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Sydney Showboat Shines Again At The 2024 Australia Day Lit Vessels Parade

Sydney Opera House illuminated with incredible projections as part of the Australia Day evening program
The Sydney Opera House illuminated with bright colours on Australia Day.

As the sun sets on January 26th, Australia Day celebrations on the harbour will take an exciting turn. Sydney Harbour will come alive with Australia Day Live – land and water music concerts, stunning projections on the sails of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge and grand fireworks displays. But that’s not all! Out on the water, you will see a floating light procession – the Australia Day Lit Vessels Parade.

The Lit Vessels Parade is an elegant display of boats adorned with rope light cruising down the harbour. In this year's procession, the legendary Sydney Showboat II is set to participate for the second year running, poised to steal the spotlight and captivate the audience.

What’s the parade about? Where is the best vantage point on Sydney Harbour? Can you cruise on a participating vessel? What’s special about being on the Showboat Australia Day cruise on Sydney Harbour? Find all the answers below!

About the Lit Vessels Parade

The annual Lit Vessels Parade is an opportunity for commercial yachts, cruisers and other watercraft to dress up in vibrant colours and be part of the Australia Day Live TV broadcast. Draped in neon rope light, the vessels will be positioned within a managed viewing area to participate in the parade – a vibrant addition to the evening program. All the participant vessels will enjoy exclusive access to a special designated event zone.

Can you cruise on a ‘Lit Vessel’?

Cruising on a ‘Lit Vessel’ is the ultimate way to be part of the Australia Day evening events. For the second consecutive year, Sydney Showboat will enter the event – adorning its splendid nautical design with LED string installations. It’s truly a sight to behold! If you have booked the Australia Day fireworks dinner cruise, rest assured that you’ll enjoy the best views of the projections, on-water displays and the grand fireworks spectacle.

Best vantage points to watch the parade

While there is no shortage of vantage points to watch the parade, the best way to see the event unfold is, you guessed it – on Sydney Showboat. As an active participant in the program, the boat offers unparalleled views, complemented by a delightful dinner and a signature cabaret show, 'Voyage of Love'. You’ll also have the best seats to watch the much-anticipated Australia Day Live music acts.

Circular Quay will transform into a bustling hub with light installations synchronised to the live musical performances at the Sydney Opera House. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in the vicinity that offer excellent views and a chance to grab a pre-parade bite. There are also many family-friendly picnic spots near Darling Harbour with prime parade views and a post-parade buzz.

Beyond the lights

The Lit Vessel Parade is part of the broader Australia Day Live program, which takes place at the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay. This extraordinary concert, blending land and water elements, will light up the harbour for a spectacular finale to the Australia Day celebrations. The event will feature live music performances from top Aussie acts, a choreographed flotilla of yachts and jet skis, projections on the Opera House sails, stunning fireworks displays and of course, the ‘Lit Vessels’.

When it comes to iconic national day celebrations, Australia Day continues to surpass everyone’s expectations. Sydney Showboat has become an integral part of these national day celebrations, marking another year of participation in the Lit Vessels Parade. If you’re looking to embrace what it truly means to be an Australian, then consider this your cue to book an Australia Day cruise on the Sydney Showboat. See you on board!

Posted on January 08, 2024

by Sydney Showboats

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Cruise Experiences Featured In This Blog

Australia Day Special Fireworks & Light Parade Dinner Cruise

Duration 3hr
From $199

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