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Sightseeing & Dining

From farmland to high rises: A brief history of Surfers Paradise

By | Blog, Sightseeing & Dining

From farmland to high rises: A brief history of Surfers Paradise

Sightseeing and Dining

1952 Surfers Paradise

Our luxury sightseeing vessel, Spirit of Elston, is named in recognition of Surfers Paradise’s history. But what even is Elston?

Elston was the first official name of the town of what we now know and love as Surfers Paradise. Long before the hustle and bustle and the striking city skylines we are used to, the city was a quiet agricultural region. Over the years as its potential and popularity grew, the dull farmlands turned into the glitzy, must-see tourist destination in South-East Queensland.

As you cruise through the Gold Coast waterways, you’re drifting past one hundred years of history.

Cavill Avenue

The early days

The Yugambeh People first occupied the Gold Coast and South-East Queensland region before the arrival of European settlement. They hunted for fish in the waters hosted ceremonial invitations where Coomera is located.

The region was settled by James Beattie in 1869 and used for farmland. Timber cutters relished the rich cedar and tallowwood forests in the hinterlands and the area along the rivers were used to grow crops and sugarcane. In 1889, the Gold Coast region was officially called Elston, named after the Southport Postmaster’s wife’s home village in England.

When Jim Cavill acquired five acres of Elston’s land in 1917, it was the beginning of the rise of the town of Elston. The city began to grow in popularity in 1925 after opening the Jubilee Bridge, connecting Southport to Main Beach. Before installing the South Coast Road, the area was only reached by Meyer’s Ferry at the Nerang River. Now easily accessible, investors began purchasing land in the area.

Elston becomes Surfers Paradise

In 1925, Cavil built the town’s first landmark, Surfers Paradise Hotel (now the site of the Surfers Paradise Centre). As more visitors flocked to the town, more establishments and shops were built. After years of lobbying from Cavill, Elston’s less than glamorous name was rebranded to Surfers Paradise in 1933.

A city of high rises

Over the decades, Surfers Paradise grew rapidly into the must-see holiday destination. Attracted to the sunshine and unspoilt beaches, tourists flocked to the city, encouraging the development of holiday apartments and shopping arcades. High-rise buildings began to grow after the construction of the Kinkabool, a 10-storey apartment now protected by the Queensland State Heritage Register. The Surfers Paradise skyline has grown a lot since Kinkabool, with various towering high-rises that have become an iconic landmark of themselves. Keep an eye out on your cruise for the Q1 skyscraper, the sixth tallest residential building in the world.

What will I see on my cruise?

There are still landmarks from Elston and early Surfers Paradise that you can see on your Sea World Cruises sightseeing cruise.

Seaquarium AKA Sea World

Sea World was once known as Seaquarium in 1965. The theme parks oldest ride, Vikings Revenge Flume Ride was built in 1978 and was closed to the public in 2016. You will pass by the Sea World Marine park on your cruise.

Traffic at Jubilee Bridge

Jubilee Bridge AKA Sundale Bridge

Sea World was once known as Seaquarium in 1965. The theme parks oldest ride, Vikings Revenge Flume Ride was built in 1978 and was closed to the public in 2016. You will pass by the Sea World Marine park on your cruise.

Goat Island AKA Chevron Island

The canal estate of Chevron Island was one of the first major land developments in Surfers Paradise in the 1950s. Before it was home to luxury homes, it was farmland home to a large population of goats, earning the title of Goat Island.

Tug of war at Southport Broadwater Parklands

Southport Broadwater Parklands

The much-loved Broadwater Parklands in Southport was declared a public space in 1928. Over 90 years later, it’s grown into a popular hub of activity.

Book one of our Sea World Cruises sightseeing cruises and witness the rich history for in person.

BOOK NOW

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Why a Gold Coast Cruise is the ultimate Valentine’s Day date

By | Blog, Sightseeing & Dining

Why a Gold Coast Cruise is the ultimate Valentine’s Day date

Sightseeing & Dining

Imagine this: You’re in awe of your sweetheart, unsure what is sparkling more, their eyes or the city lights around you. You’re in a world of your own as you cruise down the Gold Coast waterways. The city skyline glimmers off the river as you and your love share a night of unforgettable romance.

Valentine’s Day can be intimidating for even the most romantic of Romeo’s. Have no fear, we have the best date idea for you and your Juliet. Ditch supermarket flowers and whisk your sweetheart away on an amorous evening of decadent dining. Sea World Cruises Valentine’s Day Cruise is the perfect way to say “I love you” to your special someone.

Follow our steps to the most perfect Valentine’s Day date night ever.

1. Your secret is safe with us

Secure your spot on the Valentine’s Day cruise, but don’t tell your boo. All they need to know is what time they have to be ready to leave. Departure from a convenient location in Surfers Paradise. Check-in 6:30 PM for a 7:00 PM departure. Dress code: smart casual. We recommend booking early to avoid disappointment as this cruise always sells out.

2. It’s showtime

You and your special someone are all dolled up and you have never seen each other look so beautiful. Now it’s time to head to Surfers Paradise to begin your romantic evening. If possible (and safe), blindfold your lover on the way to the destination to keep the allure of mystery.

