Frequently Asked Questions
Here are our answers to the most common questions we get asked. But there’s no such thing as a silly question, so if you’ve got another one, just get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer.
Prior to Departure
When do I need to arrive?
We recommend passengers arrive 30 minutes before departure.
That gives you plenty of breathing space and enough time to indulge in a champagne or cocktail before departure.
What do I need to bring?
We recommend bringing a jacket.
It can get cool on the water, especially when the sun goes down.
How do I get to Rose Bay?
If you’re coming from the City, and not driving, the following transport options are available:
• Ferry from Circular Quay to Rose Bay Ferry Wharf – we recommend you check the timetable beforehand and allow 20-30 minutes for the trip.
• Water Taxi from Circular Quay to the Seaplane Terminal (To add this to your online booking just check the box). To arrange Water Taxi please e-mail us to or call us on 9388 1978.
• Taxi – 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.
What if the weather is bad?
Your charter will go ahead in most weather conditions. Safety is our primary concern though, so if things get too wild out there, we’ll let you know.
Assume your cruise is going ahead. If for any reason your cruise does not go ahead as scheduled, we’ll either reschedule with you or provide you with a refund.
If your cruise includes flight transfers, please keep in mind flights only proceed if weather conditions are suitable. The decision to fly is made by our Chief Pilot on the day based on the aviation forecast.
What do the charter costs cover?
Charter costs cover:
4 hours (or more) cruising.
Your Captain and Marine Crew
What is your cancellation policy?
A 50% deposit is required to confirm your booking. Full payment required 14 days prior to departure.
Date changes/cancellations between 48 hours and 14 days prior to the charter incur a 50% rescheduling/cancellation fee.
Date changes/cancellations within 48 hours of the charter date incur a 100% fee and no refund will be offered.
Refer to our Terms and Conditions <link to Terms and Conditions page> for more details.
Can I bring my own food?
Empire Cruises have developed an extensive range of on-board menus to cater for all matter of tastes.
So, although you can’t bring your own food on-board we are sure you’ll find something on the menu <link to Catering page> to tempt your tastebuds
Can I bring my own drinks?
All Empire Cruises are BYO drinks. But our friendly staff are here to help.
Let us know what drinks you’d like on board for your cruise and we’ll happily arrange for the boat to be stocked the day prior to your departure.
We’ll purchase the drinks on your behalf.
All you need to do is decide what you’d like and our team will take it from there.*
Any left-over drinks can be collected the day after the cruise.
Or we’ll arrange to return them to you.
*Corkage, collection and delivery fees apply
Can I bring my own music?
Yes, bring your own music along.
But we can’t promise the Captain won’t slip a few of his favourite tunes into the play mix.
Can we stop somewhere to jump in for a swim?
Our Captains know Sydney Harbour and the Pittwater like the back of their hand.
Finding the best spots for a harbour dip is their super-power.
What wharves can NISI access during our cruise?
NISI can access many of the wharves dotted around the Harbour.
Chat to our Charter Specialists to confirm where you’d like to access.
Wharf fees are extra and start from $50.00 per pick up/drop off.
Can we wear shoes?
We have a no shoe policy on board Nisi.
After all, NISI is a work of art and we want to keep her that way.
Besides, nothing feels better underfoot, than the raw, salty feel of timber decking.
What additional charges should I expect?
Wait staff: $160.00 per waitstaff (4 hours), $40 per hour thereafter.
1 waitstaff required per 10 passengers
Wharf Fees: approximately $50 per wharf
BYO Beverage: take a look at our Catering page <link to Catering page> for indicative costs. Collection, stocking, corkage and return fees apply when bringing your own beverages. (approx. $35.00 per head).
Can I extend the charter on the day?
We understand. It happens. You’re having such a great time you don’t want it to end.
So, if we don’t have other bookings or commitments, we’ll happily extend your charter.
Additional hours start at $1500 per hour.
Can we smoke on the boat?
NISI is a no smoking boat.
Get in Touch
The Perfect On Water Experience
Take a look at our Cruise and Charter options. Or get in touch with the team at Empire Cruises, Sydney Seaplanes and Empire Lounge. We’re ready to create the perfect experience for you and your guests.
Be indulged from the moment you and your party arrive at Empire Lounge. Relax with a drink and sample the freshest of seafood while we finalise arrangements for your cruise departure.
Complete our contact form and we’ll be in touch. Our charter specialists will help plan your ultimate luxury boating experience. Or head to our Frequently Asked Questions Page for more information on NISI charters.
For more information:
Overseas: 1300 732 752
Phone: +61 2 9388 1987