3:51 pm — 113 Comments

UPDATED INFO (December 2013) at my new website: www.whitebaysydney.com

Lost? Confused? Welcome to the fun of cruising from Sydney – finding the bloody ship.

Let’s get this straight. The new White Bay facility is near Rozelle and Balmain, which are residential suburbs outside the city, without a train station, direct bus stop or nearby hotels. No. You are NOT departing from the world’s best port opposite the Sydney Opera House. Bless you and your poor family!

So, now you want to know how to get to an area that even the locals don’t know about? Now that’s what I call travelling!

I’ve lived in Sydney since 1974 and I can’t tell you how to get to Rozelle, let alone White Bay. According to the Sydney Ports Corporation (who we can thank for this adventure-travel destination), entry to the terminal is off James Craig Road, Rozelle. Whack that in your GPS and go.

Now, go away. This blog is to help people using public transport and/or flying in from other states or countries.

The cheapest option is the train. The two nearest (and I use that term loosely) stations to White Bay are Town Hall and Central. Neither are walking distance, even if you are Jane Saville. From Central, a cab will cost around $25-$30. In bad traffic (which happens often in Sydney!) don’t be surprised if the meter ticks over $40.

UPDATE 23/10/13: P&O has introduced a shuttle from Central to White Bay for $15 per person one-way. The problem is, that’s more expensive than a taxi if there’s 2, 3 or 4 people travelling together. But at least it’s a flat fee, regardless of traffic jams. To book, call the Customer Service team on 13 24 94 (within Australia) or 0800 780 716 (NZ).
For details, see http://the.cruiseylife.com/new-shuttle-from-central-to-white-bay/

If you would rather get a taxi from the city, the closest train station to White Bay is Town Hall. Compared to Central, Town Hall is also better because the driving route skips the worst of Sydney’s CBD traffic. I paid $19, but others have said they got there for $17. It should take less than 10 minutes.

Here’s the trick: after you exit the station on George St, walk over to Druitt Street to hail a cab, because that’s where the traffic is moving in the right direction for White Bay – you just go straight over Anzac Bridge… and voila! The driver will turn LEFT off the bridge and then follow the signs along the new, wiggly roads down to the terminal (about another 5 minutes drive).

Pacific Pearl at White Bay April 15 2013

OK, now you’re scraping the bottom of the Barry O’Farrell [barrel]. But if you insist, my dear cruisers, you can catch a 441 or 442 from behind the Queen Victoria Building (York Street). Coming by train to get the bus? Get off at Town Hall, then walk 5-10 minutes to the bus stop. This is no good if you have a lot of luggage. This is a public bus full of people who are NOT going on cruises.

The nearest (and again I use that term loosely) public bus stop to White Bay is Roberts Street, Rozelle. It’s really not close to the terminal at all, about 3km (2 miles), so be prepared for a LONG, very unromantic walk. With a suitcase and/or kids, forget it. Cough up for a cab. (I’m seriously starting to wonder if Sydney Ports Corp owns Taxis Combined…)

Sydney Ports Corporation White Bay first Passenger ships arrives ©Brendan Read 2013

Ahhh, doesn’t Pacific Pearl look so pretty in the sunrise? Who said White Bay was ugly? Stay with me, cruisers, we’ll get there!

Want to play on public transport all day? Ride the light rail machine! You can catch it from Central and get off at the Rozelle Bay stop. But honestly, don’t even think about it. The only time this is a good idea is if you’re travelling with someone who you’re secretly hoping will miss the ship.

When I asked Carnival Australia about public transport, they actually replied: “The options are to take a taxi to/from White Bay terminal or to organise a drop-off/pick-up by family or friends.” Yup. That’s the official word, my friends. But don’t blame P&O or Princess – it’s the NSW Government’s Sydney Ports who made this planning decision.

So if you are an interstate or international visitor, you better start making friends on your flight! And if you live in Sydney but your mates are all busy working 9-5 and couldn’t care less that you are struggling to get to your tropical holiday, then good luck with that.

Another idea for Sydneysiders is to self-drive to the city and leave your car in a long-term parking lot – then it is happily waiting for you when you return to Sydney. There is NO long-term parking at White Bay. They’re sure not making this easy for you, am I right?!

