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“NYE - A once in a lifetime experience!”

James Craig Tall Ship
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USD 95.58*
and up
Sydney’s Tall Ship Sailing Adventure on James Craig
Ranked #66 of 520 things to do in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Barque James Craig is rightly famous around the world. She is Sydney’s only 19th Century square rigger (or Tall Ship) and her incredible restoration to full sailing condition was recognised in 2003 by the World Ship Trust’s award of their prestigious Maritime Medal. Her restoration cost almost $A30 million and took nearly 40 years to complete after she was rescued from Recherche Bay in far southern Tasmania. This beautiful ship regularly goes to sea with up to 80 passengers and is open for public inspection at her berth at Wharf 7, 58 Pirrama Road, Pyrmont. She is also available for charter and for functions. Tall Ship James Craig is looked after by Sydney Heritage Fleet, a community-based non-profit organisation, with the following mission: To build and maintain an internationally recognised centre of excellence in maritime heritage for the benefit of all Australians by presenting through research, acquisition, conservation, restoration, education and operation, our continuing maritime history. The Fleet is funded through donations, membership subscriptions and income from vessel charters and tours. The Fleet’s 1200 strong membership and 450 dedicated volunteer workers restore, operate and maintain the fleet of vintage vessels. In the process they preserve traditional technical methods and skills.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 16 February 2013

We had planned our Australian and NZ trip six months in advance and the item on our to do list we spent months considering was which vessel to book for NYE, I reviewed every ship, emailed most companies to check is they were in the light parade and after extensive research I had two ships shortlisted.

Eventually we decided on “The James Craig” for a number of reasons, the heritage of the ship, position in the harbour for the fireworks and having seen the video on the web site of previous NYE event we could see that the ship was not crowded, the age range was varied and the music was middle of the road. I booked and paid using the web site, the site uses PayPal for credit card transactions, seconds later we had our eTicket.

Boarding the vessel at 7pm was strict and security checking your ticket was doubled up, i.e. your ticket was checked dockside and before you climbed on the ship.

Once all passengers had boarded the captain gave a short speech welcoming people from all over the globe, when we got under way and sailed from Pyrmont we explored the ship, even fully loaded there is ample room to roam, we never felt crammed.

Waiters serving drinks and canapés wander the ship frequently with a variety of beverages and bites, we were both surprised how frequent the service was. If you needed more drinks the ship has a bar area aswell. It is also worth noting for the smokers among you that you can smoke at the front of the ship. All the catering and ships staff are extremely friendly and we really enjoyed here them tell of the many amazing adventures of The James Craig.

Dinner was served below deck and consisted of numerous meat, vegetable, potatoes, salad, breads and desert options , it was very tasty.

We docked for the fire works directly in front of the harbour bridge, FRONT ROW VIEWING, after the countdown the most magnificent fireworks display I have seen WOW (see my video of the fireworks on Trip Advisor).

We met some really interesting people on-board and enjoyed talking to people from all over the world especially the couple from Hungary who we had been emailing via TA in the lead up to NYE.

Once the celebrations concluded we sailed back to Pyrmont approx. 20 minutes. Without doubt this was a magical evening on a beautiful ship with friendly likeminded travellers an experience I will keep with me for the rest of my life.

7  Thank GeoM0zez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"volunteer crew"
in 9 reviews
"midnight fireworks"
in 5 reviews
"new year's eve"
in 7 reviews
"light parade"
in 3 reviews
"sydney harbour"
in 25 reviews
"boxing day"
in 5 reviews
"half day cruise"
in 2 reviews
"great view of the fireworks"
in 2 reviews
"sea sick tablets"
in 2 reviews
"morning and afternoon tea"
in 2 reviews
"front row seats"
in 2 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 5 reviews
"friendly crew"
in 2 reviews
"birthday present"
in 2 reviews
"opera house"
in 11 reviews
"bucket list"
in 4 reviews
"maritime museum"
in 3 reviews
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123 - 127 of 140 reviews

Reviewed 25 January 2013

This trip was over a year in the planning and one of the things I contemplated the most was what company do I book with for a New Years Eve cruise. There unfortunately are not many reviews out there for any of the companies but after reading one really good review of the James Craig and watching the video of the band on their website I decided to look further into it. I e-mailed them in May telling them I was interested but theres no way I could afford to pay the entire amount for two people upfront. Over e-mail I communicated with the most wonderful staff who went out of there way to develop an automatic payment plan for me over a few months that allowed me to have one of the greatest experiences of my life. Yes, it's expensive but once you look at the work that this foundation has done to preserve this magnificent sailing ship you will know that it is money well spent.

