68' Sailing Ketch Luxury Whitsundays Charter
Sydney Sundancer boasts multiple awards and we get rave reviews constantly about the food and service.
Built to the highest international standards of luxury yachting, Australia's most awarded charter boat, Sydney Sundancer is perfect for your Whitsundays holiday escape. Expect your experience to be exceptional. Your hosts, Lynne and John Boyce have been chartering in the Whitsundays for over 30 Year's and have a wealth of experience to share. Their enthusiasm and delight is infectious! Lynne is an expert in seashells (a conchologist) and a fabulous cook. John is a master seaman with a wonderful sense of humour. So get ready to sit back, relax and enjoy a feast for all senses. Each night, the yacht will anchor in a different bay, so calm that long stemmed wine glasses are safe!
Click any image to enlarge
Select Your Occasion
View Prices and Details of this boat for:
Whitsundays Charter (this page)
10 Max Passengers
10 Cocktail Style
10 Casual Buffet
10 Table Dining
10 Overnight Charter
$550 per hour
Minimum 4 hour charter $2200
BYO charter - food not included for day charter
Liveaboard Crewed Yacht Charter:
Individual cabin bookings - maximum 8 guests
No children on board
Private whole boat charter - maximum 10 guests
Room rates are quoted per person.
|3 Days & Nights||4 Days & Nights||5 Days & Nights||6 Days & Nights|
|Multi Share||$1410||$1675||$1840||$1955 (Single Guest)|
|Private Whole Boat||$11,500||$13,400||$15,200||$16,600|
Full board with gourmet meals
Captain and Hostess
Includes washing up duties, however a $40 discount per day to each person (to a max $240 per day per charter) can be taken if you want to do this job!
Drinks (a wide selection of fine Australian wines, beer and soft drinks is available at reasonable prices), reef taxes A$50 per person and scuba diving (qualified divers only).
We offer individual cabin bookings for the following accommodation :
The Master Stateroom is located between the engine room and crew quarters. It is the full width of the ship (hence the name stateroom) & contains a double bed nearly 7ft long, and varying in width from around 5ft to 6 1/2ft (because of the curve shape of the hull). On the opposite side to the double bed, there is a settee that we would convert to store your suitcases allowing you easy access to all your gear. There is an en suite bathroom attached and this stateroom also has direct access to the aft deck above.
The Forward Stateroom (also a stateroom because it too extends the whole width of the ship) is smaller than the previously described because the ship is narrower at this location (see attachment HR Forward cabin). There is a bathroom immediately next to the door to this stateroom.
The Side Double Cabin during the day is a corridor to the master stateroom which is converted by the crew to a double bed after dinner. There is a curtain affording privacy from the main saloon and a door at the opposite end giving privacy from the master stateroom.
Please note that when an individual cabin is booked, we guarantee no children will be on board. We welcome children on private whole boat charters of course!
For private charter, our licensed capacity accommodation is 14 guests but we generally accept no more than 10 persons.
The individual cabin prices are per person and include all gourmet meals but if you would like to relieve Lynne and I of all t
Combine your charter with a low tide reef walking tour with Lynne Boyce. You will be amazed at the diversity of wildlife left stranded waiting till the high tide to return. You may be lucky to see shell life, crabs, starfish and even turtles on your tour. Every tour usually has a new surprise!
Combine golfing and sailing into one big fabulous holiday!
You will be teeing off from wold famous 18 hole Hamilton Island Golf Club, designed by British Open winner Peter Thompson. Please contact us for a tailor made quote to suit your passions! ( Private whole boat charters only)
We suggest that guests should consider this yacht as your own private floating luxury hotel, located in the middle of the world's largest marine park. It is fully equipped with "play toys" such as floating inflatable chairs, fishing gear, and snorkeling equipment. The GLASS BOTTOMED DIVE TENDER makes Sydney Sundancer the first live aboard sailing vessel in the area to boast such a great facility.
Each night, we anchor our yacht in a different bay, so calm that long stemmed wine glasses are safe! We like to advise that our guests can go snorkelling over magnificent coral gardens accompanied by thousands of friendly fish before breakfast to start the day with joy!
