Get up close to the Festival of Sails Passage Race

Visitors to Geelong and local families will have a unique opportunity to get up close to the finishing racing action of the iconic Festival of Sails Passage Race on Thursday, January 26 with a special one-hour cruise on the ‘Geelong Flyer’ ferry.

The Passage Race normally attracts more than 200 entries as boats and yachts of all classes take to the waters of Port Phillip Bay for the opening challenge of the four-day Festival regatta as they battle for line honours racing from Melbourne to Geelong.

In a joint project with the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, Port Phillip Ferries is providing the 400-seat ferry – which normally runs between Geelong and Docklands twice a day – free of charge for this opportunity, with all funds from ticket sales donated to local charity and Festival of Sails partner, Geelong Connected Communities.

Port Phillip Ferries Marketing Manager Brad Wright said the company was delighted to be able to offer the opportunity for people to watch the finish of the Passage Race and the racing on Corio Bay from the water.

“We have been proud to be a sponsor of the Festival of Sails for the past two years and in 2023, we’re delighted to invite people to experience a trip on the Geelong Flyer which has become a major tourist attraction bringing people to Geelong,” he said.

The special Passage Race viewing ferry will depart from Cunningham Pier on the Geelong waterfront at 1pm for the one-hour cruise, with food and beverages available for sale onboard and tickets selling for just $20 per person.

Geelong Connected Communities spokesperson Pat Murnane said the charity which provides grants to local volunteer-led and not for profit initiatives was delighted to be a recipient of the funds raised from the cruise.

“We’re incredibly proud of the impact our grants make to the local community and people can be assured that their $20 ticket purchase will be put to very good use!”

Geelong’s Festival of Sails will be celebrating a major milestone and is ready to party when it returns in January 2023, as it salutes the 180th anniversary of its iconic Passage Race between Melbourne and Geelong.

More information at

Tickets for the January 26 ferry cruise are now available via

Jeanneau JY55
NAV at Home
Cyclops Marine
Jeanneau JY55
Selden Asymetric Rib Technology
NAV at Home
West Systems