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To be in Sydney on Australia Day was going to memorable. To spend the evening aboard one of the cities top luxury cruisers on one of the worlds most beautiful harbours was going to be unforgettable. Strolling the decks watching the explosive fireworks display whilst receiving five star food and drink was an added bonus!


I had been told to expect huge crowds around the bay areas during the evening so I decided to enjoy a dinner cruise with Captain Cook Cruises from which I would be able to view the festivities from the comfort and space of the water and enjoy a superb meal.

I boarded the luxury cruise ship MV Sydney 2000 from King Street Wharf at the top end of Darling Harbour and was welcomed to my table with a celebratory glass of champagne by the smart and friendly serving staff.

The dining room on board was similar to that of a top class restaurant except I also had large window seats with views across Sydney harbour looking out towards two of the Australia’s big-name attractions, the Sydney Opera House and Harbour bridge. It was very easy to see why Sydney Harbour is regarded as one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world.

Captain Cooks MV Sydney 2000

It really doesn’t get much better than Sydney by night!  I was aboard of one Sydney’s most prestigious cruise ships the MV Sydney 2000 offering spectacular views, expansive viewing decks, spacious dining rooms and an extensive menu. Between meals I ventured up on to the outside decks and marvelled at the stunning firework displays from both Circular Quay and Darling harbour and savoured every minute of the cruise up the estuary.

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With more than 240 kilometres (150 miles) of shoreline punctuated by unspoiled beaches, picturesque gardens and pockets of natural bush the cruise was absolutely stunning. The cruise travelled deep into the inlet past Goat Island, Balls Head, Manns Point and Cockatoo island.

I chose the smoked chicken fillets with mango salad and honey dijon mustard followed by slow cooked lamb shank with a traditional sugo di pomodoro rich tomato vegetable sauce.

The mango and smoked chicken salad was absolutely delicious. Tender chicken fillets with a couple of thinly sliced pieces of mango sitting on top of a healthy collection of fresh salad leaves and cucumber slices. I also spotted several small pieces of radish giving the salad an extra bite!

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The smoked trout was filleted and all bones removed. A beautifully pink  colour the trout was a wonderfully moist piece of fish.  The fennel provided a sweet anise flavour and  the Dill a soft, sweet taste which competed with the distinctive sour/salty essence of the capers and light Caviar garnish. A simple fresh dish of exciting flavours.

I love Lamb Shank! The only way to serve lamb shanks is when the meat is falling off the bone. Combine this wonderful meat with a mouthful of finely mashed potato dipped in a beautifully presented tomato sauce and for me you have the perfect dish. I was in heaven !

A sumptuous main of chicken stuffed with Pumpkin and spinach served with a tasty combination of roasted tomatoes, brocolli, onions and garlic.the chicken appeared to have been slightly seared on the outside producing a nice golden colour with an almost caramelised crust formed as a casing on the outside but perfectly cooked on the inside. A beautifully presented piece of chicken with the right amount of sauce.

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Light, refreshing and tangy, this is simply a baked lemon classic tart with a lime twist! Slow baked in a shortcrust pastry this is a real lemon and lime tart with a satisfying dollop of thick cream for the encore! The thickened cream reminded me of thick clotted Devonshire or clotted cream. It was a delightful combination of sharp and sweet tastes to the palate. A real success.

The Bavarian Vanilla slice not quite a custard slice and not quite a cream slice but somehow a delicious combination of the two.  A rich crème pâtissière is mixed with whipped cream and sandwiched between two crisp layers of puff pastry.  The bottom layer of pastry is topped with jam and the top layer is coated with a simple glacé icing. I am not quite sure why it is called a Bavarian slice but it may be based on a Bavarian cream which is a creamy custard set with gelatin and formed in a mould. Either way served with thin slices of strawberries and a dab of chocolate sauce created a wonderful plate of happiness!


Sydney harbour is one of the deepest natural harbours in the world so I was not surprised but delighted to see a number of ocean going cruise ships moored in the harbour. The lights of the city provided a spectacular backdrop to the iconic structures of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.On board the ship I was able to pick the perfect spot from which to view the proceedings.

The food and service on board was exemplary and I was also entertained by a small group of musicians and pitch perfect vocalist.There were two firework displays during the evening causing a multitude of small and large water borne vessels to jostle for the best viewing position.Fortunately i noticed the small harbour police patrol boat cruising slowly among the vessels to ensure the safety of all on the water.

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Our evening on board the Captain Cook MV Sydney 2000 was memorable for many reasons. The cruise ship was perfect for sailing around the harbour and provided the  best viewpoint from which to view the Australia Day celebrations. The a la carte meal, the five star service and the live music all combined to produce a most enjoyable evening.

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