Wilson’s Harbourside car park (100 Murray Street, Pyrmont – yay, another suburb to explore!) does a deal for cruise passengers. It’s not a great deal if your cruise is only 3 days, or even 7 days, because the minimum purchase is 10 days. But I’m sure they’ll take your money and let you collect your car a week early. The good news (yesssss – found some) is that the car park is slightly closer to White Bay than the old Wharf 5 at Barangaroo. Which means the taxi from the car park to the ship will cost a few dollars less. Expect to pay about $15 cab fare from the parking lot.

As of 9 October 2013, Cruise Parking fees at Wilsons Harbourside are $15 per 24 hours (minimum purchase 10 days = $150).

So what’s cheaper – drive and park or get a taxi? I’ve done the maths for you. If you live close enough, within an $80 taxi ride, it would be cheaper to catch cabs both ways than to drive and pay for long-term parking. Don’t forget you still have to get a taxi from Wilsons, over the Anzac Bridge, to White Bay – and back again after your cruise.

People flying in to Sydney the day before can book a hotel near White Bay. When someone builds one. Rozelle is not a tourist destination (wait, what?!) despite being Australia’s newest cruising destination.
The closest hotels to White Bay are in Darling Harbour, kinda where they left the old cruise terminal (doh!!).

A taxi from the airport will cost around $50, depending on traffic.

The airport is 17km (11 miles), around a 30-minute drive away from White Bay. P&O has a coach transfer from Sydney Airport to White Bay and back again for $22. You can book directly through the cruise line or your travel agent.

After your cruise, if you’re getting the train home, P&O also operates coach transfers from White Bay to Central train station for $12 per person. These transfers can only be booked onboard the ship. An order form is delivered automatically to all cabins – the $12pp is added to your account that you pay on the last day of the cruise.

Just to be clear, there is absolutely NO shuttle or coach transfer from Central (or ANY train station) TO White Bay. Shuttles are only from the AIRPORT. There is a shuttle from White Bay TO Central Station but NOT from Central TO White Bay. So, train travellers, on your way TO your cruise, you’re on your own, sunshine!

Note to anyone looking for a lucrative business idea: Start up a shuttle bus from Central to White Bay. No-brainer money-spinner.

Another way to get to OR from White Bay, from the airport, train station or your house in Sydney/NSW, is to get a transfer by mini-bus, van or car with a driver who picks you up at an agreed time. This can work out much cheaper than a taxi and is obviously much easier than public transport. Split the cost with friends or family in your area. For a list of services, click on Cruisey Life’s other White Bay blog.


Sydney Ports Corporation White Bay first Passenger ships arrives ©Brendan Read 2013
Did you find it? Congratulations. Breathe. Drink. The worst of your travels are over and now you can let the Captain worry about the rest of the trip. That’s one positive: all the hassle by planes, trains, buses, shuttles, cars and taxis will totally highlight the simplicity of cruising. Ohhhh, I get it now, Sydney Ports. Genius. Thank you for the journey.
By Louise Goldsbury

If you liked this blog, and would like to receive regular updates when things change, please subscribe or like Cruisey Life on Facebook! or follow on Twitter!

Louise Goldsbury

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In 2013 I was named Best Travel Writer at the National Travel Industry Awards. And until someone corrects me, I'm claiming to be the youngest cruise editor in the Southern Hemisphere. Editor of Cruise Weekly since 2009, I also contribute to Sydney's Sun Herald newspaper and various travel magazines and websites.

113 responses to WHITE BAY………. WRONG WAY

  1. Denise campbell at 4:42 pm

    Thanks that qas all very scary, going on cruise march 2017 and getting myself hot and bothered about getting to White Bay now I feel qoese

    • We have just returned from a weekend cruise (March 2017) and used the Captain Cook ferry service and it was incredibly easy. It’s a five minute walk from Wynyard train station to King Street Wharf (virtually Darling Harbour), we bought tickets online ($9 Adult one way) before we left but could easily have purchased them at the wharf. The ferries run every 15 minutes and they run bigger ferries to meet the ship when it returns. I have to say after my initial dismay at the ship leaving from White Bay, I now see it it as no major drama and thoroughly recommend using the ferry as opposed to joining the long queue for taxis at the terminal or even paying double the price for the bus back to Central.