All prices in $AUS and include GST
Prices are subject to change without notice
50% deposit required to confirm your booking
Stiletto heels, platform or wedge shoes and black rubber soled shoes are not permitted to be worn on board
• Length: 16.26 metres
• Maximum 10 guests
• Private shower and two toilets
• Floating inflatable chairs
• Fishing gear
• Snorkeling equipment
• Glass bottomed dive tender
• Fully equipped galley
• Fully licensed bar
• Extensive sound system
• 2 double staterooms with ensuites
• IPod/IPhone/Android compatible sound system
• DVD facilities available
• Hydrophone to hear whales
• Huge swim platform for easy access to boat
• Pick up from Hamilton Island
-Awarded Best product at the first "World Wide Aussie Specialist Conference" (of overseas travel agents) in Brisbane for sailing and scuba diving holidays in the Great Barrier Reef.
-Australian Bridal Industry Award (ABIA) for Excellence for the Best Sydney Harbour Wedding Reception Vessel five years in a row (2003 through 2007).
- 2008 inducted into the ABIA “Hall of Fame” (weddign Suppliers)
-City of Sydney Council Award for The Best Decorated Boat on New Years Eve
The Australia Day Council’s award for The Best Presented / Best Decorated Charter Boat on Sydney Harbour (2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015!!)
In the Whitsunday’s, being one of the original professional tour operators, Sdyney Sundancer's permit issued by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority allows her to visit unique and remote locations where other boats are not permitted.
Whitsundays liveaboard luxury sailing charters, private sailing day charters
Sydney Sundancer normally conducts 7 day, scheduled cruises from Hamilton Island departing each Saturday afternoon, where you do not see civilization for a whole week until return on Saturday morning.
The following is an extract from Sydney Sundancer adventure diary showing a typical weeks itinerary:
-Guests arrive at Hamilton Island and are transported by taxi to the Marina (5 minutes).
-Boarding time is 3pm so there should be plenty of time for lunch and exploring Hamilton Island.
This is also a good time to arrange any wet suits or scuba gear required from the dive shop (H20 Dive shop) on Main Street adjacent to the marina.
-Be welcomed on board with a complimentary ice cold tropical Pimms cocktail or beer. Depart marina to begin an Adventure Sail to Nara Inlet to anchor for the evening.
-Cocktails, snacks and the evening meal will be served in this ultra calm bay.
-Exploration Walk Option
Be taken ashore by tender to follow a track leading to a lookout high above the inlet offering serene views of the yacht at anchor in a natural fjord harbour on this uninhabited Island. An added bonus while on this excursion is a visit to an ancient Aboriginal cave complete with paintings dating back to earlier than Captain James Cook's discovery of the area in 1770.
-Return to the yacht for breakfast and a swim
-Sail to Langford Reef for snorkelling or scuba diving. At this location as the tide abates, a massive drying reef joining two islands and a sand spit is revealed. Those wanting to take advantage of Lynne's expertise in nature will be guided around the reef before we all enjoy a superb lunch on the aft deck next to this coral cay.
-A short afternoon sail to Stonehaven anchorage on the northern shore of Hook Island in time to catch a glorious sunset, with cocktail in hand preceding a delicious dinner, to complete the first full day.
-An early morning snorkel over beautiful corals and fish gives an appetite for breakfast.
-Head out into the Whitsunday passage for an exhilarating sail.
-Lunch is served while under way and we arrive at Blue Pearl Bay on Hayman Island
-Afternoon snorkelling over the wonderful coral reef. For the first time we see the underwater world through the large glass bottom of the dive tender Sundance Kid John steers us skillfully over the crystal clear water and colourful corals, whilst Lynne explains the names of the numerous fish and corals, before we excitedly leap overboard to take an even closer look!!
-Another scuba dive for those who are qualified, or those wanting a bush walk, take the tender ashore to follow the pipe track (about 2.5 hours) around the island for a birds eye view of the wonderful waterways and nearby Islands.
-Enjoy a superb sunset from the western side of Hayman Island, a crimson sky whilst sipping cocktails before dinner.
