Down Under At Your Doorstep: On The Rocks, Where You Want To Be In Sydney

A good start to a cruise Down Under: Boarding Silver Shadow at Circular Quay in Sydney, Australia.

For the next couple of weeks I’ll be cruising on Silver Shadow. The 15-night voyage from Sydney, Australia, to Auckland, New Zealand, kicked off Friday with an overnight in Sydney.

The big surprise for me: Silver Shadow’s location. After a 20-minute transfer from the airport to the ship, I was pleased to see that the vessel was docked in the best possible position, at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay. There’s not a better place in Sydney to board a ship — and definitely no better place to overnight.

In Sydney, Silver Shadow was docked at the best possible location, adjacent to the popular area known as The Rocks.

The terminal is situated in the popular touristic and historic precinct known as The Rocks. Sydney’s oldest village, The Rocks got its name from the rocky shoreline where the first convict tents were erected in 1788 (remember, Australia was a penal colony of the British Empire).

I could not have imagined a better location than The Rocks to photograph the Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, but in fact, I found a better spot: from my veranda.

View from the veranda of my Silver Suite. A great spot for lunch — and, why not, a complimentary bottle of champagne to celebrate the moment.

I walked into Silver Suite 719, and there through the sheer curtains, I could see the Sydney Opera House. The view was stunning.

The iconic Sydney Opera House at dusk.

With an afternoon, evening and full day at my disposal, I set out to explore Sydney. Silversea offered several tours, including a Harbor Bridge climb, walking tours and even Outback experiences. Having the overnight allowed guests to enjoy the city on the first day, go out on the town at night and do a tour the next day.

The Rocks (as well as the cruise terminal) is situated within easy walking distance of Sydney’s shopping districts. (Geek alert: Sydney’s Apple Store was only a 10-minute walk from the terminal, on George Street. The Apple Store offers free and fast, wireless internet. I also tracked down and purchased a SIM card for my iPad 2 at the nearby Optus store: AUS$30 for 3GB of data for 30 days. In fact, I am able to use the iPad 2 on the Optus network today — even a few miles offshore from the mainland.)

The Rocks at night.

Sydney was certainly lively during my evening walk along the waterfront. People were enjoying the outdoor bars and restaurants, and it seemed to me that the tourism economy, and certainly the food and beverage economy, must be doing quite well Down Under.

Likewise, Cruising Down Under is experiencing phenomenal growth, and Australia/New Zealand voyages now rank high on many travelers’ wish lists. I am grateful to be here, but even two days is too little in this great city.

Silver Shadow docked at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, with the Harbor Bridge in the background.

Silver Shadow sailed away from the Overseas Passenger Terminal on Saturday at 5 p.m., after two full days in sensational Sydney.

So long Sydney!

I’ll be writing about my Silver Shadow cruise each day, so please stay tuned, and if you have questions about this cruise, please leave a comment or engage with me and several hundred others on Avid Cruiser’s Facebook page.

Join me, Ralph Grizzle, aka The Avid Cruiser, as I cruise Down Under (and across — to New Zealand on Silver Shadow. I will be doing back-to-back cruises through February 23, ending eventually in Perth, Australia.

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  • Hi Ralph,

    Sitting in the Auckland Airport and catching up on my Avid Cruising reading!  What a GREAT voyage this was.  Enjoy the next and hopefully, I will see you again on the beautiful ships of Silversea.

    Safe travels.
    Soozi @ Choozi Entertainment

    • I can only say that you are not only a talented but also wise woman to be reading Avid Cruiser! Soozi, as always, a pleasure to cruise with you and to enjoy the great shows you produce for Silversea Cruises. For those who missed our coverage of the shows, see these links:
      Now, A New Reason To Cruise Silversea: The Entertainment
      Last Night Was ‘Fabbalicious’ On Silver Cloud


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