Anyone who visits Sydney will quickly become aware of the Sydney Ferry System, or whatever they call it, since it’s such a popular way to get around the city. Due to the strange lay out of Sydney, it seems to have been developed on both sides of the harbor. I guess it makes sense if you want to maximize views, but it’s really a pain if you’re trying to get around the city.
Of course there is the Sydney Harbor Bridge to get around, but you need a car for that. So if you’re a tourist, without a car, or don’t like traffic, the Sydney Ferries are a great option.
When I was planning my visit, friends suggested I skip the harbor cruise and just ride one of the ferries. While still cheaper then the harbor cruise, the ferries are not cheap. I believe I paid $15 round trip to Manly Beach. That trip included some breathtaking views of the harbor and the Opera House.
As for doing a ferry trip instead of a harbor cruise? I guess this is the same as saying skip going to see the Statue of Liberty and take the Staten Island Ferry for free. Ok, maybe not exactly the same. But it’s the same logic. The harbor cruises are expensive and if you’re already taking a ferry trip and are focused on just seeing the harbor or taking a few pictures. Then yes, save your money and just take the ferry. However, if you enjoy the relaxing views and hearing lots of information about a city, then a harbor cruise, although expensive, may be a better value. Either way, hop on a boat and see the city from the water.
Before you go, check the schedules and get there early if you want a good seat. Seats with views can be taken quickly.