-The corals are so beautiful at Blue Pearl Bay that most guests want to enjoy another snorkel before we set sail for Butterfly Bay. -On arrival, we dinghy ashore for a stroll amongst the dense tropical foliage and thick canopy of native trees behind a white coral beach to see thousands of butterflies and yet another snorkel for those inclined over exceptionally colourful corals.
-After setting a course due east, we visit Manta Ray Bay where the corals are spectacular and hundreds of fish are so friendly that they gather around and under our glass bottomed boat on arrival to welcome us. We watch with excitement when 'Albert' the resident Maori Wrasse (over 1 metre long) stares up at us through the glass bottom. “Albert” is accompanied by hundreds of Sergeant Majors, Fusiliers, Moon Wrasse and many other extremely colourful fish. (Without exception every guest said this is one of the top highlights of their visit! )
-Those that are scuba divers dive, but snorkelers have the unforgettable opportunity to hand feed these amazingly colourful fish in crystal clear blue water.
-As the weather is totally calm and perfect, we all decide we will spend the afternoon cruising to Bait Reef, which lies on the Outer Reef, and is about three hours from Manta Ray Bay. Guests read their books comfortably either lying on the air bed or on the inflatable armchairs, occasionally looking up to see if there are whales leaping out of the water or dolphins swimming at the bow.
-Some guests love to learn navigation and are ably assisted in lessons from the Captain!
-On arrival to Bait Reef we proceed through an opening between the coral boulders into a perfectly protected lagoon.
Take the tender to Garry’s lagoon for an afternoon snorkel to witness the amazing diversity of fish and corals.
-The sunset that evening has to be seen to be believed, as the sun drops into the sea as we enjoy our cocktails on the aft deck.
-An early morning walk to the top of the saddle on Border Island yields fabulous views towards world famous Whitehaven Beach. -After returning to Sydney Sundancer, we visit the stunning corals of this lovely little island.
-Later, as there is no breeze for sailing, the conditions are favourable to visit Deloraine Island about 4 miles to the south east. Sydney Sundancer is the only commercial vessel permitted by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to visit this island, so this is a rare treat, because the corals here are some of the best we have ever seen. Visits are restricted to only perfectly calm conditions, and our guests are amazed at the visibility of the water and variety of corals and fish life.
-Fossicking on the coral beach at Deloraine Island (a rare treat because it is so rarely visited)
-Sail on to magnificent Whitehaven Beach and we lunch in style on the aft deck en route.
-On arrival at the north eastern tip of Whitehaven Beach at Hill Inlet, we all decide to enjoy a short stroll to the look out, high above the magnificent inlet and Whitehaven Beach for THE most unforgettable view. Some of our guests decide on some gentle exercise walking on the silica white soft sandy beach that “squeaks” between barefoot toes!
-The remaining guests return to the yacht to try their luck trolling for fish as we sail to our overnight anchorage at the Southern end of Whitehaven Beach (5 kilometres away), where we plan to rendezvous with the beach walkers.
-We wake to cloudless skies (again), turquoise water and the whitest beach any one has ever seen. A swim ashore is irresistible and a stroll unforgettable.
-Set sail through the Solway Pass to Hazelwood Island and the southern anchorage named Waite Bay which affords perfect protection now that the breeze has swung to the North East. Access to this very special anchorage is restricted, and Sydney Sundancer is one of only three commercial charter vessels permitted by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to visit this location, and the only commercial operator to permitted to conduct reef walking excursions.
-Reef Walking Excursion
Low tide is at 10 am so we take the tender ashore at 9am to begin our fascinating reef walk on 5 square kilometres of drying reef. Lynne guides guests to all the fascinating mollusks and creatures, describing their life cycle and interactions on the reef. Later, when the reef has submerged again, Lynne guides several of us for a snorkel along the front edge of this magnificent reef and we see all kinds of fish life and wonderful corals. Waite Bay is a turtle breeding sanctuary, so we normally encounter many during our snorkelling expedition.
-We have our lunch underway under sail along the southern edge of Whitsunday Island while the occasional dolphin is playing in the bow wave. They love humans and seem to smile up at us as we watch in wonder from the bow.
-About mid afternoon, we enter Cid Harbour on the western side of Whitsunday Island.
