To See & Do

V&A Waterfront Historical Walking Tours

South Africa’s most visited destination, the V&A Waterfront, is situated at the heart of Cape Town’s working harbour. Home to 22 landmarks, its rich and varied history can be traced back to 1654, when Jan van Riebeeck built the first jetty as part of his mission to establish a refreshment station for the Dutch East India Company.

Our guided historical walking tours give you the opportunity to discover the history of this landmark destination, where the cultures of the early Dutch, Flemish and British colonists blended with those of the Malay slaves and sailors from every corner of the globe to form the cosmopolitan tapestry that makes up modern-day Cape Town. So step back in time with us and relive the inauguration of the V&A Waterfront’s construction in 1860 by HRH Prince Alfred, at the time a 16-year old midshipman. See the markings left by recalcitrant prisoners at Breakwater prison and marvel at the SAS Somerset, the only boom defence vessel remaining on earth. Your experienced tour guide will regale you with stories and anecdotes that will not only capture your imagination, but vividly evoke the sights and sounds of a bygone era.

TOUR ROUTE & HIGHLIGHTS (Duration: 1.5 hours)
Our journey begins at Chavonnes Battery Museum, the harbour’s oldest heritage site. The tour then winds its way from Clock Tower Square and will include, but is not limited to the following points of interest: 

  • Clock Tower
  • Swing Bridge
  • African Trading Port
  • Alfred Basin
  • Robinson Dry Dock - one of the oldest of its kind in the world still in daily use
  • SAS Somerset - the only boom defence vessel remaining in the world
  • Old Power Station - Cape Town’s first power station
  • Pump House
  • Breakwater Prison - markings left by recalcitrant prisoners are still visible today
  • Portswood Ridge
  • Time Ball Tower
  • Portswood Tunnel
  • Rocket Shed
  • Union Castle Building
  • Victoria Basin
  • Ending off at Quay 5 / Amphitheatre


  • Tours are available daily. Call 021 416 6230 / 021 408 4600 for bookings
  • Adults – R150 p/p
  • Children – R20 (under the age of 16 and accompanied by paying adult).
  • Schools – cost available on request
  • Minimum and maximum per tour: Min = 2 people*;  Max = 10 people*
  • The rate for only one person to do the tour will be R200.00.
  • 48hrs notice is required for large group tours

The V&A Waterfront Historical Walking Tours depart daily from Chavonnes Battery Museum at 11am and 2pm* . * The frequency of tours are dependent on demand.

Prefer to do it yourself? Then take a stroll down memory lane on our new self-guided walking tour. Starting and ending at the Information Centre, you can collect your free map here and make your way around the V&A Waterfront at your leisure. Follow a series of numbered boards placed at key points of interest and watch as history is brought to life through various interesting facts, anecdotes and visuals along the way.