A Cruisers Dream - The Cape of Good Hope and South Africa

South Africa, Norwegian Cruise Line,

A Cruisers Dream - The Cape of Good Hope and South Africa

Cruising around South Africa is an experience that will leave you with memories that last a lifetime. The stunning scenery, the rich culture, and the warm hospitality of the locals make for an unforgettable trip. South Africa is a country that has it all: beaches, mountains, wildlife, and a rich history.

One of the best ways to see the country is by cruising around its coast, stopping at some of its most iconic destinations.

This article gives you a brief overview of what ports of call you can expect to visit and what each one has to offer.

The Cape of Good Hope - Yesterday's and Today

The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland located at the southern tip of the Cape Peninsula in South Africa. It is one of the most iconic landmarks in the country and is widely regarded as one of the world's most beautiful natural sites.

Bartholomew Dias, a Portuguese explorer driven by ambition and undaunted by adversity, discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 1488. It was named such due to its inhospitable weather conditions; however, King John II saw potential beyond this and renamed it with optimism - "Cape of Good Hope." This would eventually be vindicated as what had previously been an arduous journey soon opened up lucrative new trade routes between Europe and India.

The Cape of Good Hope is located within the Table Mountain National Park, which is a protected conservation area. The park is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including over 1,100 different species of plants and several species of animals, such as baboons, ostriches, and various antelopes.

One of the most popular activities at the Cape of Good Hope is hiking. The park has several hiking trails that wind through the rugged terrain, offering stunning views of the coastline and the surrounding mountains. The most popular trail is the Cape of Good Hope Trail, which is a 33-kilometer hike that takes you through some of the most spectacular scenery in the park.

A journey to the Cape of Good Hope is incomplete without a stop at its iconic lighthouse, which stands tall on the cliffs as an enduring reminder of days gone by. Three hundred and sixty-one steps lead up to breathtaking views over rocky shorelines and shimmering seas - but don't forget about the visitor center! Here you can learn all about this area's fascinating past, from tales of ancient explorers right through to modern-day conservation efforts.

The Cape of Good Hope is also home to several historic sites, including the remains of several shipwrecks that occurred along the coastline. The most famous of these is the wreck of the Portuguese ship Nossa Senhora de Atalaia, which ran aground in 1506.

In addition to its natural beauty and historical significance, the Cape of Good Hope is also a symbol of hope and inspiration. It has been the subject of many literary and artistic works, including poems, novels, and paintings. It is a place of pilgrimage for many travelers, who come to experience its wild beauty and to be inspired by its enduring spirit.

South Africa Cruising - Stunning Ports of Call

The cruise typically starts in Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city is nestled between the sea and the mountains, and it offers a mix of history, culture, and natural beauty.

The cruise ship will dock at the V&A Waterfront, which is a vibrant hub of shops, restaurants, and entertainment. From there, you can take a cable car up to the top of Table Mountain for breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding coastline. You can also visit the historic Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years.

The next stop on the cruise is Mosselbay, a small town on the Garden Route. Mosselbay is known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and outdoor activities. It's the perfect place to go whale watching, hiking, or surfing. The town also has a rich history, with a museum that showcases artifacts from the prehistoric times.

Port Elizabeth is the next stop on the cruise, a coastal city that's often referred to as the "Friendly City." The city is known for its beautiful beaches, world-class restaurants, and wildlife reserves. One of the highlights of Port Elizabeth is the Addo Elephant National Park, which is home to over 600 elephants and many other species of wildlife.

Richard's Bay is a small town that's famous for its deep-water port. The town is surrounded by the stunning Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, which is home to a variety of wildlife, including rhinos, elephants, and lions. The park is one of the oldest in Africa and is also a bird watcher's paradise.

Durban is the next stop on the cruise, and it's a vibrant and cosmopolitan city that's known for its sunny beaches, warm waters, and excellent surf. The city is also famous for its Indian food, which is some of the best in the world. You can take a walk along the Golden Mile, which is a promenade that stretches along the beachfront, or visit the uShaka Marine World, which is a world-class aquarium.

The last stop on the cruise is Walvis Bay, a port city in Namibia. Walvis Bay is known for its beautiful lagoon, which is home to flamingos, pelicans, and many other species of birds. The town is also famous for its seafood, which is some of the freshest in the world. You can take a boat tour of the lagoon, visit the nearby dunes, or take a walk through the town's colourful markets.

