Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to Sydney Harbour Days’ FAQ page!

We understand that hiring a boat can be an exciting yet daunting experience, and that’s why we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions. This list will provide you with all the information you need to embark on a smooth and enjoyable boating adventure in Sydney. From safety guidelines to booking procedures, our team of experts has got you covered. So, sit back, relax, and let us answer any questions you may have about boat hire in Sydney.

Booking The Experience

Why book with Sydney Harbour Days?

Easy, Breezy, Boat Hire. We believe planning your event should be fun and above all easy. Don’t spend your precious time browsing the web trying to find the perfect boat for your event. We will do that for you.

Hire your boat with us and pay the same price as booking direct, get our expert advice for free and enjoy a range of quality boats through our partnerships with boat providers!

What kind of boats do you offer?

We offer a whole range of boats, from sailing yachts, motor boats, catamarans, luxury yacht, super yachts and event boats.

– Learn more about catamaran hire here
– Learn more about luxury yacht hire here
– Learn more about event boat hire here

What hire times do you have available?

Most boats and yachts are available for an afternoon or evening hire. Afternoon hires typically start at either 12pm or 1pm and evening hires at 5pm or 6pm. Let us know your preference, and we will advise you of the times available. If you’re planning an overnight trip, ask us about your options!

What is the minimum duration of a boat charter?

There is a minimum of 3 or 4 hours on most of the boats to ensure you get the most of the day on the Harbour. We will specify minimum cruise time when providing a quote for your experience.

How much does it cost to hire a boat?

Our website displays the base rates for each experience, and simply send an enquiry to our team to receive quote for party or event.

Our pricing includes the captain and fuel, so you don’t have to worry about any surprise costs. We pride ourselves on providing transparent pricing and will always itemise any additional fees in your quote.

How far in advance do I book a boat?

To avoid missing out on your preferred time and date during peak season, we highly recommend booking at least 3 months in advance. However, if you find yourself needing a last-minute booking, don’t worry! We’ll do our utmost to accommodate your request and secure a spot for your event hire.

How do I book a boat?

All we need is for you to let us know the type of event you’re organising, the approximate number of people in your group and the date you have in mind.

Our expert team will send you available boats that suit your event type. As soon as you confirm the option you’d like to go for, we will take care of everything.

You can get in touch via phone or submit an enquiry through our website.

What deposit is required?

A 50% deposit of the total cost of the charter hire (unless otherwise specified) is required to secure your booking. The remaining payment is then due 30 days prior to the boat charter. This is also when we will require final guest numbers and food & beverage requirements.

How do I pay?

Payments can be made via Visa, MasterCard, debit card or EFT.

Can I bring children on the cruise?

You sure can! We just ask that you keep an eye on your little ones at all times. Also please note that children all included in the total passenger count – regardless of age and size.


The Big Day

Can we BYO drinks?

Most boats have large eskies onboard to keep your drinks nice and cold. We will let you know upon booking if your boat has the BYO option available and/or if a BYO fee applies so there will be no surprises.

Can we BYO food?

Most boats have onboard BBQs to cook your food and large eskies to store your food. You can nominate one of your guests to look after the cooking of the food, or the skipper / deckhand can assist. We will let you know upon booking if your boat has the BYO food option available so there will be no surprises.

Can we play music?

Our partners have awesome sound systems so you can play your own tunes. Most have AUX or Bluetooth available for you to connect your phone or other devices. If you’re after a bigger sound system, chat to our friendly team and we will make sure we match you with the perfect boat for your music needs.

What’s the crew like?

We only work with friendly professionals to ensure you have a quality experience. 

Can we wear heels?

Soft soled shoes ar advised (no stiletto heels). We advise sensible footwear as boats can get rocky and slippery. Some boats have a no-shoe policy. We will advise you of the boat’s shoe policy upon enquiring.

How much time do we have to board the boat?

Most wharfs allocate a 15 min window for pick-up and drop-off so you will have plenty of time to get onboard and get settled before you set sail. We advise you to be ready at your pick up wharf 15 minutes before the start of your cruise. 

Can we board early to set up?

We understand that sometimes you may want to add a personal touch to your event by decorating the boat before boarding. We may be able to arrange for early boarding (subject to availability and surcharge) to accommodate your request. Simply inform us of your request when making your booking and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Do we need to bring cutlery, cups and plates?

If you’ve chosen a BYO cruise, most of our boats provide all required utensils. However if you require some special items, please advise us. 

Are we allowed to swim?

Depending on the vessel, this is possible. If you are on a vessel that has easy water access, your captain will take you to the perfect secluded swimming spots. Please let our team know if swimming is something you’re interested in doing on your day out on the water.

What if it rains?

A little bit of rain won’t stop the party! 🙂  However, if boating conditions are deemed unsafe, as determined by the boat operator, we will cancel your cruise. Sydney Harbour Days will offer a 12-month voucher, equal to the value of your booking. This can be used to reschedule your charter, subject to availability.

Safety First

Will I get seasick?

The boats stay in enclosed Sydney Harbour waters so it’s not likely for you to get seasick. If you are prone to seasickness, we advise you to bring some ginger tablets or over the counter seasickness tablets.

