Most cruise ships dock at Table Bay Harbour, a short walk to shops and restaurants at Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Here is where the port’s main wharves used to be in the original harbour of Cape Town. The cruise terminal is about 10 minutes drive from the city centre, and about 15 minutes drive from the Airport. There are public buses and taxis available as well.
Larger ships dock at Duncan Dock, where less transport options are available, but still there are taxis and free shuttles to Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. The terminal is 12 min drive from the city centre and 12 minutes drive from the Airport.
A new project for a Cape Town Cruise Terminal has been approved, and it will be able to accommodate larger vessels.
The official currency in South Africa is the South African Rand – ZAR. Exchanging money once you arrive in Cape Town seems to be the better choice than exchanging money at home. All major credit cards are accepted, except in rural areas, and getting cash from ATMs is generally cheaper than paying by card. Make sure you are vigilant about card scams and try to use ATMs in shopping malls rather than street ones. Don’t forget to call your bank before you travel, as banks are cautious and often decline transactions if not notified in advance.
Opening hours and bank holidays. In general opening hours are 9 am to 5 pm, open until midday on Saturday and closed Sundays. However, in tourist areas there is a tendency of shops staying open until as late as 10pm. Most of the shops and outlets are closed for Easter, Christmas and New Year’s Day, except for bigger malls. There are also a number of national bank holidays.
Tipping is advisable in Cape Town, and at bars and restaurants it should be 10-15 per cent of your bill. Some restaurants would add 10% service charge to the bill of larger groups. It is also customary to tip hotel staff and tour guides.
The local time in Cape Town is GMT+1 hour only and the international dialling code is + 27 21.
Things To Do
Taking a tour to Table Mountain is a must-do. You can take a cable car, bus, cycle or hike to the top of the Table Mountain for the best views of Cape Town. There is a lot to do and see, so plan carefully if your time is limited. Enjoy the scenery, spot some rare bird species, walk by one of the deserted beaches, or abseil from the top if you are feeling rather adventurous.
One hair-raising experience to cross off your bucket list would be Cage diving with sharks at Gaansbai. Cape Town is one of the very few places on Earth where you can have a close up with one of the greatest predators of the ocean – the Great white shark.
Robben Island is a remarkable piece of South African history and a UNESCO Heritage site. It’s an island 4.3 miles off the coast of Bloubergstrand, Cape Town. Here is where former South African president and Nobel Laureate Nelson Mandela has spent 19 of the 27 years he served in prison for conspiring to topple the government in 1962. His release 27 years later marks the end of apartheid in South Africa and he is held with great respect amongst South Africans as the ‘Father of the Nation’.
Boulders beach at Table Mountain national park is where you can get close up to a colony of African penguins – found only at the beaches of Southern Africa and the only species of penguins found in Africa. Only two couples settled here in 1982 and thanks to some tremendous preservation efforts the colony has now increased to 3000 birds.
There is a lot more Cape Town has to offer, if time permits. It’s an obvious gateway to national reserves, where you can spot the big five and many more. Apart from Kruger National park, which would be a flight away, there are many other smaller and less popular parks, such as Aquila, Shamwari, Kwandwe, Pumba, Amakhala, Lalibela, and Kariega.
There are many lovely beaches to see while you are in Cape Town. Starting with Camps Bay, being the largest and most popular through to the surfers spots Muizenberg, Milnerton, Bloubergstrand, Melkbosstrand, up to the more touristy and family hang out beaches Sea Point, Clifton, Tableview, Hout Bay, Fish Hoek, Llandudno, Big Bay, Kommetjie.
The Winelands near Cape Town are legendary and the sole reason why many people visit South Africa each year. There are numerous different routes you can take and combine exploring the oldest wine industry outside of Europe with some fine dining and beautiful landscapes.
Other places of interest would be the Victoria road stretch, the Foot of the Devil’s peak, Zeitz Mocaa museum, Cape of Good Hope, Guga S’Thebe Arts and Culture centre.
All Cruises and Flight details are subject to availability and price variation. Final package price is available upon payment of deposit and confirming your ATOL & ABTA protected cruise holiday