Cruising around South Africa is an experience that's not to be missed. From the vibrant city of Cape Town to the stunning beaches of Mosselbay, the wildlife of Richard's Bay, and the cultural melting pot of Durban, South Africa has something for everyone. And if you're lucky enough to visit Walvis Bay, you'll be treated to some of the most beautiful scenery and freshest seafood in the world.

So pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

The Best Cruise Options

Norwegian Cruise Line currently offers a stunning cruise itinerary that will allow you to experience the best of South Africa and Namibia too. You will enjoy several days of staying in Cape Town so will be able to experience everything this stunning city has to offer.

To enhance relaxation this offer includes Premium All-Inclusive so you will be able to enjoy everything the ship has to offer without having to put your hands in your pocket! Norwegian Cruise Line's Premium All-Inclusive includes Premium alcoholic and soft drinks, speciality dining, wi-fi, and excursion credit at each port (which means you can go on lots of exciting day trips from the ship).

The Norwegian Dawn was launched in 2002 and underwent a significant renovation in 2016, which included upgrades to its cabins, restaurants, and public areas.

The ship has a capacity of 2,340 passengers and a crew of approximately 1,100. It measures 965 feet in length and features 12 decks, including a variety of onboard amenities and activities. These include:

  • Dining: The Norwegian Dawn features over 10 dining options, ranging from casual cafes to elegant specialty restaurants. The ship's dining options include traditional dining rooms, a buffet-style restaurant, a steakhouse, and a sushi bar.
  • Entertainment: The Norwegian Dawn offers a variety of entertainment options, including Broadway-style shows, live music performances, and comedy acts. The ship also has a casino, several bars and lounges, and a nightclub.
  • Recreation: The ship features a variety of recreational activities, including a fitness center, a jogging track, a rock climbing wall, and a sports court. The ship also has several swimming pools and hot tubs, as well as a water park and a splash zone for children.
  • Accommodations: The Norwegian Dawn offers a range of cabin options, from inside cabins to spacious suites. The ship's cabins are equipped with modern amenities, including flat-screen televisions, mini-fridges, and private bathrooms.

The Norwegian Dawn is a popular and well-regarded cruise ship that offers a range of onboard amenities and activities, as well as a variety of itineraries to choose from, that will give you an amazing cruise experience.

The Norwegian Dawn offers a Premium All-Inclusive cruise on several dates in January and March 2024 for 16 Nights which includes a 2 Night 4* Stay in Cape Town.

If you want to read more about this offer click here.

If you want to enhance your stay in Cape Town please see our 2-day itinerary plan below to make sure you make the most of your stay.

Day 1:


  • Start the day with a visit to the iconic Table Mountain. Take the cable car up to the top for panoramic views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Alternatively, if you're feeling adventurous, hike up the mountain. The Platteklip Gorge Trail is the most popular route and takes about 2-3 hours to complete.


  • Head to the V&A Waterfront, a bustling shopping and entertainment hub located in the heart of the city. Take a stroll along the harbor, explore the shops, and grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants.
  • Visit the Zeitz MOCAA, a contemporary art museum located in a repurposed grain silo. The museum houses a collection of African art and is a must-visit for art lovers.


  • Take a sunset cruise around Table Bay. Enjoy a glass of wine as you take in the stunning views of the city skyline and the ocean.
  • For dinner, head to the Bo-Kaap neighborhood and try some authentic Cape Malay cuisine. The area is known for its colorful houses and rich cultural heritage.

Day 2:


  • Start the day with a visit to Robben Island, the former prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 years. Take a ferry from the V&A Waterfront and join a guided tour of the island and the prison.


  • Visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, a spectacular oasis of exotic foliage and breathtaking scenery. Stroll its exquisite pathways to catch glimpses of the iconic Table Mountain encircled by vibrant blooms. A peaceful escape just bursting with natural beauty!
  • Experience the rich flavors of South African wines on a journey along the Constantia Wine Route! Discover some of the country's best vineyards and wine estates while enjoying samples and touring their facilities. It will be an unforgettable day to remember!


  • End the day with a sunset picnic at Camps Bay Beach. Pack a basket with some South African delicacies and enjoy the stunning views of the ocean and the Twelve Apostles mountain range.
  • For dinner, head to the Long Street area and explore the vibrant nightlife. The area is known for its bars, restaurants, and live music venues.

These are just a few suggestions for a two-day itinerary in Cape Town. With so much to see and do in the city, you're sure to find plenty of other exciting activities and attractions to explore.