Are the crew members trained to provide assistance during emergencies?

All captains are equipped to handle any emergencies that may arise during your trip. Our boat partners strictly adhere to the safety regulations outlined by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and their teams are trained in conducting first aid procedures.

Will there be a first aid kit on board?

For your safety, all boats and yachts are equipped with a first aid kit on board in case of emergencies.

Cancellation Policy

I have to cancel the charter, do I get a refund?

All our boat partners have their own individual cancellation policy, which apply to your booking as soon as you’ve secured your booking with a deposit. Occasionally deposits are non refundable, we will advise you upon booking so there will be no surprises.

However generally speaking:

– cancellations more than 30 days of the date of the booking will incur a cancellation fee equal to 50% of the total cost of the booking.

– cancellations 30 or fewer days prior to the date of the booking will incur a cancellation fee equal to 100% of the total cost of the booking.

– no refunds can be provided for NYE private hire and NYE ticketed cruises cancellations.

Find all terms and conditions here.

What happens if the captain has to cancel your cruise?

If the captain has to cancel a booking for a non-safety related matter, Sydney Harbour Days will seek to find a replacement boat of similar style and capacity to complete the charter. If Sydney Harbour Days is unable to find a replacement charter, guests are entitled to a full refund.

If the captain has to cancel a booking due to weather related unsafe boating conditions, Sydney Harbour Days will offer a 12-month voucher, equal to the value of your booking. This can be used to reschedule your charter, subject to availability.

Optional Extras

Can we bring our own DJ or can you help us organise one?

Some of our boats have power sources allowing DJs to come on board. We will inform upon booking you if having a DJ onboard is possible on your cruise. We can also help you arrange a DJ. Options and pricing available upon request.

Can guests be picked up from multiple stops?

If you require an extra pick up or drop off, on top of the two that are included in your booking, a fee might apply. Pricing varies from $50-$100 per stop, depending on the boat and location.

Are water toys available?

Most boats include (or have available for add-ons) water toys such as a floating lily pads, stand up paddle boards and/or kayaks. Ask us about your options. 

Get we get some cheeky entertainment for a hen’s cruise?

Booking a topless male waiter is a popular option for hens party cruises. Your topless male waiter can serve drinks to guests on arrival, pamper special guests, host party games, serve canapés, mix & serve cocktails and pose for a life drawing class. The minimum time you can hire a topless male waiter is 2 hours. Photos and pricing available upon request.

Booking a stripper is also a popular option. Show length 10-15 minutes. Photos and pricing available upon request.

How about some cheeky entertainment for a buck’s cruise?

Booking a topless waitress is a popular option for bucks party cruises. Your topless waitress can serve drinks to guests on arrival, pamper special guests, host party games, serve canapés and serve drinks. The minimum time you can hire a topless waitress is 2 hours. Photos and pricing available upon request.

Booking a stripper is also a popular option. Show length 10-15 minutes. Photos and pricing available upon request.

Do you offer any good onboard team building activities?

Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting is a popular option for corporate entertainment. The host provides all equipment including laser converted shotguns, scoreboard, discs, and launcher. You will have a whale of a time firing the shotguns (with completely harmless infrared beams) trying to be the best on the boat. The duration of a laser shoot session is usually 1-1.5 hours. Pricing available upon request.

For Captains & Operators

How do I get my charter boat listed with Sydney Harbour Days?

Sydney Harbour Days works closely with carefully selected charter partners only. We aim to ensure we offer the very best experience to our guests. If you would like to list your boat with us, please reach out to our friendly team.

Word on the street…

Tom W – Dec 2022

We had an absolute ball on NYE! Travis and Karin looked after our booking so perfectly and really guided us through all the options before finding the perfect solution for us. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again and have already been recommending them to friends who saw all of our pictures on social media ;). The perfect experience from start to finish!

Tiffany L – March 2023

100 % recommend Sydney Harbour Days! Karin and Travis were simply awesome. They helped make the whole experience of booking a boat for my friends Hen’s party simple and easy, their communication was great and any questions I had were answered quickly! Thank-you again!

Jodie S – May 2022

Karin & Travis were great to work with! So accommodating to every request and kept us informed every step of the way! They had so many options and nothing felt like an issue, definitely would look to book through them again!

Claire C – March 2023

I recently organised a boat for my birthday through Sydney Harbour Days and found the whole process with Travis and Karin incredibly smooth and enjoyable. They were very responsive and helpful, and really ensured we had the best day possible. I would highly recommend using Sydney Harbour Days and I know for certain I’ll be using them again!!

Kris W – Jan 2022

I just wanted to thank you and the boat operators for an amazing day out on the harbour. The entire team had a great day, we swam, we shot guns, we danced and we drank!! The food was fabulous and everyone was raving about how good it was. My team have been on a fair few harbour cruises in our time, but none were as fun as this.

Coleen R – July 2022

Definitely had the best time ever in the boat! We are lucky enough as well to have the most gorgeous sunset! Everything made possible by Karin and Travis. They helped me plan every details and they keep me updated all the time. You won’t regret these two because they will reply as quick as they can.