3. The big reveal

Arriving at the Surfers Paradise jetty, your sweetheart is in for the surprise of their life. Take the blindfold off and voila! A beautiful cruise vessel is waiting for you under glistening city lights. After you have been rightfully adored for all your efforts, remind them that it only gets better from here.

4. Your carriage (cruise boat) awaits!

Our friendly crew will guide you and your lover to your seats onboard our spacious and comfortable vessel. Treat yourselves at our onboard fully licensed bar to crisp beverages or be tempted by our tantalising cocktails. The sound of love will float through the air from our onboard live-entertainment, think swoony voices and melodies, setting the scene for a loved-up night only seen in the movies.

5. Tempt your tastebuds

Indulge in a delectable two-course buffet meal fit for your king or queen. Impress your special someone with an irresistible menu which includes fresh ocean king prawns, roasted leg of lamb with a rosemary crust, tasty grilled calamari, grilled barramundi plus so much more. When you’re full from dinner and full of love, there’s always room to squeeze in dessert. Be seduced by our selection of decadent desserts including rich chocolate cake with three berry coulis or our Valentine’s Day-themed Chef’s Daily Special.

6. Love is in the air

Feel the butterflies as you cosy up under sparkling skies sipping sparkling wine. Our 360-degree open-air rooftop lounge is set up with bar amenities so you don’t have to miss a moment of adoration. Pass by local iconic landmarks and the stunning Gold Coast City skyline.

7. You and me, forevermore

Time flies when you’re in love. You haven’t noticed the night drawing to a close until you hear the Captain announce that you have returned to Surfers Paradise. Lead your lover hand by their hand off the boat. It’s up to you to choose a kiss goodnight or see where the rest of your Valentine’s Day date night takes you.

Don’t miss the perfect opportunity to wow your Valentine and book now. Special cruises sell out fast, call now to secure your spot.

BOOK NOW

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Celebrating Australia Day with Sea World Cruises

By | Blog, Sightseeing & Dining

Celebrating Australia Day with Sea World Cruises

Charters and Functions

Live Band
Nothing says Australia Day more than sunshine, live music, sausage sizzle, and locally brewed beer. Celebrate the end of the holiday season with a bang aboard a Sea World Cruises Australia Day Cruise

After spending a day celebrating in the Queensland summer sun, continue the Australia Day festivities into the night. Gather the crew for a night to remember. Departing at 6:00PM from Surfers Paradise, relax and enjoy three hours on the Gold Coast waterways. Pass famous landmarks and dazzling skylines as you relish in the best views of the city. Be entertained by live music performing covers of the most iconic acts in Australian music. Enjoy mouthwatering sausage sizzles all washed down with a crisp drink of your choice from our fully licensed on board bar.

Night Cruise Deck

Why should you spend your Australia Day with Sea World Cruises?

Traditional Australian Cuisine

AKA the one, the only, the sausage sizzle. There’s something about a freshly cooked sausage straight from the barbeque wrapped in soft white bread that just tastes like home. Top with grilled onion and drizzle with tomato sauce and you’ve got the flavour of Australia in your hand.

Hero Image Band
Well stocked bar

Relax and cool down sipping on an ice-cold beverage from our fully licensed on board bar. With a wide selection of crisp beer and ciders, delectable wines and spirits, there is something for everyone. We boast a range of mouth-watering cocktails including our famous Spirit of Elston, a fruity favourite served in a pineapple. How can you pass that up?

The best view in town

Cruising on the Gold Coast waters is a sure-fire way to secure the best seat in town. Begin with a stunning sunset view as we depart Surfers. As the sky darkens, be in awe of the sparkling city skyline. Pass by iconic landmarks from the Palace Versace, Sea World, and more. Our open-air deck offers 360-degree views of the Gold Coast, the perfect spot to witness the wonders of the sparkling city. Our skipper will find the best place to stop and soak in the breathtaking, glittering spectacular over the Broadwater.

Live Aussie music

Celebrate our ‘Great Southern Land’ as you tap your toes and belt out the high notes along with our live entertainment. Spoiling you with the best of Australian music, listen as they perform covers of classics from INXS to AC/DC.  Dance and sing your way through the night to tunes, both new and old.

Cruise In luxury

Feel like the superstar you are onboard our multi-million dollar purpose-built vessel. Our comfortable lower deck is spacious and fully air-conditioned with plenty of room to mingle and have a boogie. Wander up to our open-air deck and soak in all the best of what the Gold Coast has to offer.

Special cruises sell out fast, book early to avoid disappointment. Call to book and secure your spot today!

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Level up your romance: A Sea World Cruise could be your next epic date!

By | Sightseeing & Dining

Level up your romance: A Sea World Cruise could be your next epic date!

Sightseeing & Dining

Valentine'sDayCruise

Few experiences can rival the sheer romance of a sightseeing dinner cruise on the magical Gold Coast waterways. Enjoy the shimmering lights of the city skyline as you cosy up to your special someone. Our dinner cruises are a great way to impress someone new or say “I love you” to someone you already treasure. Continue reading to find out why Sea World Cruises should be your next epic date.