-We all take the tender ashore and those who feel energetic, hike to the top of Whitsunday Peak, the highest point in the Islands, and those who just feel like a stroll follow the beaten track to Dugong Inlet, not so strenuous.
-Drinks to discuss the days activities are enjoyed whilst watching the golden sunset before dinner. After dinner we all relive the week by watching the photos and movies of all the adventures and experiences (both above and under the water) that we have shared. All guests receive a free CD of the images and movies that Lynne has captured during a truly amazing week!
-After a swim before breakfast, we reluctantly set sail for Hamilton Island, concluding what has been for everyone aboard, the most fascinating, exciting and relaxing holiday of their lifetime.
Typically Weekly Meals
All evening meals are preceded with drinks at sunset served with a daily selection of delicious entrees and nibbles including:
Pink Peppercorn Pate
Duck and Orange Pate
Smoked Trout Mousse
Smoked Salmon Dip
Assorted Roasted Nuts including wasabi macadamias
Sun-dried Tomato, Roast Capsicum, Cherry Tomato with Balsamic and Basil Relish Served on Pesto Toast
Smoked Ocean Trout on cheddar biscuits, with seeded mustard mayonnaise and fresh lime
Saturday to Friday Menu
Dinner: Grilled Atlantic Salmon with a warm vegetable salad with tomato salsa and almond and herb pesto.
Lunch: Spicy Asian Beef Salad with coriander and mint.
Dinner: Rack of “Cervena” free ranged farmed venison, with an orange and veal sauce infused with cinnamon bark, and served on a bed of parsnip puree and green beans.
Lunch: Corn fed filleted chicken breasts with macadamia dressing and mango salsa, served with sugar snap peas and avacado.
Dinner: Barbeque King Prawns Peri Peri served with wild rice and salad.
Lunch: Gold medal winning Woodbridge Pepperberry liquer cured Ocean Trout with kipfler potato salad and salmon caviar.
Dinner: Seared kangaroo on wilted bok choi, with roasted beetroot wedges and caramelised onions.
Lunch: Trio of mushrooms Risotto.
Dinner: Seared, grain fed, eye fillet of beef, marinated in lemon grass, ginger, lime juice and spices served with roasted pumpkin and sugar snap peas.
Lunch: Saffron Angel Hair pasta with smoked salmon , leeks and mascarpone wrapped with smoked salmon.
Dinner: Asian inspired glazed duck breasts with seasonal greens.
Lunch: Fresh homemade asparagus quiche with a salad of roast capsicum, sun dried tomatoes and leafy greens, with honey, orange and walnut dressing.
Dinner: Squid ink fettuccine with Tasmanian scallops and King prawns, served with a creamy citrus sauce.
We have found that with our selection of entrees and main meals, guests prefer not to be served sweets, however, for the sweet toothed, Lynne can create any number of desserts on request.
Following the evening meal, freshly brewed, ground plunger coffee (decaffeinated available) or a large selection of teas and herbal teas, can be complimented with Cappuccino coffee beans, Orange Brandy coffee beans, Ashmore's Wild Berry and Creams, Pecan and Honeyed Chocolates, Guy Lian Shell Chocolates, chocolate peppermints, and a variety of ports, dessert wines and liqueurs from our extensive wine cellar. A cheese platter with a delicious variety of Australian cheeses, is also available on request, both for after lunch or dinner.
The daily breakfast is your choice of a variety of fresh fruits, cereals, yoghurts, jams and piping hot toast together with freshly brewed ground coffee (not instant) or your choice of teas including English and Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey, or herbal, served just the way you like it!
How many years have you been operating in Whitsundays?
Sydney Sundancer has been chartering in the Great Barrier Reef for nearly 30 years and I do not believe there is another owner / operator with as much knowledge or experience.
What is the best time for experiencing The Great Barrier Reef?
