Captain Cook Cruises & high tea, Sydney

One afternoon during Yuye and I’s Sydney trip, we decided to take a boat cruise with Captain Cook Cruises around Sydney harbour. The package we purchased was $55 per person including the cruise and high tea. Sometimes Captain Cook Cruises holds special offers and I managed to get my tickets for $55 with a guaranteed window seat (normally guaranteed window seats cost an extra $10 pp). Breakfast is also available for purchase but knowing me, I wouldn’t be able to get up that early and I had quite a liking for high teas at that time so it was an easy choice.

The boat was scheduled to depart at 2:30pm from No.6 Jetty Wharf at Circular Quay and runs every Wednesday and Saturday all year round and also Sundays from May to October. We had arrived a bit early that day so decided to walk around the harbour first. It was a lovely day, albeit with a slight overcast at times. As we went on a Wednesday, the harbour wasn’t as full of people and we were able to leisurely stroll around. The one thing I really like about Australian cities is the lively music played by talented artists on the streets and that day we were able to enjoy the presence of two very different musicians – one was indigenous and one was an Australian country musician.


Right next to the boarding wharf is the Museum of Contemporary Art. At the time (June 02, 2010), the 17th Biennale of Sydney – The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age exhibition was on show. This exhibition brought together artistic creations from around the world to celebrate the beauty of distance. We didn’t really have time to go inside but did get a chance to look at the wonderful stainless steel structure outside of the museum. It represented a network of neurons which had been supersized called Roxy Paine Neuron by Roxy Paine, courtesy of the James Cohan Gallery in New York and stood at 1097cm high by 4066.8cm diameter. Look at its complexity!


Roxy Paine Neuron sculpture outside Museum of Contemporary Art
The photo of Sydney Harbour Bridge from here is also quite stunning.


It was then time to board the boat and enjoy our lovely afternoon! I, like always, got too busy taking photos that I had to eat the food in a rush. :S Sorry about the blurred images, I was obviously a very bad photographer at the time, only knowing how to use manual with an ISO of 100! Yeah..…..

We were served with a complimentary glass of strawberry champagne upon boarding (it was sweet and refreshing) and then the waiter took our tea orders. I couldn’t remember what types of tea they were but was definitely very delicious. Yuye ordered a fruity one and I ordered a flowery one. Every table had a set of cream, butter and jam arranged in a cute way as well. Look! That’s me on the teapot! πŸ˜€

Complimentary Strawberry Champagne


The high tea included pots of beautiful tea, a range of sandwiches and canapes, scones with strawberry jam and cream, curry puffs and sausage rolls and of course desserts. All the food tasted good, although a little on the boring side and somewhat expected to appear on a high tea menu but there’s not much I can complain about. I didn’t really like the desserts though, the browny slices were way too sweet for my liking and I didn’t end up finishing it. The scones were not as soft as others I’ve had and sausage rolls were just….sausage rolls. Nothing special. The boat cruise was mainly for sightseeing anyway so I wasn’t too fussed with the food as long as Yuye was kept happy and I got to take my photos :P. I just had to arrange a little plate of food in front of me as well because without a plate there, it just didn’t seem like I was eating properly. Yes I know, I’m strangely picky about these things sometimes.

The official menu taken from the Captain Cruise website (sample menu but mostly applied to our meal):
Crystal Bay prawns on dill blini creme fraiche
Finger sandwich selections including: cucumber dill and four creme dill fingers, smoked salmon, chive cream cheese and caviar
Porcini mushroom, chilli jam and spec pork sausage rolls
caramelised onion, beetroot, goats cheese baby tartlets
Mini scones with strawberry jam & vanilla cream
Glazed mango and coconut custard tartlets
Chocolate dipped strawberries and assorted petite fours and truffles.

High Tea aboard Captain Cook Cruise – $55 pp
After I chowed down my food and leaving Yuye behind in the cabin, I wondered outside onto the deck (along with many other photographers) to capture the afternoon beauty of Sydney harbour and catching some lovely breezes as well. Below are some photos I took during the ride. The boat ride can be enjoyed without the meal which is cheaper if sightseeing and/or photography is what you’re after. Keeping in mind that there are some photos of Sydney Harbour that can only be taken from boats :).


The boat travels along Sydney Cove out past Port Denison, Elizabeth Bay, Double Bay and then loops back along the northern edge all the way past Luna Park and around Darling Harbour before returning to Sydney Cove (Circular Quay). The cruise starts at 2:30pm and returns at 3:45pm. Below is a map of all the Captain Cook Cruises near Sydney harbour and the red line is our cruise route. The boat made an extra stop at Darling Harbour where some passengers disembarked and some more boarded (this option is for express stop passengers). Map compliments to Captain Cook Cruises.

Overall a reasonably good meal to compliment the beautiful scenery. Well worth it for those of you in Sydney for a holiday and wish to see the harbour from a different perspective. I’d even recommend Sydney-siders to try the cruise on a nice day, it’s romantic and picturesque, making it a good option for a special outing. For all their packages and routes, download their brochures at the website below. I did read a number of bad reviews for the whale watching cruise though so not sure about that one.

For more reviews of Captain Cook Cruises, visit Tripadvisor.

So my readers, where would you want to cruise the most?

Captain Cook Cruises
Phone: (02) 9206 1122
No. 6 Jetty Wharf, Circular Quay, Sydney Australia
Captain Cook Sydney website

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4 comments… add one
  • Hannah January 12, 2011, 1:01 am

    I can't decide what's more beautiful… the sunny weather or those little desserts! What a wonderful day πŸ™‚

  • Akika (Ichigo Shortcake) January 12, 2011, 6:27 am

    @Hannah, both look quite beautiful I think, but considering the desserts just looked good and didn't taste that great, the weather wins by a little. πŸ˜›

  • Not Quite Nigella January 12, 2011, 8:33 am

    Ooh lovely pics of Sydnye! I have to say the menu actually doesn't sound too bad but a lot of afternoon tea is about the execution too and the scones are so important πŸ™‚

  • Akika (Ichigo Shortcake) January 12, 2011, 11:46 am

    @Not Quite Nigella, yes I totally agree, doesn't matter how good the menu sounds, execution is the most important. Although the food wasn't bad, it wasn't anything special, however the scenery and atmosphere made it all better! πŸ™‚


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