Sydney Cruise

The South Shore and the city centre
The iconic Sydney Opera House
The Sydney Harbour Bridge

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The hub of a lively culture

After disembarking from your MSC Grand Voyages cruise ship in Sydney, you’ll realize that Port Jackson carves Sydney in two halves, linked by the Harbour Bridge and Harbour Tunnel.
The South Shore is the hub of activity, and it’s here that you’ll find the city centre and most of the things to see and do. Many of the classic images of Sydney are within sight of Circular Quay, making this busy waterfront area on Sydney Cove a logical – and pleasurable – point to start discovering the city, with the Sydney Opera House and the expanse of the Royal Botanic Gardens to the east of Sydney Cove and the historic area of The Rocks to the west.

By contrast, the gleaming, slightly tawdry Darling Harbour, at the centre’s western edge, is a shiny redeveloped tourist and entertainment area. On an MSC Grand Voyages cruise excursion you can discover the iconic Sydney Opera House, just a short stroll from Circular Quay, by the water’s edge on Bennelong Point. It’s best seen in profile, when its high white roofs, at the same time evocative of full sails and white shells, give the building an almost ethereal quality.

“Opera House” is actually a misnomer: it’s really a performing-arts centre, one of the busiest in the world, with five performance venues inside its shells, plus restaurants, cafés and bars, and a stash of upmarket souvenir shops on the lower concourse. Another unmissable MSC Cruise excursion is the charismatic Sydney Harbour Bridge. North-east of Circular Quay, it has straddled the channel dividing North and South Sydney since 1932; today, it makes the view from Circular Quay complete.

The largest arch bridge in the world when it was built, its construction costs weren’t paid off until 1988.

Must see places in Sydney

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    The land of contrasts
    The land of contrasts

    More than most other developed countries, a cruise to Australia releases your imagination. For most visitors its name is shorthand for an endless summer where the living is easy; a place where the adventures are as vast as the horizons and the jokes flow as freely as the beer; a country of can-do spirit and easy friendliness. No wonder Australians call theirs the Lucky Country.

    The energy of its contemporary culture is in contrast to a landscape that is ancient and often looks it: much of central and western Australia – the bulk of the country – is overwhelmingly arid and flat. In contrast, its cities, most founded as recently as the mid-nineteenth century, burst with a vibrant, youthful energy.

    A holiday to Australia isn’t complete without a look at its most iconic scenery, the Outback; the vast fabled desert that spreads west of the Great Dividing Range into the country’s epic interior. Here, vivid blue skies, cinnamon red earth, deserted gorges and geological features as bizarre as the wildlife comprise a unique ecology. This harsh interior has forced modern Australia to become a coastal country. Most of the population lives within 20km of the ocean, occupying a suburban, south-eastern arc that extends from southern Queensland to Adelaide.