April 20, 2009

Sydney Tours: What Works for You? (by Veronika Lazabal)

Sydney’s laid back vibe, outdoor lifestyle and breathtaking natural beauty make it the perfect vacation destination. And Sydney Harbor remains number one on most visitors’ lists of must see Australian attractions. But what’s the best way to get the most out of your day at the Harbor? There are many options available for those looking to spend the day in or around the water. Sydney Harbor cruises, walking tours, and private Sydney tours are all there for the taking… It all comes down to what works for you.

Walking Tours

While most people prefer to see the harbor via a Sydney cruise, there are still those die hard land lovers that would rather take a stroll around the perimeter than actually get on the water. The majority of these walking tours are self guided, allowing for a person to enjoy the Sydney Harbor Bridge and other area attractions at your own pace.

Pros: Affordability- these tours, especially the self guided ones are usually the least expensive way to see the harbor. Many are purchased online and then downloaded onto your Mp3 player or mobile phone. Also, the fact that you take the tour at your own pace means that you can go as slowly- or as quickly- as you’d like.

Cons: An impersonal approach. Part of Sydney’s allure is the friendliness of its people. While you may love your iPod, you’re probably losing out on a great experience by keeping so completely to yourself. Also, there is no place to sit on the Harbor Bridge or pedestrian walkway, which means that you will only get to enjoy the spectacular views as you walk past them. Please keep in mind, there are several steps of steep stairs involved in a walking tour of Sydney Harbor- making it the less than ideal choice for some.

Sydney Harbor Cruises

Nothing beats the views of the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House that you get while enjoying a brisk cruise around the Harbor. Don’t forget your camera, as you’ll want to remember these views long after you’ve left the water.

Pros: The views on the water can’t be beat. Also, you get to enjoy some of that Australian hospitality. Many Sydney cruises also include a lunch or dinner buffet during your trip.

Cons: These Sydney Harbor cruises can get a bit crowded, especially during the Australian summer months. Advanced booking is highly recommended. Also, be sure and check out the menu beforehand, as special requests can not be made. (Remember: they have hundreds of guests to serve each day)

Chartered Sydney Cruises

Most people who have taken a private cruise tour of Sydney Harbor agree: it’s the best way to see one of the most beautiful places in Australia. A personalized three or four hour cruise may just be one of the best ways to enjoy your vacation.

Pros: Personalized service. A Sydney Harbor cruise that is designed with you in mind… what could be more ideal? Many of these cruises also include a gourmet lunch or dinner that you can enjoy with your friends and family. And individual Harbor cruises mean no crowds to deal with- you enjoy your time with the people that you choose.

Cons: These Sydney Harbor cruises can get a bit crowded, especially during the Australian summer months. Advanced booking is highly recommended. Also, be sure and check out the menu beforehand, as special requests can not be made. (Remember: they have hundreds of guests to serve each day)

Chartered Sydney Cruises

Most people who have taken a private cruise tour of Sydney Harbor agree: it’s the best way to see one of the most beautiful places in Australia. A personalized three or four hour cruise may just be one of the best ways to enjoy your vacation.

Pros: Personalized service. A Sydney Harbor cruise that is designed with you in mind… what could be more ideal? Many of these cruises also include a gourmet lunch or dinner that you can enjoy with your friends and family. And individual Harbor cruises mean no crowds to deal with- you enjoy your time with the people that you choose.

Cons: While a private Sydney day cruise can be the more expensive option, we found that it was well worth the money spent.

About Sea Sydney Cruises: Sea Sydney Cruises is a member of the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC). They offer a diverse selection of cruises for parties ranging from two to ten patrons. To learn more about Sea Sydney Cruises, visit their web site, http://www.seasydneycruises.com.au, or their blog, http://www.seasydneycruises.co.uk.

By SHAWN BUTTLING

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