      • sandra at 9:41 pm

        That was great that you have found the ferry to White Bay. It was a long fight to get it, but eventually us cruise fanatics won. The ferry is a great way to start a cruise, and an easy way to wind down after you disembark. The ease of getting to and from Wynyard station is great, with elevators, stairs and escalators to assist people with luggage to get to and from White Bay wharf. Yes you can book a return trip on line or just pay at the wharf. You can pay at White Bay to come back if you wish. Best thing to do is just before you book a return, make sure that your ship will be coming back to White Bay as sometimes they will, for various maritime reasons, come back to OPT at Circular Quay, and the ticket is non-refundable.

  2. Lorraine at 9:01 am

    I’m going to White Bay from Circular Quay by booking on the Captain Cook boats for $9 one way. Have to book online

  3. TitsOut at 7:10 pm

    Hi MOFO’s, You can now use Captain Cook cruises from Circular Quay #6 to travel back/forth to White Bay every 20 mins at Cost of $9 Adult one-way.

  4. The taxi fare from central as at 2014 is around $40 one way so p&o’s $15 each is much cheaper

  5. Suzie G at 10:01 am

    I was incredibly peeved to find our cruise in March departs from this place without public transport! How ridiculous is this?! Even our cruise agent didn’t know where it was. I ended up booking seats on a shuttle from the airport (via the cruise agent) – and it is $70 for 2 people one way. Thought it was easier than faffing about with the bags/train/cab option

    • Laurence Agius at 12:16 pm

      There is an easier way if you are driving, you can leave your vehicle at Precision Airport Parking and they will transfer you for free to the terminal. Parking rates are just $16.50 per day. when you return they pick you up and return you to your vehicle.
      All vehicles are stored in a secure locked up building.

  6. could stay at the Park Royal at Parramatta. $19 per day parking but when your ship returns to Circular Quay you can catch a ferry back to Parra. and walk to the hotel.
    I have a question why not Petersham or Lewisham station rather than the City ones?

  7. After MUCH confusion on how to get to White Bay Cruise Terminal, I ended up getting a cab from Central Station. The cost was reduced somewhat after I started chatting to a very nice couple who were in the same boat (no pun intended). They too were doing the same trip so the 3 of us shared the same cab, about $15 each. Trouble was, the cabbie didn’t know the way. Great! However, after a sightseeing tour of half of Sydney, we made it. Take note. While crossing Anzac Bridge, it is important to stay in the left lane, then follow the signs to the terminal, a bit of a cross country race but to see one’s cruise liner moored in the distance is an incentive that one is on the right track. Coming home was easier as Princess Cruises organised a coach to the airport. Never again though. Next time I will ‘endeavour’ to go from the OPT. Good luck everyone. You’ll need it.

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  17. robin young at 8:11 am

    Having now battled white bay three times, I am saying I am over it.

    I travel down from Hunter Valley by train… no hotels to stay in, no public transport.

    I have made the decision it is easier to drive to Brisbane and depart for a cruise.

    What a white elephant. Yes, the terminal is wonderful, but without ease of access , it is unacceptable.

  18. Just picked some family members up from white bay terminal what an absolutely hideous experience , once I found my way into that hell hole via roberts road, was stopped at entry booth and told possibly by the worlds most vile women that I couldnt enter and would have to do a u turn and back track through a maze of roads for five minutes just to end up exactly at the same gate I was originally at, just in a different lane. Unhelpful incompetent staff in an absolute joke of a location. Avoid at all costs!

  19. Can you tell me if it is possible to get to White Bay terminal by water taxi?

  20. we go on a lot of cruises and this will be the last one from white bay. we usually cruise on the ships that cannot fit under the bridge. we will have to ask before booking next time.lol

  21. dave Hay at 6:32 pm

    I usually park at Darling Harbour carpark (Wilsons) for the 3 days of the Australia Day cruise. They have a special rate for 3 or 4 days if that is all you want as long as you book online with your credit card, and you use your credit card to get into the carpark and out of it at the end of your trip. I drop our passengers at the wharf with my luggage, go to Darling Harbour, and cab it back to wherever. Last time we all cabbed it back to the carpark as cabs were waiting at the dock.

    • Thanks for your comment, I just called Wilson’s and they said that $15 per day was the only option. Very rude girl on the phone…..
      I was just wondering how you went about it?

