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Sydney, Australia – December 23, 2018We arrived in Sydney very early in the morning. The bow (front) and port (city) side of the ship was packed with passengers to get a glimpse and photos as we approached the city centre and the iconic Opera House. It was well worth the early wake-up call for the sail-in. After we docked at the Overseas Cruise Terminal, we went to BLU for our final on-board breakfast. We then returned to the cabin for a final check and also a few photos from the aft balcony which looked upon the Sydney Bridge.
After disembarkation, we found the small alley way that led from the Overseas Cruise terminal directly to the Holiday Inn Old Sydney. This “short cut” was up hill with a few set of stairs, but well worth it as it was quick and easy access to the centrally located hotel within the Rocks/Circular Quay district(s).Our room was not quite ready, but the Holiday Inn staff were super accommodating. They stored our luggage in a secure room and gave us a Hotel Card to use the general facilities (washroom, access to roof top, etc.). As we waited for our room to be ready, we ventured off to explore the Rocks and Circular Quay areas.Exploring the area, as we waited for our room to be ready. We visited the Christmas Market and also strolled along the harbour front, enjoying the view of the Solstice as she remained berthed for the day.
After officially “checking in” to our room, we did a quick refresh and then ventured off for an easy walk to the Sydney Opera House and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Later that evening, we returned to the Sydney Opera House, where we enjoyed the magic show performed by “The Illusionists”. They had a limited engagement that week and we had pre-purchased our tickets from the Opera House web site, prior to leaving Canada.Manly Beach – December 24, 2018
For our first full day in Sydney, we decided to take a ferry from nearby Circular Quay and venture off to Manly Beach. We also wanted to visit the Northhead Sanctuary, but we took a wrong turn and explored other areas instead! It really was a great day and we were very thankful to have chosen this as our adventure for Christmas Eve Day!Click on “Sydney post cruise” button below for Days 3-5 (Dec 25 / 26 / 27)