Western Cape
Cruises & Boat Tours

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Our most recommended Western Cape Cruises & Boat Tours

Hermanus: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

1. Hermanus: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Trip

Discover Hermanus, one of the best destinations for watching marine mammals, on a boat trip with a whale specialist guide. Sail to areas that receive seasonal visits from southern right and humpback whales along with year-round sightings of Bryde’s whales and dolphins. Enjoy refreshments onboard. Sail on a purpose-built catamaran ensures maximum passenger comfort and spectacular viewing opportunities. During the tour, the crew is on hand to make sure everyone has a great experience, from helping get the perfect photo to serving complimentary light refreshments. The guide, a whale specialist, will interpret the marine life encountered en route and provide insight into the behavior of the whales while the action is taking place. The expert videographer will ensure the best footage is captured.

Knysna: 75-Minute Lagoon Boat Cruise

2. Knysna: 75-Minute Lagoon Boat Cruise

The tour departs from Thesan Island Harbour Town and heads out onto the pristine Knysna Lagoon, home to an array of native birds and marine life. On board the ‘Oyster Boat', spend a leisurely 75-minutes exploring the lagoon as you sail to the breathtaking and imposing Knysna Heads. As you glide along the waters, sit back and relax whilst soaking up the famous South African sunshine with the wind in your hair. From start to finish the tour provides breathtaking views of the surrounding waters as well as the Knysna coastline. During the boat ride your guide shares fascinating insight into the history, heritage, and culture of Knysna, from a local’s perspective.

Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Tour with 1-Way Hotel Pickup

3. Cape Town: Robben Island Ferry Tour with 1-Way Hotel Pickup

Take the ferry to Robben Island and tour the prison where Nelson Mandela was confined. Learn about South Africa's history of Apartheid and life in the prison from a former prisoner. Depart from Cape Town on a shared bus to the V&A Waterfront. Collect your ticket and make your way to the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island. Sail out to the island on a 45-minute journey. On arrival, embark on a bus tour of the island before visiting the prison and the cell where Nelson Mandela was kept for 18 of his 27 prison years. Gain an insight into the history and conditions of the prison from a former prisoner. After the tour, return to Cape Town and be dropped off at the V&A Waterfront. Here you will be free to return to your accommodation independently or continue touring the beautiful city.

Hermanus: Boat Based Whale Watching Experience

4. Hermanus: Boat Based Whale Watching Experience

Board your vessel for the day and receive a safety briefing before starting your whale watching adventure. In good weather conditions travellers will be allowed on the top-deck before departure for great unobstructed views, otherwise they will be allowed on top only after the whales have been found. Travel out onto the ocean taking in great views as you go.  Once the whales have been spotted, the vessel is allowed to move closer to the whales where it stops and the engines disengage is to prevent the whales from being injured by the propellers. Experience for yourself the astonishment of being so close to these majestic creatures.  As the whales are curious creatures, they might move up to the vessel for some 'people watching'. See a variety of other marine wildife such as dolphins and seals as you coast along the water. As you travel through the day and spot these beautiful creatures learn more about them from your crew, before they take you back to land after a once in a lifetime experience. 

Cape Town: Waterfront and Sunset Champagne Cruise

5. Cape Town: Waterfront and Sunset Champagne Cruise

Enjoy a unique view of the coast of Cape Town from the sea while relaxing and sipping on local sparkling wine on this sunset cruise. Admire the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean that stretches away from the majestic Table Mountain range. The sailboats Esperance and Serenity One follow the wind for this cruise, and therefore the destination is dependent on the weather at the time of the cruise. Your captain will let you know before departure your expected direction, but typical Cape Town summer wind blows from the southeast. First, you'll leave the harbor and sail across Table Bay towards Milnerton Lighthouse, returning to the protection of the Granger Bay in the lee of Table Mountain to watch the sun set, and then motor back to the waterfront. In the winter months, with the Northwester prevalent, the direction will likely be towards the Clifton coastline or the Robben Island Coastline. This cruise will also return to Granger Bay and the Waterfront. On some occasions the weather may require the use of a motorboat, in which case the boat will cruise slowly along the Atlantic seaboard towards Clifton beach and then return. On all trips your skipper and crew will do their best, weather dependent, to give you the best view of the spectacular sunset over the sea - you won't believe the beauty of this sight until you experience it yourself! For all the vessels, when the seas are running too high or the wind is unpleasantly strong, instead of heading into Table Bay the destination is the Cape Town Harbor; a perfect alternative offering magical views of Table Mountain and the lights of Cape Town and the harbor in the evening. In extreme conditions the skipper will take every aspect into account, and even stay dockside to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

6. Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

Climb aboard and look for marine life in the ecosystem of Table Bay on a 1.5-hour eco-cruise from Cape Town. See species in their natural surroundings, such as humpback and southern right whales, depending on the season. Get the chance to watch pods of dolphins breaching close to the boat and marvel at their acrobatic displays. Be enchanted by Cape fur seals lounging on the jetties and get close to unusual species, such as sunfish. Watch African penguins diving for fish to take back to their breeding colony on Robben Island.  Encounter birdlife, such as terns, gannets, cormorants and mighty black-browed albatross.