      • It sounds like he books online…. so don’t call up and ask and say you’re a cruise passenger, just see if you can book a 3 day parking with credit card. If it accepts it, then it works!

  22. shirley harrison at 2:21 pm

    bloody great thanks

  23. I have mentioned before the best way to avoid White Bay is cruise on the big ships that can’t go under the bridge. Sept flew to Hawaii sailed back on Rhapsody for 16 nights arrive at the Quay great cruise no hassles getting home from there no problems. P&O 3* RCI 4* Hmmm

    • You’re right! Unfortunately some people will avoid booking ships that use White Bay – and it’s not P&O’s fault they have to dock there.

  24. Alec Bblackwell at 5:16 pm

    Thanks Louise & fellow Bloggers. These articles answered every question I had. Ship mores at 07.00 hrs Flight leaves for Townsville at 10.35.
    I know they move you off the boat very quickly and usually end waiting around half the day because I have booked a late flight. Thanks again. Alec.

  25. natalie at 6:58 pm

    i’m going on a cruise with P&O leaving from white bay and yesterday received an email from P&O saying they now offer a shuttle FROM central station TO white bay for $15 pp and to book you need to call them and that coming back is again $15 to go from white bay to central station and you can only book on board. just thought you might want the updated info

    • Thanks Natalie! I appreciate the update! One of my blog subscribers also told me yesterday, so it looks like it’s TRUE. Excellent!

      BUT!!!! At $15pp, it would be cheaper for 2+ people to get a taxi.

  26. Michele at 10:16 am

    Thanks for the info Louise. Yep, I called P&O and asked where we were leaving from and was informed White Bay, when I asked where it was the lady on the phone said she was in the Philippines and had no idea and told me to call P&O Australia…I did this and got the bloody Philippines. She put me on hold for about 5 mins then hung up, so I had to Google to find out exactly where white bay is, having see it was non Sydney Harbour I then cancelled the accommodation in Pitt St we had booked then when I Goggled accommodation near White Bay Terminal I found your blog and realise “THERE IS NONE” what/whose stupid idea was it to put this terminal here. I am now back to square 1 as to where to book accommodation as it might end up like Sandra Kelly and we get a text the night before what a joke this is turning out to be.

    • My advice is to un-cancel the Pitt St booking – then catch a taxi to White Bay. There are no hotels near the terminal, so the best options are the city centre (near Town Hall preferably) and Darling Harbour.

  27. Tricia at 6:50 am

    I too rang P&O.
    Take a taxi, asked about shuttle from Central, no go, only from airport, asked can they pick up from Central? No.
    Ok can we get from White Bay back to Central by shuttle? Yes you can, at a $40 each fee, if we book on line with P&O.
    Next trip we will fly away. Thank you P&O and the Sydney Harbour authority. No more staying in Sydney for a couple of days to spend money. :'(

    • Sandra at 2:48 pm

      Tricia, who told you the shuttle to central was $40 each? I believe it is around $16. the one from the airport to white bay is $22 and is prebooked with p & o and the return one to central is booked onboard the ship. when we went in august, I had booked the airport shuttle even tho I was catching the train in, as my train goes thru the airport station. it cost me an extra 11.50 on top of my concession, plus the $22 for the shuttle. however, when the day came, we ended up going to overseas pass. terminal at circular quay. I caught the shuttle anyway as I had already paid for it, but could have caught the train to the quay for $2.50. I got in touch with p & o when we got back (we came back into circular quay) and they sent me a cheque for the $22.00. thankfully I hadn’t booked the shuttle back to central on the ship as they had let us know onboard that we weren’t going to white bay.

      • Sandra at 3:10 pm

        Sorry Tricia, the train fare was $11.50 including the concession fare and airport escape fee :)

      • When P&O changes the disembarkation to Circular Quay OPT, if you have paid for the shuttle from White Bay to Central (I think it was $12), you get a refund. Happened to me on my last cruise!

    • Hi I just booked p&o shuttle from Central to white bay got an email this morning from p&o introducing the new shuttle $15 per person I jumped straight not that one to save the hassle of getting there

  28. Amanda at 7:23 am

    Wilson Parking website lists cruise parking at $15/day (so $150 minimum for 10 days)

  29. crickit at 10:24 am

    thnx Louise!

