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

Hermanus is one of the best destinations worldwide for watching marine mammals, with spectacular seasonal visits from southern right and humpback whales and year-round sightings of Bryde’s whales and enormous pods of dolphins. Experience this marine safari that awaits you! The purpose-built catamaran ensures maximum passenger comfort and spectacular viewing opportunities. During the tour, the friendly 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. The team add that personal touch to ensure that you have a great experience, and work under the motto "Observing, not Disturbing". All tours are weather permitting.

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.

Robben Island: Ferry Ticket and Tour with 1-Way Hotel Pickup

3. Robben Island: Ferry Ticket and 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.

Knysna: Luxury Sunset Sailing Cruise

4. Knysna: Luxury Sunset Sailing Cruise

Depart from the quaint island village of Thesen Island in Knysna. Make sure to spend some time exploring the island's boutique shops, roasteries, and eateries before boarding.   Get welcomed on board your luxury 44-foot catamaran by your captain and host with a glass of bubbly. Then follow the picturesque channel past Leisure Isle, Featherbed Nature Reserve, the old oyster beds and through the world famous Knysna Heads (weather permitting) before setting sail into the Indian Ocean. Admire the coastline's surprising 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.

Knysna Sunset Sailing Cruise with Light Dinner and Wine

5. 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.

Cape Town: Waterfront and Sunset Champagne Cruise

6. Cape Town: Waterfront and Sunset Champagne Cruise

Cape Town has one of the best locations for watching the sun go down from the water. With the Atlantic Ocean stretching away from the majestic Table Mountain range, this is certainly a "must-do" cruise for locals and tourists alike. You'll also get a unique view of the coast of Cape Town from the sea while relaxing and sipping on local sparkling wine! 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.

Gansbaai: Whale Watching Trip by Boat

7. Gansbaai: Whale Watching Trip by Boat

Launch from the quaint fishing harbor of Gansbaai and travel along the cliffs of De Kelders. Enter a nature reserve with the highest concentration of whales in South Africa. Look for southern right whales in their natural environment, along with dolphins, Cape fur seals and sharks. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke and Bryde's whales frolicking in the ocean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful orcas, False killer whales and enchanting African penguins. Return back to the harbor at the end of your boating adventure.

Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

8. 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.

Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

9. Knysna: Dolphin Watching and Garden Route Coastline Cruise

Experience the three most iconic sites of Knysna on a 1.5-hour eco cruise of the Knysna estuary. Cruise along the rugged headlands and encounter the abundant marine life of the coastal waters.  Navigate the amazing estuary and pass the picturesque Knysna Heads. Venture further out into the expansive Indian Ocean to look for dolphins, seals, penguins, and Bryde's whales in their natural environment. Learn more about the geological features and wildlife you encounter for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Knysna: Lagoon Boat Cruise and Oyster Tour with Tastings

10. Knysna: Lagoon Boat Cruise and Oyster Tour with Tastings

The tour departs from Thesan Island Harbor Town and heads out onto the blue waters of Knysna Lagoon. As you sail, learn all there is to know about oysters, as well as how to taste the difference between those that are wild or cultivated. The boat takes you around the stunning lagoon where the ocean stretches out towards the crisp blue sky, then sails around the Kynsna Head for more spectacular views. Throughout the tour, feel free to ask questions, take photos, and excite your taste buds with complimentary oyster tasting and white wine too.

Frequently asked questions about Western Cape Cruises & Boat Tours

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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

The overall was fantastic. From the lady that helped us at the ticket office to the time we got off. The boat is excellent and the Skipper was definitely one of the best. He handled that boat beautifully and took us safely and with no effort to Seal Island and back. The personnel on the boat was also very helpful and well trained.

Thoroughly enjoyed this experience. Very well organised and run. Having the chance to see sharks in their natural habitat was an experience that will not be forgotten. Would highly recommend this trip for those who want the experience

What a Xperience, amazing trip. Crew were so helpfull and on there job so professional.. will do it definitely again!! Great time on sea with Knysna Sunset Cruise!!!❤️

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

Very insightful. Let about things that aren't mentioned in history class.