We stayed locally at the Swissotel and were thankfully able to walk both ways to Wharf 7. Upon boarding we were served a wonderful peach bellini and that was just the start of the never ending pours of sparkling wine. It was so much that I had to stop them from keeping my glass full so I could be competent to witness New Years! There were also beautiful tray passed canapes that appealed to any taste.

Being two girls who came along way to get here we were so thankful for the amazing conversations that we had with people locally and from around the world that night. We even met a group who has been coming every year for the past five years! I miss them already!

We sailed all around the harbor and under the bridge and had a prime spot for both the 9pm fireworks display and the 12am display.

The meal was served below decks and was wonderful as well as the tray passed ice cream cones which I couldn't get enough of.

If you are thinking about doing this trip, do it. It was an amazing life experience and I now dream about the day that I can one day come back and do it again. Thank you James Craig for the night of my life!

7  Thank lamedic91
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2013

Spent this past New Year on the James Craig,we had an amazing night :food pre dinner snacks great,buffet we were a little late to go so all the seafood had gone the food left was ok not exceptional,little ice creams for desert amazing.Sandwiches croissants for supper looked good we were so full we didn't try .Staff wonderful informative and friendly very proud of there ship.Alcohol served all night but water available also soft drink on request coffee and teas also plentiful.
Parade of lights must do experience.
Fireworks best seat in the house for both 9 and midnight .Do this trip at least once in your life you won't regret it.Amazing way to see the NY in Sydney thank you to all the staff on the James Craiig

1  Thank AustraliaHeather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2012

The ship does tours, but also does overnight stays for groups. We stayed overnight on the ship with a group of cub-scouts.

Upon arrival, the staff on the ship put the cubs to work, hoisting the luggage on board and showing them the life on a ship. During the rest of the evening, we toured the ship, and had dinner on board. After that, we were shown how to put up the hammocks, and made our beds.

Sleeping in a hammock is fine, if you are very, very tired. But it is an experience, for sure.

5  Thank MarcelinOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 April 2012

On Sunday 5th June 2011, a beautiful cloudless Sydney Winter’s day, I was a passenger aboard the James Craig, which is a fully restored 1874, 3-masted Barque. A “Morning Tea” awaited us below as we arrived at the top of the gangway. The ship departed Wharf 7 Pyrmont at 10.00 AM and took an hour to reach the Sydney Harbour Heads. A Tour Guide was aboard to give us the incredible history of the ship and its restoration, much of which could be described as miraculous. (Built in Sunderland, England, by 1900 she had “Rounded the Horn” 23 times, and then purchased by a New Zealand shipping company.) Highlights of that first hour included passing under the “Bridge”, watching the crew climb the rigging to unfurl the sails, and seeing people on other boats gawking at the beauty of our ship as we passed. When we reached the “Heads” the crew really showed us what they did, and we passengers were asked to help out hauling the lines. Sails were set, yards were braced, and when ready we turned to catch the wind. The wind on the day was light to moderate, I think from an Easterly direction and we headed north at first. It was then that the engines were cut and we were told that we were now powered by sail alone. What an amazing feeling, to hear nothing but the creaking of the rigging and the water passing along the side of the ship. As is normal during the winter months, pods of whales were travelling north for their annual migration. One or two were spotted, although some way off the ship. After an hour of sailing the Captain gave to order to turn the ship to head south. More crew activity with passenger’s help, with a bit of rolling on the turn there was much fun and laughter. During the wonderful sail south, many of the sails were set and filled, giving us a fair speed for such a large vessel and we were served with a healthy and ample packed Lunch served in bags. When the order was given to again turn the ship to head back to the Heads, we were somewhere off Bondi Beach. More whales were spotted, this time closer, and many photos were taken. By the time the Heads were reached we had spent some 4 hours at sea, and when in the Harbour, Afternoon Tea of tea/coffee, cakes, cheese platter and fruit, was served on the “Main Hatch” covers. The crew were once more busy aloft, now furling the sails and tying them to the yards, as we returned through an admiring fleet of yachts and pleasure boats. We moored at Wharf 7 at 4.00 PM and disembarked after one of the most adventurous and exhilarating 6 hours available for all people over 12 years of age, without any danger. A truly unique experience, with a very friendly crew and good food, and a bar serving alcoholic and soft drinks, I can only give this the highest recommendation.

6  Thank Brian F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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