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Top celebrities – SHYC shows them Sydney Harbour

November 21, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Prince Charles, Tom Cruise, Kylie Minogue, Vince Vaughn, Michael Buble, Will Ferrell, Robert De Niro, Ashton Kutcher, John Travolta – all have sailed Sydney Harbour with Sydney Harbour Yacht Charter, which this week celebrates its 20th year of operating on Sydney Harbour.

And there’s more. You can add US President George W. Bush, Richard Branson and Elton John to that list of famous names, plus three great entertainers who sadly are no longer with us: Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Robin Williams.

Despite that impressive line-up, Simon Loneragan, Sydney Harbour Yacht Charter’s general manager and senior captain, is refreshingly down-to-earth.

He won’t say which of all those celebrities he most prefers – though Robert De Niro gains favourable mention.

Loneragan takes great pride in the calibre of clients and events Sydney Harbour Yacht Charter has hosted over the past 20 years. Apart from the celebrities, the company’s expertise has allowed it to host cruises for an equally impressive line-up of high-end corporate events, including five consecutive years of hosting ROLEX VIPs during the ROLEX Sydney to Hobart.

It has hosted Australian movie premieres for American Pie 2, Battleship, High School Musical, and Johnny English, and corporate events for the GWS Giants, NOVA Entertainment, Nude By Nature, Jose Cuervo Tequila, Virgin Money, the Invictus Games, United Airlines and THALES.

Service with a smile aboard A.Q.A. 

The company has been designing and facilitating boutique events for two decades on two vessels – the 92-foot A.Q.A. and 65-foot State of the Art. (That’s about 28 metres and 20 metres respectively, for landlubbers who think in metric.)

As guests discovered on an A.Q.A. cruise around Sydney Harbour on Monday, food and service aboard are excellent, Champagne is French (naturally!) and the boat is a delight. Catering depends on the client and the occasion. There’s one story about a billionaire’s wife who interrupted a sumptuous banquet aboard because she had a sudden desire for a bucket of KFC. The boat stopped and obtained it. The tale is true, though nobody is naming names.

“We have built our reputation on our experience in luxury yacht charters, plus our knowledge of Sydney Harbour,” Loneragan said on Monday.

“With two vessels available that adapt for numerous styles of events, we believe we provide unequalled diversity for event hosting on Sydney Harbour.”

Both vessels have been refurbished recently refurbished to provide guests with a luxurious, contemporary experience.

The 20th year of Sydney Harbour Yacht Charter’s operations has seen extensive refurbishments completed for both vessels. 

Refurbishments to A.Q.A, costing nearly AUD 500,000, include:

  • Entire navigation equipment upgrade by Garmin Australia, valued at AUD140,000;
  • Main fly bridge and helm redesign and refurbishment including leather finishes and timber panels;
  • Fly bridge lounge refit;
  • Main aft deck lounge refit, with the addition of a 10-seat teak dining setting;
  • Fly bridge aft deck 12 person lounge suite;
  • White wash oak timber flooring throughout the boat;
  • Galley upgrades including BOSCH double commercial ovens;
  • Reverse cycle air conditioning system upgrade to the value of AUD 150,000;
  • Full rebuild of the bow sunbed and lounge furnishings;
  • Installation of draft beer facilities, serving award-winning Hope Estate pale ale;
  • All soft furnishings updated;
  • A major international class survey was completed by DNV GL, the highest possible international safety and quality inspection. 

Simon Loneragan, Sydney Harbour Yacht Charter’s general manager and senior captain, cuts a cake to celebrate 20 years of company operations. Photo by Peter Needham


The company’s other vessel, State of the Art, has completed the following refurbishments, to the total value of about AUD 250,000:

  • Timber floor and panelling resurfacing throughout the boat;
  • Complete stainless steel engine piping replaced;
  • New air conditioning system;
  • Major engine servicing and quality tested;
  • Bow sunbed custom-designed and built;
  • Full lounge suite upgrade.

For lovers of trivia, in its 20 years of operations, Sydney Harbour Yacht Charter has seen:

  • 2800 parties hosted (140 each year)
  • 75,000 champagne corks popped (3700 each year)
  • 112,000 passengers boarded (5,600 each year)
  • 900,000 canapes served (45,000 each year).

Written by Peter Needham

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