December 1, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

A new yacht festival is coming to Sydney on the first day of 2022, as the city gears up for an eventful start to the new year.

The Sydney Superyacht Festival will feature cocktail and gala events at the Sydney Seaplanes Empire Lounge in Rose Bay, a party catamaran and gourmet picnics and entertainment on Shark Island. A superyacht and luxury boat parade will take place on the first day of the event, travelling from Watson’s Bay up through Sydney Harbour under the Harbour Bridge and returning to Rose Bay. There will also be other events held at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.

The event is being developed by Marine Lifestyles and has support from Superyacht Australia and Dr Jerry Schwartz who owns both Sydney Seaplanes and Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.

“I envisioned a Monaco style annual luxury boating event flowing on from the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks, showcasing the beauty of Sydney Harbour to the world,” said Grant Dwyer, the festival’s founder and co-founder of Marine Lifestyles.

“The opening parade will feature the very best luxury boating brands in Australia, and encourage international superyachts not just to come to Sydney for the New Year’s Eve fireworks, but to stay in Sydney and be part of a series of events and functions centred on the harbour.

“The longer-term goal is to have Australian and international businesses, organisations and luxury brands hosting functions on VIP charter boat or at distinctive harbour venue functions for companies, clients and guests, while enjoying the Sydney Superyacht Festivities.”

Schwartz said the summer months would be a crucial period for reviving Sydney’s tourism industry after Australia’s extended international border closure.

“With Sydney Harbour regularly regarded as the world’s finest harbour, we thought it imperative to create a Festival that puts the destination back on the world tourism map.

“High-end festivals over the summer season can fill what is a traditionally quiet time for the city’s tourism sector, while highlighting Sydney as a premium destination. It’s a perfect vehicle for extending domestic and international tourists’ stays in Sydney after New Year’s Eve fireworks and the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.”

Alongside the Sydney Superyacht Festival, also on the calendar to kick off the new year is the ELEVATE Sydney Festival being staged by the NSW Government on the Cahill Expressway overlooking Sydney Harbour.

The Expressway will be closed for six days at the start of 2022 to host the event which will feature live performances by powerhouses of Australia’s music scene and the biggest drone show in the Southern Hemisphere.

Thirty thousand free tickets for ELEVATE Sydney will be available from tomorrow.