Cape Town, South Africa
A vibrant and cosmopolitan city, Cape Town is the second biggest metropolis in South Africa and probably its most beautiful. The magnificent Table Mountain stands guard over this city of nearly 4 million, while on the streets, fine dining restaurants, classy bars, cafés and abundant shopping options make this a city worth exploring for more than a few days.
Situated near the southern tip of the African landmass, Cape Town has a rich history that’s reflected in its many museums, historical gardens, and buildings.
These days, the city and its inhabitants are more concerned with moving forward, and the locals here are some of the most sophisticated, socially progressive, and hopeful individuals you’ll meet anywhere in the world.
Cruise ships dock at either the Table Bay Harbour E-berth, Duncan Dock or Jetty 2. Table Bay Harbour E-berth and Jetty 2 are within walking distance of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront complex. However, if docking at Duncan Dock, passengers can take a free shuttle bus to the complex, or a metered taxi.
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront complex – either a short walk, shuttle bus, or taxi ride from the docks – has everything you need to make your arrival into Cape Town as comfortable as possible.
- Restaurants and bars
- Wi-Fi access
- Public toilets
- Two Oceans Aquarium
- Iziko South African Maritime Museum.
From the waterfront complex, passengers can take a metered taxi across town or to some of the outlying attractions.
It’s also possible to rent a car at one of the many car hire offices in town.
How to get around
Cape Town can be easily and safely explored on foot, especially during the day. But for more convenience and safety, hire a car or use taxis to move around the city.
It’s also possible to get around Cape Town on a hop-on/hop off City Sightseeing Bus, which will take you to all the major attractions the city has to offer.
Note that taxis can’t be hailed on the street, so order a taxi by phone or get a shopkeeper or waiter to order one for you.
Travel times from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront complex:
- It is a 20 minute journey to the Greenmarket Square, where you can buy items such as clothing, glassware, hand-painted fabrics and shoes.
- It is a 20 minute journey to Table Mountain
- It is a 17 minute journey to Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden.
- It is a 30 minute journey to Robben Island.
- Currency - The currency in Cape Town is the South African Rand. Coins come in 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, R 1, R 2 and R 5 denominations. Bank notes come in R 10, R 20, R 50, R 100 and R 200 denominations.
- Time Zone - Cape Town is on South Africa Standard Time (SAST). It is 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - Cape Town enjoys warm and dry summers (from November to March) and mild winters (from June to August) with significant amounts of rain and wind. The average daily temperature during summer is around 30 degrees Celsius. During winter the daily average hovers around 15 degrees Celsius.
- Table Mountain - Catch a cable car up Table Mountain and be rewarded with panoramic views of Cape Town and the surrounding Table Mountain National Park. An image that’s iconic to the city, Table Mountain is 1,086 metres above sea level at its highest point and home to over 2,200 species of plant – many of which are endemic to the mountain and found no where else in the world. Try and coincide your trip to the mountain when the weather is at its best as it can often be hidden behind a thick blanket of clouds.
- Robben Island - Get a dose of South African history and spend the day visiting Robben Island and its museum, located about 6.9 kilometres west of the coast of Bloubergstrand in Table Bay. It was here that the Nobel Laureate and former President of South Africa Nelson Mandala spent 18 of his 27 year prison term. Robben Island can be reached by ferry from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront complex.
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden - Take a stroll through one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world: the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Spread out over the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, and meticulously maintained by a team of world-class experts, these gardens lie in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cape Floristic Region and are the most famous botanical gardens in South Africa.