What are the details?

Our luxurious Sightseeing Dinner Cruise lasts 2.5 hours – the perfect amount of time for a first date! It leaves from Surfers Paradise, every Friday and Saturday night at 7:00PM. Be sure to arrive 10 minutes early – we recommend parking in the nearby Bruce Bishop Car Park. There will be live entertainment aboard our new vessel, ‘Spirit of Elston.’ There is a relaxing rooftop lounge, from which you and your date can gaze at famous local landmarks (or into each other’s eyes). The cruise route passes by Sea World, Marina Mirage, Palazzo Versace and spectacular waterfront homes. It truly is one of the most enjoyable dinner experiences on the Gold Coast.

Valentine'sDayCruise

What’s on the menu?

You may be wondering, what exactly is on the menu? And does it really speak romance? Well the answer is quality, local produce expertly prepared by our talented Head Chef. And yes it most certainly does! Expect fresh prawns from our local Gold Coast trawlers, New Zealand mussels and seasonal, gourmet salads. On the menu in terms of hot food is slow-cooked lamb with rosemary and homemade jus; grilled barramundi in a coconut bisque with steamed rice; chicken in garlic, lemon and olive oil; twice-cooked roasted chat potatoes with sea salt; and a medley of roast vegetables of Italian herbs. For desserts, indulge in seasonal fruit platters and our daily specials. Don’t worry, you and your date will love the sweet surprise!

Valentine'sDayCruise

How do I book?

We have ensured the booking process is very easy. Either book online or call us at (07) 5539 9299. You will receive confirmation in the form of a tour voucher, which you can print and present on the day of the tour. If you are trying to save on waste or don’t have a printer, mobile vouchers are accepted too! And we know how tricky organising a date can be, so you can change or cancel your booking free of charge up to 24 hours before departure. 

 

Experience the best of the Gold Coast as you and your special someone cruise in style aboard our luxurious boat. Glide smoothly through the protected canals of Surfers Paradise and Main Beach, past waterfront mansions and the lavish Marina Mirage and Palazzo Versace. Engage in meaningful conversation over delicious food, all the while enjoying the ambiance and magical setting of a Sightseeing Dinner Cruise with Sea World Cruises. 

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What to expect on a sightseeing or dining cruise

By | Sightseeing & Dining

What to expect on a sightseeing or dining cruise

Sightseeing & Dining

Sea World Cruises offers four unique sightseeing and dining options for you to sit down, relax and enjoy the spectacular views of the Gold Coast. Below you will find outlines of what to expect from each of our cruises so you can make the most suitable choice for you and your loved ones. Better yet, why not make your way through the list and experience all four!

Morning Explorer Cruise

While not currently available due to COVID-19, this cruise normally runs for 1.5 hours. Start your morning right in the fresh Gold Coast air and sunshine. Our morning cruise provides a great blend of sightseeing, complimentary cakes and quality coffee. On this cruise, expect to see the stunning homes of the rich and famous, take in the city skyline and visit other famed regional spots. Our vessel is air-conditioned for those who want to stay inside and escape the ocean breeze, otherwise we have an open top-level sun deck for those wishing to soak in some vitamin D.

Morning Cruise Cakes

Sightseeing Lunch Cruise

This cruise departs from Surfers Paradise and goes for 2 hours. Experience the finest local produce with a lunch of fresh prawns, roasted chicken, freshly-baked ham off-the-bone, garden salad, caesar salad, coleslaw, condiments and seasonal fruit platters. Compliment your lunch with some locally crafted beers from Pickled Pig and Burleigh Brewery. Better yet, indulge in one of our delicious cocktails made by our talented bartenders. There is simply no better or more exquisite way to see the Gold Coast!

Afternoon Explorer Cruise

This 1.5 hour cruise departs daily at 3:30PM. Kick back and relax while you snack on some complimentary savoury treats. Grab a drink from our onboard licensed bar and soak in the late afternoon sun while you gaze at the highlights of the Gold Coast. Our vessel is as spacious as it is comfortable, and provides the perfect space for you to watch regional landmarks as they pass you by. Don’t forget your camera for the perfect sunset shot – it is golden hour after all!

Sightseeing Dinner Cruise

This cruise operates on the weekend, departing from Surfers Paradise at 7:00PM and lasting 2.5 hours. Offering a classy and elegant evening of dining and sightseeing, our dinner cruise is perfect for celebrating special occasions or treating yourself and loved ones to a delicious meal on the city’s waterways. With dishes prepared by our top local chef using quality, locally sourced ingredients, this cruise is bound to delight even the most high-class of guests. Indulge in slow cooked lamb, grilled barramundi, twice-cooked roasted chat potatoes plus more while you listen to live entertainment.

Valentine'sDayCruise

Join us for a spectacular morning, midday, afternoon or evening cruise on the beautiful Gold Coast waterways. Enjoy the magnificent views while you indulge in delicious food, sip on expertly-prepared cocktails and have a laugh with your loved ones. Capture a breathtaking photo from the sundeck and be sure to keep a look out for our resident dolphin pods! No matter what cruise you choose, this will certainly be an experience to remember.

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