    • You’re welcome! Glad it was helpful.

      • Sandra Kelly at 4:15 pm

        Hi Louise and everybody. Well, got back from my wonderful cruise 7 September, but have been a bit busy, so haven’t had a chance to let you know about my White Bay experience. IT NEVER HAPPENED. Got a text message, recorded phone message and email on Sunday (sailed Monday) that, due to operational reasons, we were now departing from Circular Quay. Grrrrrrrr. I could have gotten there on the train for $2.50, instead of the $22 + Visa card surcharge, + airport escape fee from the train, $9.50 + my normal $2.50 train fare. With no one working at P & O on a Sunday, and having made plans to leave early on Monday to be at the airport at 10am to catch the shuttle bus, I went with it. The service on the shuttle was great for people coming by plane and went pretty smoothly, and they took us to Circular Quay :) Then I thought, oh well, will get to see what it is like coming back. HA. A letter in our cabin told us we are going back to Circular Quay at cruise end. Oh well, we were doing back to back, so maybe after we get back from the second one!!!!!! Nah. Back to circular Quay and a $2.50 train trip home. I contacted P & O when I got home and they organised a refund of the $22. So still waiting to try the White Bay experience. Maybe on my Sun Princess tour on New Years Eve. ho hum.

        • Hi Sandra, thanks for returning with your story! Sorry, I have been cruising and missed this….. So all that organising for nothing! Too funny. It is interesting how often the Captain is deciding to disembark at Circular Quay instead of White Bay. It happened to me too! And I got my refund on the shuttle. But on Sunday I got off Sea Princess at White Bay. I took the easy way out – got my Dad to pick me up :)

  30. Getting a cab from Town Hall Station to White Bay is around $17 but going the other way is peak hour and it cost us $27 as it took quite a while. Walking back up Roberts Rd to get a bus is 1.4km walk but will save money if you can get on a peak hour bus. Next cruise is RCI so no White Bay to worry about.

    • Noel Skelton at 2:28 pm

      Got a taxi from Central got a good driver that was very helpful and spoke very good English cost $26.. Got a taxi from terminal at White Bay back to Central cost $25 once again very helpful taxi driver. Got out of taxi and was on a train back to Newcastle within 15 mins..

    • Thanks Allan. On my last cruise (16 August 2013) I tried the taxi from Town Hall instead of Central. It cost $19. So it is slightly cheaper than Central because it’s slightly closer and you can skip some city traffic!

  31. John Alwyn-Jones at 10:21 pm

    Go Louise – White Bay is another ridiculous NSW Government decision. Arguably the world’s worst location for a cruise terminal. J

  32. I wondered about the Light Rail option when I was writing up a hotel review http://www.avidcruiser.com/2013/05/10/hotels-sydney-harbour/ Tried to get NSW Transport to give me some idea about the Light Rail, but alas, they’re probably pulling their hair out too.

    • I’ve got a cruise departing from White Bay next week so I will go have a closer look if I have time. How ironic if I miss the ship…

  33. Noel Skelton at 12:40 pm

    Thanks Donna could you tell me the name of the shuttle service? I will want to get from Central Station to White Bay terminal..

  34. Joanne at 12:45 pm

    Could you please advise on which private car service you are referring to so I can get a quote. Thanks

  35. James Craig Rd is definitely open did a pick up of family 2 weeks ago. There is plenty of people pointing the way and I noticed plenty of cabs. Don’t advise going Roberts rd that looks like it’s used by service vehicles. Enough parking if you aren’t in a hurry. Going on 4 night cruise Thursday my wife has the luggage so is getting a cab from Town Hall I work till midday so will bus from QVB and walk from Roberts rd about 1.4km

    • Andrea at 10:25 pm

      Thinking of doing the same – we are a family of 5 and we are planning on train to Town Hall and bus from QVB and walk from Roberts Rd.

  36. Thanks Sandra. I tried to tell my dear husband (Nathan) that P&O, Google Maps and other travellers wouldnt give me the wrong directions. We “discussed” this for hours and in his quest to prove me wrong, he found a website advising the development was completed in May. Ha ha… I’m right, he’s wrong, I’m the king of the castle!!

