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March 27, 2013

Cape Town boat rides: discover the Atlantic Ocean with the Ocean Adventurer

Imagine what it would have been like to approach the Cape by boat in the days when nautical travel was the only way around the world. Imagine seeing Table Mountain slowly appearing over the horizon, and as you approach Table Bay, the scenic surroundings of mountain and sea come into focus. It must have been an amazing experience.

Well, these days, there's a lot less untamed wilderness to worry about, and a lot more modern architecture, infrastructure and skyline to see – and yet the natural beauty of Cape Town has not been lost.

That's what makes a boat trip from the harbour such an enjoyable experience – you've got plenty to see and do on the water (and in it, if you don't mind the cold), all the while enjoying some of the best views in the world.

There are plenty of boat and yacht charters that operate from the V&A Waterfront. Book ahead or just arrive on the day, depending on how busy it is. Or if you are after a real luxury experience, private bookings can also be arranged.

The Ocean Adventurer is a high-performance sailing catamaran that offers marine eco-tours of Table Bay and surrounds, in partnership with the Two Oceans Aquarium. Its design makes it very fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly, with an approximate 70% fuel saving compared to traditional charter boats.

All aboard! All photos by Stuart Buchanan

The eco-tours offer focus on the rich biodiversity to be found in the bay. Due to the phenomenon of upwelling, whereby cold ocean currents are carried upwards towards the warmer water near the surface, the water around Table Bay is rich in nutrients, and this helps to sustain a marine ecosystem abundant in wildlife. From the tiniest phytoplankton to the Southern right whale, there's lots to see and learn about! A trip aboard the Ocean Adventurer is educational, entertaining and will leave you with an appreciation of the marine environment.

Our guided tour of Cape Town's coastline included fascinating tidbits about the harbour and some of the ships currently docked there, the architecture of some of Cape Town's most famous landmarks, including the Cape Town Stadium and the Green Point lighthouse, and some of the famous shipwrecks that fell victim to the aptly-named "Cape of Storms".

Read more about boat and yacht charters in Cape Town here, and check out photos from a recent boat trip below

Ready to leave the harbour and explore the high seas (well, just Table Bay actually)

Table Mountain, from the sea

Green Point and the Cape Town Stadium

A helicopter lands at the harbour - the world-famous South African invention, dolosse, can be seen on the right.

Ahoy, Skipper!

Returning to the harbour after a fun morning on the water

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