boarding passes must be collected at least 20 minutes prior to departure from the company's ticket offices at Circular Quay Wharf No.6 (8.30am to 7pm daily), Darling Harbour, Pier 26 (8.30am to 5pm daily), or Darling Harbour King Street Wharf No.1 (9am to 5pm Mon-Fri) or as otherwise stated. Please refer to question 1 above for information pertaining to the cruise location of your booked cruise, as not all cruises depart from the same wharf.
Boarding commences approximately 15 minutes prior to sailing. Some cruises only require presentation of the Captain Cook Cruises 'Reservation Record' document at boarding. These cruises are listed on the Reservation Record.
3. Do I need to advise where I will be boarding?
We recommend you advise our reservations staff where you will be boarding from, especially for groups of 10 or more. If you are booking a group, please ask all of your guests to board from the one location.
4. Are seats assigned?
All dining cruises have reserved seating. Sightseeing cruises do not have assigned seats, guests are welcome to move freely around the vessel.
5. Does everyone get a window seat?
Expansive windows throughout our vessels offer superb viewing no matter where you are seated on the vessel. Only a finite number of window tables are available. Should you like to guarantee a window table, a surcharge applies to all guests at your table/s. Pre-booking is essential.
6. Is wheelchair access available?
Please click here to view our Accessibility Policy.
7. What is the dress code?
We recommend smart casual, or smart & stylish for our Gold & Platinum Dinner Cruises.
8. When do I need to pay for my booking?
Full payment is required at the time of booking. Special payment options are available for groups with a minimum of 15 passengers. Please refer to the group terms & conditions applicable for your booking.
9. Date changes and cancellation fees
Please refer to our General Terms & Conditions for details, including conditions for special offers, discounted fares and special events.
10. What if I have a group?
Group discounts can be applied to full adult and child fares on selected dining cruises. Please refer to Group Special Terms & Conditions on applicable cruise pages. Discounts are not valid on sightseeing cruises, or on dining cruises with special offers or special events unless otherwise advised.
11. What if it is raining or the weather is bad?
We operate in sheltered waters, 365 days a year, regardless of the weather. All Dining seating is situated inside the vessel in comfortable, all-weather surrounding with expansive windows. All sightseeing and ferry vessels boast spacious inside decks. Whale Watching cruises operate subject to weather conditions due to open-water sailing conditions - please refer to Comfort Levels and Reconfirmation information on the Whale Watching cruise pages.
12. What can I buy onboard or can we bring our own drinks?
All dining and sightseeing cruise vessels, except for our Rocket ferries, are licensed premises with bar facilities, we strictly do not permit BYO alcohol. Selected dining packages include a selection of drinks during your cruise. Otherwise, drinks purchased by your table/s are charged to a single bar accounts which must be settled prior to disembarking. Payment can be made with either cash or credit card. We regret we cannot provide separate bills for individuals within a group. Responsible Service of Alcohol Policy.
13. Can some guests pay for the bar package and some not?
No. Bar packages are discounted and are only available to your entire booking. Bar packages are also not available for purchase onboard, they must be purchased prior to collecting boarding passes.
14. What if I have a dietary requirement or specific allergy?
All menus, excluding Gold & Platinum Dinner, private charters and Asian specialty cruises, have at least one vegetarian and gluten free menu option for seated & served menus. Our buffets also offer gluten free and vegetarian choices. Gold & Platinum Dinners and Asian specialty cruises include a set menu. Gold & Platinum guests, if they prefer, can select the vegetarian entree, main course and dessert options from our Captains Dinner Menu, however further alterations are not available. Private charter cruise menus are selected and confirmed prior to cruising. All meals are prepared onboard our vessels and our kitchen team have limited time to serve the menus. We cannot guarantee that certain products or ingredients (halal, nuts, dairy gluten, etc) will be in our food, and we accept no liability in this regard.
15. We are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion.
Many of our passengers choose to celebrate special occasions aboard our vessels and your waiter can arrange a sparkler to accompany your special guest's dessert (a la carte dining only - not available with buffet menus). Alternatively, you might like to bring your own small cake on the day, no cakage fee applicable. Please either let reservations know when booking over the phone or make a note of this in the comments field when booking online. Please note due to safety restrictions on vessels, candles are not permitted.
16. Are there bathrooms on board?
All dining, sightseeing and rocket vessels (excluding Tubby class) are fitted with toilets.
17. Are there facilities for children?
All children under 18 years must be escorted by an adult that is 18 or over. Children are welcome to cruise, however, please keep in mind that you are on a vessel for several hours and sometimes children do get restless. Infants under 4 years travel free of charge if you bring along a meal from home, otherwise the full menu selection is available at reduced prices for children (refer child age applicable to your cruise). A children's menu is available on the Top Deck Lunch, Sunset Dinner and Captains Dinner, offering a small selection of items. We do not offer a special children's menu on Buffet Cruises. There are a limited number of booster seats available for children 3 years and over. We recommend prams/strollers for infants. We do not carry highchairs due to safety stability concerns on a vessel.
18. Is smoking permitted on board?
Smoking is only permitted on the open top deck of Dining, Sightseeing & Charter vessels. Smoking is not permitted on Whale Watching, Hop on Hop off or ferry services.
19. Do you accept companion cards?
Yes, any carer holding a companion card travels free of charge on sightseeing and ferry cruises. We provide discounted travel for carers travelling on dining cruises where a meal is included in the package. On Special Event Cruises, both the disabled person and the companion receives a 15% discount off the full adult rack rate, or the child price (whichever is cheapest).
20. Can I travel with my assistance animal or pet?
Approved assistance animals and pets are allowed onboard Ferry Services only. For details and conditions see our Travelling with Animals & Pets Policy.
21. Is commentary included?
Selected Sightseeing & Dining Cruises offer commentary. Live commentary is included on all Harbour Story Cruises, Whale Watching Cruises, and selected Hop on Hop off and Loop Cruises. The Harbour Highlights Cruise and Sydney Harbour Buffet Lunch Cruise feature a recorded GPS commentary.
22. How do I get to my cruise?
Getting to your Captain Cook Cruise on Sydney Harbour couldn't be easier! All our departure locations are conveniently located near most city hotels and major bus, rail, ferry, taxi and parking stations. Please refer below as a guide:
- Circular Quay - Any bus terminating at Circular Quay
- Darling Harbour - Any bus to York Street
- For timetables and information, please visit Transport NSW
- Circular Quay - Ferries stopping at Circular Quay
- Darling Harbour - Ferries stopping at King Street Wharf Barangaroo or Pier 26
- For timetables and information, please visit our ferry page
- Circular Quay - Gerorge Street Taxi Rank in The Rocks
- Darling Harbour - 161 Sussex Street Taxi Rank for Pier 26, and Lime Street Taxi Rank for King Street Wharf
- Car Parking
- Captain Cook Cruises customers receive special rates at selected Wilson Parking Stations when you pre-book your car park online. Please click here for more details.
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