Explore the ocean at the V&A Waterfront this summer  

Summer in Cape Town is all about the ocean. People come from all over the country – and the world – to soak up the sea views and take a dip in the Atlantic at our many Blue Flag beaches. 

But there are many more ways to enjoy the water this summer, and they’re right on the V&A Waterfront’s doorstep. Whether you’re seeking an adventurous kayak or a romantic boat cruise, the V&A Waterfront has something for everyone. 

Let’s dive into the best water-based Waterfront activities you can enjoy this summer – and the best spots to shop for swimwear and beach accessories.  

See you on the water! 

Cruising the coastline  

One of the most scenic ways to experience Cape Town is actually from the water. A leisurely boat trip showcases breathtaking views of Table Mountain, the city skyline and the harbour.  

The Mirage Catamaran offers some of the best sunset cruises in Cape Town: does it get any better than a luxurious 90 minutes on the sea, watching the sunset with a glass of bubbles in hand? 

For those seeking a swashbuckling good time, hop on board the only authentic pirate boat in South Africa, the Jolly Roger, for your next party on the sea.  

Wild Horizons Waterfront Adventures offers daytime harbour cruises, sailing trips around the bay, sunset cruises, champagne cruises and cruise-and-dine experiences. 

Other boat-trip operators include Ameera Sailing Catamaran, City Sightseeing Harbour Cruise, Classic Cape Fishing Charters, Dawn, Escape Cat, Lady J, La Famiglia, Peroni Catamaran, Sea Princess, Serenity One, Southern Cross, Spirit of Victoria, Tigger 2, Tigresse Sailing Catamaran, Tommy the Tugboat and Vicky Steamboat. 

Visit Robben Island  

Robben Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is just a short ferry ride from the V&A Waterfront. This must-visit historic site served as the prison of former South African president Nelson Mandela for 18 years during apartheid.  

The Robben Island Tour, a 3½-hour trip departing from the Nelson Mandela Gateway, includes the ferry to Robben Island and back, a visit to the infamous maximum-security prison, interactions with an ex-political prisoner and a 45-minute bus ride with a tour guide.  

Try SUPing 

For a more active water adventure, try stand-up paddleboarding (SUPing) in the calm waters of the V&A Waterfront canals. SUP Cape Town, which is based at Battery Park in the Canal District, offers board rentals and introductory lessons for those wanting to explore the water on a board.  

Explore on a kayak  

Kayaking is one of the more adventurous things to do in Cape Town and one of the best ways to explore the ocean – this is the way to get up close and personal with our vibrant marine life.  

Atlantic Outlook Adventures offers 2-hour kayak tours along the stunning Atlantic seaboard coastline from the V&A Waterfront and past the Green Point lighthouse where you may see dolphins, seals, penguins, sunfish and whales!  

Tour the canals 

Looking for family fun in Cape Town? Take a leisurely Waterfront Canal Cruise with City Sightseeing, a gentle boat ride through the canals that wind through the V&A Waterfront. It’s perfect for families and those who prefer a relaxing, low-impact experience. 

Departing from the jetty outside the Two Oceans Aquarium, the Waterfront Harbour Cruise tours key attractions like the SAS Somerset museum ship, the only remaining boom defence vessel in the world, and the southern hemisphere’s largest synchro-lift and only drawbridge, the Bascule Bridge.  

Spend the night on a houseboat   

So, you love the V&A Waterfront attractions? Why not spend the night at the heart of our bustling neighbourhood on a Waterfront House Boat? Situated at the Cape Grace Marina, this unique experience offers the opportunity to ‘live on the water’ alongside frolicking seals, fish and bird life, and stay close to all that the Waterfront and Cape Town have to offer.  

Shop swimwear and beach accessories  

No water adventure is complete without the perfect swimwear to help you make a splash. Luckily, the V&A Waterfront is one of the best shopping centres in Cape Town for stocking up on summertime fashion and accessories. 

Looking for locally made swimwear and towels? Head to Granadilla and KoiKoi at The Watershed, or the BeachCult Swim Atelier in the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre.  

Visit the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre for some of the world’s biggest retailers, such as Cotton On, H&M, Zara, Mr Price and Woolworths, for a vast array of swimwear and swim accessories. If you’re looking for kiddies’ swimwear, head to Cotton On Kids for adorable cozzies.  

Surfers, bodyboarders and adventurers – we’ve got the goods. Cape Union Mart, Sportsmans Warehouse, Rip Curl and Boardriders have an extremely diverse range of products made for summertime, including beach tents, wetsuits, surfboards, goggles, bodyboards, flippers, snorkels, inflatables, umbrellas and more.