  37. Julie Thompson at 5:28 pm

    Hi Sandra & Louise I’m also on the Pearl on the 19th August, this is the second time cruising, but we went by shuttle to Darling Harbour. Are you saying that the shuttle bus from the airport, doesn’t take you all the way to the ship anymore? If so I might have to print out your blog Louise as it looks complicated!!!!

    • No, no, the airport shuttle goes to the ship. It’s the city train stations that aren’t serviced.

      • Julie Thompson at 10:22 am

        Excellent thanks X

      • Lynette at 4:02 pm

        you tell me the name of the airport shuttle, I want to go from the Internationa

        • Lynette, you need to book the airport shuttle through your cruise line. So if you are cruising with P&O, please call them or book it online at http://www.pocruises.com.au. Have a great cruise!

          • lynette halsall at 4:12 pm

            Hi Louise I am cruising with Holland america and my travel agent is charging $52NZ pp for a one way shuttle. I thought it a little expensive. We are pretty fit people and thought a taxi might be a good option. Are there plenty of taxis? does anyone know if you can “smuggle” a bit of beer or a duty free bottle of whiskey on board this cruise line. URGENT PLEASE ANYONE

          • $52pp is ridiculous. Your agent must be adding a big commission! Book direct with HAL or get a taxi. Plenty of them! And no, you won’t be able to smuggle booze, but you can always try… they will return it at the end of the cruise.

          • lynette halsall at 3:59 am

            thank you Louise, I went of the HAL web site can not find where to book my shuttle – what would it be listed under? I suppose a taxi would be just as cheap for the two of us. You have reassured me that there are plenty of taxis though, so thanks for that. I will keep you posted.

          • Have a great trip. Taxis will be no problem. And it’s not much money in the scheme of things…

          • lynette at 6:18 am

            Has anyone been to Komodo Island Indonesia? I am cruising with HA in Oct/Nov. Can I get to see the Komodo Dragons and snorkelling. Ship docks 7am leaves 2pm

        • lynette at 2:41 pm

          Thanks for that Louise, I thought there might not be enough taxis anyway

  38. There is one sure fire way of leaving from OPT go on Royal Caribbean or Carnival Spirit or sister ship Carnival Legend. RCI are truly WOW ships and their service is much better than P&O. There is a rumour that ferries will be diverted to White Bay on ship days but don’t hold your breath.

  39. nathan at 10:50 pm

    Interesting… but i must say that there is no access to white bay cruise terminal from james craig rd until the white bay redevolpment is completed. The best access to the terminal is via robert rd off victoria rd.

    • Thanks Nathan. The official website says it is accessible, I think. I will have to check it out again next month.

    • sandra at 12:11 pm

      Nathan, the only access when going by car is via james craig road. ends up at the same gate, but I believe that if you drive up to the main gate from Robert road, you will be sent around to james craig rd. suppose it is something to do with overcrowding on Robert road. there is a sign coming from the city to white bay cruise terminal, sends you under Victoria road onto james craig. I noticed it from the bus that I caught thru to Balmain to check it out :)

  40. I’m cruising later this month and yep, you guessed it, the boat leaves from White Bay. My travel buddy suggested we meet at Central and get a taxi, but getting to and from the Northern Beaches is as difficult as Rozelle. I was exhausted just telling her I’d have to get a bus to Manly Wharf, a ferry to the Quay, a train to Central, then a taxi to White Bay. So I came across your blog while searching for other options and found it very informative as I p*ssed myself laughing. Lucky for me, I also found a local shuttle service that will take me to the terminal for about $25 less than a taxi.

  41. S.Smith at 4:08 pm

    Hi, Just loved your comments. Are we really thinking here that the Authorities give a ????? or that they are going to change anything???
    Hello! You would have thought that the cruise companies might have put some input into the decision though! we too have cruised from The Quay and Barangaroo. We didn’t really have much trouble from either of those. Also from Brisbane. We shared a taxi from Ropma St. on that occasion and worked out very well. Really fast processing at Bris. But they have such repeditive destinations now. I’ve been a bit stressed just thinking about this new terminal. We cruise in Sept. this year ! Luckily Princess have a transfer to/fro airport ! Yeh. Reasonable price. We too have a pensioner travel discount but doesn’t really help due to the multiple on/off with suitcases from airport by train to some other station then change to central, from central by taxi etc. etc. But the convenience of the princess transfer is definitely a winner. We are from interstate so fly in day before cruise to make sure we avoid any weather hick-ups – as we did on our very 1st ever cruise…. Thanks again for a giggle today. Sue

    • Thanks for the feedback, Sue. Yes, it’s not so bad if you’re coming from the airport. So did you MISS your first cruise after a plane delay?? Argh. I always arrive a day early too. Cost of a hotel is worth the peace of mind – and cheaper than losing your cruise.

