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Cruising - Frequently Asked Questions

Overseas Passenger Terminal, Sydney

Sydney is one of the World's premier cruise destinations.

While many are seasoned cruise passengers, those making their first voyage can have questions on subjects ranging from access to luggage drop off and transport.

While your cruise line should be you first 'port of call' for most cruise related questions, Port Authority of New South Wales has compiled answers for those most frequently asked.


Cruise Terminal Information

Overseas Passenger Terminal


Overseas Passenger Terminal, Circular Quay, Sydney

Getting there

Entry to the terminal is off George Street onto Argyle Street, Circular Quay.

While a cruise vessel is in port, passenger set down and pick up is available in the terminal precinct but parking is NOT allowed on-site.

Circular Quay train and ferry platforms are a two minute walk to the terminal. Click here for information relating to City Rail and Harbour City Ferries (Sydney Ferries).

Arriving and Departing

Arriving passengers will need to reclaim their luggage and then clear customs and immigration before exiting the terminal.

It is a short walk to public transport (refer links above) or why not catch a taxi at the on-site taxi rank. There is also a designated pick up bay for private vehicles which will assist you in exiting the precinct.

Departing passengers should refer to their itinerary regarding what time they need to be present at the terminal for check-in as times do vary.

Bag drop facilities are available on the forecourt for the majority of ships from prior to check in time. Check with your booking agent if you need to utilise this facility. Only travelling passengers with valid tickets will be allowed to enter the terminal.

Terminal Facilities

Terminal facilities include:

passenger lifts


wheelchair access


on-site restaurant vendors where light snacks are available (White Bay Cruise Terminal only). Food vendors are close by the Overseas Passenger Terminal. 

There is no short or long term parking available on-site. There is also no foreign exchange or post office on-site; however, both facilities are only a short walk away.

Passengers should also be aware that there is no Duty Free available for purchase in the terminal.

All further queries regarding your trip should be directed to your booking agent or cruise line.

Customs and Immigration

International cruise voyage – all passengers departing on an international cruise voyage need to complete an outbound passenger card as well as a health card questionnaire.

Both documents will be made available to you once inside the terminal.

Domestic cruise voyage – all passengers departing on a domestic cruise voyage need to complete a health questionnaire card which will be made available to you once inside the terminal. There is no requirement to complete an outbound passenger card.

Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS )

A TRS desk is available in both terminals on international cruises. TRS enables you to claim a refund for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) that you paid on goods you have purchased in Australia. You can claim the TRS from Customs at embarkation after you have checked in.

Wheelchair Access

There is wheelchair access at Overseas Passenger Terminal. 

Things to bring

International cruise – individual passport with a validity of at least six months. 

Domestic cruise – Government agency issued Photo ID.

You’re booking itinerary is required for all cruises.

If you take regular medication ensure that you have sufficient supplies to last the length of your holiday.

It is also wise to consider taking a couple of days extra supply in case of unforeseen changes in your plans.

What not to bring

You are NOT permitted to bring any alcohol on board for personal consumption. 

Duty-free, tax-free and personal alcohol purchased onshore must be surrendered by passengers at embarkation or prior to boarding at any port.

All further queries regarding your trip should be directed to your booking agent.

Useful Links

NSW Transport Information 

Destination NSW


Nearest train station Circular Quay

Car parking No car parking available on-site, however a set down and pick up is available for private vehicles. Drivers need to remain in their car at all times. The precinct is controlled by security who will tow any private vehicle left unmanned.

Mini bus & taxi parking Mini buses and taxis are allowed to enter the site on ship days to drop off and pick up passengers and have assigned designated bays for this process.

Coach parking Coach transfers are organised through the cruise line and will be permitted a 15 minute pick up bay. The driver's arrival time will be coordinated by the cruise line.

Duty Free Duty Free is not available in the terminal precinct but can be bought on board the ship. There is a Customs Office on ship departure days where passengers can claim back on Duty Free goods over the prescribed value.

Café The Rocks shopping district is in close proximity to the terminal. 

Toilets Female, male and disabled toilets are available on-site.

Foreign exchange or ATMs A commonwealth bank ATM is on-site and a foreign exchange can be found at Circular Quay which is approximately a 5 minute walk from the terminal.

Passports All guests departing on an international cruise need to bring their passport and booking itinerary.

Wheelchair assistance Wheelchair assistance will be provided at the terminal through the shipping operator as long as a request has been made at the time of booking.

Baggage drop off Bag drop area is generally open and manned from 8am onwards (as ship usually arrives between 6-6.30am) so passengers are advised by meet and greet ground staff to drop their bags at bag drop and go have a coffee or wander around until their designated check in time. If there is a known delay for checking in, its generally communicated to all embarking guests ahead of time so that they have a new “check in” window of arrival time.  If the delay happens on the day due to some unknown issue, then again, as long as the ship is leaving on the same day, ground staff will advise passengers to drop bags at bag drop area and to return for check in at a particular time.

Lost luggage Any queries regarding lost or stolen luggage should be directed to your booking agent.

Public Wi-Fi or payphones Not available.

Click here for Port Authority of New South Wales' list of most frequently asked questions and their answers.