Cape Town: Tandem Paragliding Adventure

7. Cape Town: Tandem Paragliding Adventure

After a short explanation, you and your pilot will take off from a mountain slope under a canopy that resembles a parachute. Once inflated overhead, you will take just a few steps or a short run to take off from the gentle slope, the wind will catch the canopy and you will be airborne. In the air, complete control over direction and speed gives your pilot the freedom to soar ridges, rise on warm currents of air and cover distance. The tour providers have a proven safety record from day one, a credit to company procedures. Each season starts with brand new equipment and well-maintained throughout the year. All pilots are internationally recognized Tandem Flight Instructors. Each passenger is briefed and issued with a helmet. All pilots carry complete reserve and communication systems and weather conditions are carefully assessed before you are taken up and again on take off. You will be assisted by the crew on both take off and landing. Get ready to fulfill man's oldest dream of free flying. Now, you can experience the joy of personal, foot-launched flight in its purest form - on a paraglider. You do not need to have any experience at all to come tandem paragliding. Thousands of tandem paragliding flights have been done with children as young as 10-years-old and adults as old as 87-years-old. After a short briefing, you will merely run a few steps and the rest will be in the hands of your fully qualified pilot. Just sit back and enjoy your flight. Bookings are essential, do not leave it until your last day as the activity is dependent on the weather conditions.

Knysna: Luxury Sunset Sailing Cruise and Captains Braai

8. Knysna: Luxury Sunset Sailing Cruise and Captains Braai

Depart from Sirocco Restaurant Jetty on Thesen Island in Knysna.   Our experienced crew will welcome you with a glass of bubbly on board our luxury 55-foot catamaran. We then set sail and follow the picturesque channel past Leisure Isle, Featherbed Nature Reserve and through the world famous Knysna Heads (weather permitting) before setting sail into the Indian Ocean. Enjoy a sumptuous Captain's barbeque while you admire the coastline's abundant array of marine life, such as birds, seals, dolphins, sharks, whales, and much more. You may even get the chance to catch fish.  Enjoy panoramic views of the sunset over the port as you head back to the jetty. *Braai Special Only Available until end of August.

Knysna Sunset Sailing Cruise with Light Dinner and Wine

9. Knysna Sunset Sailing Cruise with Light Dinner and Wine

Have the ultimate sailing experience while soaking up the golden hues of the Knynsa sunset. Depart from the waterfront and cruise through the Knysna Estuary and rugged headlands, a region known for its lush and diverse flora and fauna. Pass by the iconic Knysna Heads, a formation of impressive sandstone cliffs. If weather permits, exit the estuary out onto the vast Indian Ocean for beautiful evening views. Let the natural beauty of Knysna enchant you, from the breathtaking coastline to the diverse marine life. Onboard, savor an appetizing sunset array of savory snacks, cheeses, and fruits, and a complimentary glass of chilled bubbly while you watch the sun sink into the horizon.

Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

10. Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

Visit the Dyer Island eco-system and have the opportunity to spot the Marine Big 5: whales, sharks, seals, dolphins and penguins. Every year from June to December, the southern right whales arrive to mate and calve. Witness mating displays, breaching, tail slapping, spy-hopping and more. You may also see Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, the elusive humpback dolphin and the common dolphin. An incredible array of seabirds and a sighting of the almost 60,000-strong Cape fur seal colony on Geyser Rock is guaranteed as the boat cruises down the famous Shark Alley. An on-board marine biologist will be on hand to teach you more about the amazing animals that visit these shores. On the day of your trip, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cape Town or Hermanus, if you have selected an option with transfers included. Upon arrival in Gansbaai, enjoy coffee/tea and muffins while listening to a dedicated safety briefing. After you're fitted with inflatable life jackets and wet-weather gear, take a 200 meter stroll down to the harbor to board the whale-watching vessel. Time spent on sea on average is two hours depending on sea conditions and marine life activity.  Upon return to land, receive an informative debrief while enjoying warm soup and bread. Professional trip footage is also available to purchase after the trip, so that you can have a permanent memory of your sightings. If you have chosen the option with transfers from Cape Town, a visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary is also included on your way back. You'll see the important efforts being made to rehabilitate injured and sick animals.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Western Cape

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What people are saying about Western Cape

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 494 reviews

Brilliant trip even though we were early in the season. Our Skipper and crew were helpful and friendly, and we had a thorough safety briefing. We sat ‘upstairs’ next to the Skipper, he was very knowledgeable, stopped the boat frequently to show us and explain about marine animals. We saw Sunfish, seals, jellyfish, treated to a spectacular display from a huge pod of dolphins and then finally, a wonderful sighting of a Bryde whale and her calf. Beautiful trip around the bay with great views of the beaches. I loved that the crew are so conscientious and that we stopped to pick up large plastic litter…

My daughter and I had a great experience seeing a huge pod of dolphins, some penguins and seals. Francois was very informative with marine life facts as well as other fun facts about Robben Island and Cape Town. I highly recommend this fun cruise!

One of the best tour one can do, when visiting Cape Town. Winelands is such a beautiful experience, view of the area Franschhoek, Paarl, others

One of the best tours you could go on. For those who would wanna join don’t forget to wear heavy clothing, could become cold.

It was awesome, the weather was perfectly sunny, really enjoyed being out at sea!