  42. Adrian at 2:32 pm

    Must admit have not read all comments yet. Noticed your right way blog and wondered if you looked at private car (limo) was looking at one from airport to terminal. $38 each way, don’t know how far your quotes were for but this seems reasonable. It came up in the princess blog of offers.

    • Thanks for the tip, Adrian. $38 limo is a great deal, as I assume that means a driver will be waiting for you, with your name on a sign, in the airport. Much cheaper than a taxi for that distance!

    • Mary Li at 8:06 am

      Hi, We will be leaving on a Holland America cruise from White Bay soon. Would you have the name and email address of the limo company that charges only $38 each way from the airport to White Bay. Thanks

    • Adrian, do you know the name of the limo company doing $38 airport transfers?

  43. This little story made me smile….here was my take on White Bay, and I have cruised out of Bangaroo and the Quay… We got a great Cabbie who when told of where we needed to go said “how hard can it be to find it…there is bound to be signs” (and there was) took us from Central Station to White Bay for $27.00, split between four of us was a relatively cheap $6.75! It wasn’t a headache, the new terminal was well organised and we were on board in the space of 1/2 hour! I really don’t know what all the fuss is about! Sure there is no bus or light rail that goes within cooee of the White Bay terminal but after putting out in excess of $1000 per person for the cruise, what’s a few extra dollars for a cab! For me it wasn’t “how do we get to White Bay the cheapest way possible?” but “what is the easiest and most stress-free way to get there. A cab will win that argument everytime when battling with heavy suitcases and less than mobile parents.

    • Agreed! Taxi is the easiest option – just not the cheapskate option.

    • sandra at 12:05 pm

      Lyn I agree $27.00 is not expensive for 4 people, but for 1 person it is expensive, when you factor in that they have to get to central station as well. I have resigned to catching the train from Campbelltown and getting off at the airport. On a concession the exit from the airport station costs $9, then I have booked the shuttle from the airport, prepaid, $22.50. Yes this is still costing around the same, but without the hastle of finding a taxi at central. A lot of the cruising fraternity save up for a long time for their holiday, and all these extra expenses add up. A shuttle can be booked onboard to get you from white bay to central (still haven’t figured why they cant run it back to white bay from central) which I believe is about $16. they are fixed prices and don’t change (like they do if a taxi meter is running while the traffic is at a standstill on Victoria road, or any of the other roads leading to the area. I am still looking at alternative ways to get there as cheaply as possible, as I think it is important.

      • Agreed, taxis are an added expense that shouldn’t be necessary in a big city like Sydney. I think the reason they don’t run the shuttle in both directions is that it would cause delays. People take a long time finding the shuttle, finding their ticket, loading and unloading bags. This would probably reduce the service by half, leaving people waiting at the ship and possibly missing their train/flight home. If the cruise lines can’t handle it, I wish a private company had the brains to set up a shuttle!

  44. Wow I was thinking of cruising from Sydney next year as I heard how amazing it is….. I think I will stick to Brissy after reading this :)

    • Brisbane is no better!! It’s a looooooong way out of the city – if you’re on a big ship – in an industrial area. Just cough up for a cab in Sydney and you’ll be fine!

  45. Gbenjo at 6:28 pm

    So will they now rename Rozelle …. RozHELL??

  46. Great piece Louise – well done – it is a real mess and what possessed the NSW Government to put it there who knows! Actually, we do and it is the greed of money at Barangaroo!