We offer our "Adventures in Paradise" during the warm, dry months of June to October which are the very best time of the year to experience The Great Barrier Reef. Our season just happens to coincide with the period that the huge Humpback whales are in the Whitsunday’s, so we have regular close encounters with the giants of the sea who have migrated to the area to give birth to their babies. Our season concludes in October because, by then, the prevailing winds have turned from the south to the north which means that the best bays for snorkelling and scuba diving are inaccessible (almost all the spectacular corals are on the northern side of the islands, where it is not possible anchor when the northerly wind is directing large waves to these locations) and because of the presence of dangerous sea creatures (deadly Box jellyfish and Irrukanji jellyfish) and cyclones during the hot wet months in the tropics.
What kind of entertainment options and gears do you provide during the charter?
- Sydney Sundancer is fully equipped with "play toys" such as floating inflatable chairs, fishing gear and snorkeling equipment.
- Hydrophone (underwater microphone) to listen to the magical songs of the whales as they communicate with each other.
- A glass bottomed dive tender making us the first live aboard sailing vessel in the area to boast such a great facility.
What is the catering options during the stay?
You can be assured that the meals enjoyed aboard will exceed your expectation and surpass much of what is served in well known Sydney restaurants. The American magazine "Bon Appetite", has written to Lynne requesting one of her recipes for publication in the USA.
What should we expect to see in the Whitsundays?
Your hosts aboard Sydney Sundancer know the islands so well, both below and above the water, that you can be sure to see the very best of everything the area has to offer. The most important thing to appreciate about Sydney Sundancer holidays is that a boating holiday is not just a boating holiday!
A word from your hosts Lynne and John Boyce
'We simply use our yacht as “a floating 5 star hotel” from which each days personally guided diverse experience begins and ends “in the lap of luxury”. We like to think of our yacht "Sydney Sundancer" as the little sister to the QE2.Wonderful waterways are what The Whitsunday's are all about, and this is where our experience really counts. We will guide our guests to locations, where entering the magical world of colourful coral gardens is as close as just jumping off the back of our boat. Here you will be accompanied by so many brightly coloured, friendly fish that it is like swimming in your own aquarium.'
Will there be assistance for snorkelling and diving?
The crew on board offer free tuition to those who have not snorkelled before and (being scuba divers) we can "buddy" up with any qualified diver who does not have a buddy and guide them to the best locations underwater.
Not only is this type of holiday wonderful for all ages to enjoy equally but it is an educational holiday with nature too!! Lynne is delighted to guide guests onto the drying reefs identifying amazing creatures which the normal eye would miss. She is always in the water to guide our guests at all times, ensuring all the best corals and fish are observed at close quarters, and to inform guests the names of the fish and corals that they are viewing!! John is always nearby in the tender whilst our guests are snorkelling, just in case anyone wants to vacate the water before the others!! This also gives confidence to those who are more nervous or not confident about snorkelling. Lynne has an underwater camera to “catch the action” and memorable moments!
How do I get from the boat to the water from such a large boat?
From the attached photos you will see that we have a wide and sturdy ladder on the aft deck leading to a massive swimming platform, which in turn makes getting in and out of the water extremely easy for all ages (both old and young!) The swimming platform also makes it very safe and easy to get into our large, stable (because it is a catamaran), glass bottomed dive tender.
Can I experience sailing the boat?
We offer a "hands on" holiday, where guests can take the wheel and experience true "big boat" sailing, without having the responsibility of navigating the "tricky" reefs. If you choose not to sail, that is ok too. It is your choice, it is your holiday.
Can we bring children under 18 years?
If guests have children under 18 years of age they must charter our yacht privately. We love having children aboard because they are enthusiastic about the experience and want to learn so much about the ecology of the reef but other paying guests might not appreciate your children the way you do!
How do we get to Sydney Sundancer at The Whitsundays?
For our guests convenience, Sydney Sundancer is based at Hamilton Island.This means that you do less travel and more of the fun!
Daily flights from most major Australian cities direct to the Hamilton Island Airport and is less than 5 minutes from Sydney Sundancer marina berth.
Compare Pick up Airlie Beach
Daily flights from most major Australian cities direct to the Prosepine
40 min Bus or taxi to Airlie BeachSail to and from from the mainland to reach the reefs, wheras a Hamilton Islaand is closer to coral reefs.
Please call the friendly Sydney Harbour Escapes team with your enquiries
Open 7 days 02 9328 4748
After Hours Emergency: 0438 177 283
We are open 7 days a week