  47. graham Benjamin at 10:39 pm

    hey I want the credit for Calling it White Elephant Bay Check my post on Cruise Critic back in August 2012. Gbenjo

    • Hi Graham. It was one of the subscribers who used the phrase in his comment (above) but I don’t know if he was inspired by you or if great minds think alike! I’d like to think you both came up with it… White Elephant Bay is a good one, Graham! Nice work for thinking of it 8 months ago :)

      • Gbenjo at 11:09 am

        All good…… Its just that I think it is one of my better ones. he he

  48. Sylvia Govers at 7:28 pm

    I love this, made me smile a lot. Sailing next year from the OPT, lucky us. Keep it coming please.

  49. welove2cruise at 6:50 pm

    Sydney misses out from me I’m afraid. Currently, we love coming down on the train the day before, taking in the harbour, spending money on food, amenities, hotel room – with the joy of checking out and strolling to the terminal on cruise day. The Roach Haven Inn at Glebe might be slightly closer than Darling Harbour.

    At least the terminal works, if not the location. With that in mind, an OPT departure is now a selling point.

    • Roach Haven? Sounds delightful! Must check it out soon!
      The problem with the OPT is embarking and disembarking can be sooooooo slow, with queues (outdoors) for a mile – that’s been my experience on the last few cruises. Took more than 2 hours getting on AND off. I am pleased to hear White Bay processing went smoothly yesterday. Maybe it will turn out to be more efficient – once you get there!

      • welove2cruise at 7:23 pm

        Oops – did I say that out loud. It was a few years ago, but not going back for 2nd’s to see if it is better now.
        A matter of timing for OPT – beat the queues and board early. It usually works. I agree though – no plan B for Voyager or for ugly weather.

  50. True, Bev. It’s easy if someone lovely drives you there :)

  51. It look so easy if you are driving across the Anzac Bridge but so out of the way – but then again, I’ve been to some weird ports in Norway. White Bay ain’t gonna be the cool cruise hub . . .

  52. On ya Louise! Good to read a cruise guru brave enough to spell out White Bay as the white elephant in the room (water).

    • Thanks Rob. There have been plenty of detractors, but perhaps not 1000 words of taking the piss! (Love your “white elephant” pun!) To be fair, I wrote a positive story today after passengers reported a smooth process disembarking. But for people embarking, it will be a different story. It’s going to be hard enough for ME to get there – basically, I’ll be forking out for a rather expensive taxi…. The alternatives just won’t work for me!

    • Sandra Kelly at 9:43 pm

      Hi Rob. I have been trying different ways to get to the wharf over the last couple of months. It aint easy thats for sure. I travel on a senior concession $2.50 fare on public transport, which covers all forms of public transport in Sydney and Metropolitan area. I have come up with a couple of other possibilities as follows: a) ferry from circular quay to Balmain east wharf, then bus to Balmain shops and cab to white bay. Will work if you dont mind lugging luggage on and off everything. b) light rail to the fish markets and cab from there. There are cabs in and out of there all the time. Just about 50 meters walk from the tram stop and you just walk into the carpark there. Easy with luggage. c) catch the 442 bus from queen vic bldg and get off at Mort St in Balmain shopping area where there is a taxi rank. the bus stops very close to the rank and it is only a couple of km to the wharf.
      I emailed the nsw transport people and got an answer that there was no plans to provide transport to the new terminal, and the taxis had been notified to provide extra services on port days. Guess they dont realise how much it costs by cab from the city, if the drivers know where to go that is. Just saying

      • Great tips, Sandra! Thanks. I might do an update in the future.
        PS. My name’s Louise :)

        • sandra kelly at 12:57 am

          Sorry Louise. It’s a blonde thing lol. Well, I have made my plans for 19th august for my cruise on Pearl. I have booked (via p & o) a seat on the shuttle bus from the airport ($22.50 including booking fee) and will have to pay to get off the train ($9.00 concession). They told me that I can book a seat on a shuttle to central station while I am on board ($16 I think it was). still cant work out why they can run a shuttle TO central, but cant pick up FROM central. where does the bus go when it gets to central????? if it continues on to the airport, why cant it pick up at central on the way from the airport. with regard to the bus from queen vic bldg., I will still check it out. I think the worst part of that would be the uneven surface of the road between the Robert Rd bus stop and the main gate. but, I will check it out when I get a chance. :)

          • Great! Sandra, you can be my reporter, live on the scene! Please let me know how it works out. The whole shuttle and transport situation makes no sense…

          • sandra at 1:15 pm

            will do Louise. :)

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