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Cape Town

Dolphin & whale watching

Our most recommended Cape Town Dolphin & Whale Watching

Cape Town: Coastal Catamaran Cruise

1. Cape Town: Coastal Catamaran Cruise

Enjoy a one-hour scenic coastal cruise aboard a luxury power catamaran. The vessel will take you from the historic V&A Waterfront area on an adventure out to sea. Throughout the cruise, you'll travel along the Atlantic coastline to the Green Point Lighthouse before then traveling back to the harbor. With spectacular mountain and city views, the cruise provides perfect ocean views over many of Cape Town’s splendors. Your one-hour cruise operates daily, with regular departures from Quay 5. With a cash bar on board for refreshments as well as great service, this is a trip not to be missed.

Cape Town: V&A Waterfront Champagne Cruise

2. Cape Town: V&A Waterfront Champagne Cruise

Head to Cape Town's iconic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for an unforgettable cruise along the Atlantic coastline. Soak up the sun on the spacious trampolines in the foredeck or get comfortable on the cushions under the roofed area. Sip your complimentary glass of champagne as you take in spectacular views of Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range. Keep an eye out for the marine life in the waters around Cape Town, including seals, dolphins, penguins, and even whales.

From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

3. From Cape Town: Hermanus Whale Watching Boat Trip

Join a whale-watching tour in Hermanus and visit the area with the highest concentration of whales on the South African Coastline. Launch from the quaint fishing harbor of Gansbaai and travel along the cliffs of De Kelders to see these magnificent creatures. Along the way hear commentary about whales, and facts about right whales. Learn about the habitats and their feeding processes. Look for southern right whales in their natural environment, along with dolphins, Cape fur seals, and other marine life. Keep an eye out for humpback, minke, and Bryde's whales frolicking in the ocean. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful orcas, false killer whales, and enchanting African penguins. This tour offers a great selection of marine life and allows you to get an up-close look at wild animals. Relax without an ethical dilemma as you support businesses that celebrate animals in the wild. Return back to the harbor at the end of your boating adventure.

Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

4. Cape Town: Marine Wildlife Tour from the V&A Waterfront

Climb aboard and look for marine life in the ecosystem of Table Bay on a 1.5-hour eco-cruise from Cape Town. See species in their natural surroundings, such as humpback and southern right whales, depending on the season. Get the chance to watch pods of dolphins breaching close to the boat and marvel at their acrobatic displays. Be enchanted by Cape fur seals lounging on the jetties and get close to unusual species, such as sunfish. Watch African penguins diving for fish to take back to their breeding colony on Robben Island.  Encounter birdlife, such as terns, gannets, cormorants and mighty black-browed albatross.

Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

5. Gansbaai: Marine Big 5 Boat tour

Visit the Dyer Island ecosystem and have the opportunity to spot the Marine Big 5: whales, sharks, seals, dolphins, and penguins. Every year from June to December, the southern right whales arrive to mate and calve.  Witness mating displays, breaching, tail slapping, spy-hopping and more. You may also see Bryde’s whales, humpback whales, the elusive humpback dolphin and the common dolphin. An incredible array of seabirds and a sighting of the almost 60,000-strong Cape fur seal colony on Geyser Rock is guaranteed as the boat cruises down the famous Shark Alley. An onboard marine biologist will be on hand to teach you more about the amazing animals that visit these shores. On the day of your trip, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cape Town or Hermanus, if you have selected an option with transfers included. Upon arrival in Gansbaai, enjoy coffee/tea and muffins while listening to a dedicated safety briefing.  Once you're fitted with inflatable life jackets and wet-weather gear, take a 200-meter stroll down to the harbor to board the whale-watching vessel. Time spent out at sea on average is two hours depending on sea conditions and marine life activity.  Upon return to land, receive an informative debrief while enjoying warm soup and bread. Professional trip footage is also available to purchase after the trip so that you can have a permanent memory of your sightings.  If you have chosen the option with transfers from Cape Town, a visit to the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary is also included on your way back. You'll see the important efforts being made to rehabilitate injured and sick animals.

Cape Town: Pre-Sunset Champagne Cruise

6. Cape Town: Pre-Sunset Champagne Cruise

A pre-sunset Champagne cruises is an extremely popular cruise, ideal for families with kids who find the regular sunset cruise too late. Whilst out on the water you can watch the sun sink into the horizon and enjoy the “golden hour”, which makes for stunning photos. You'll be presented with fantastic views over the entire city of Cape Town, as well as the always impressive Table Mountain. Aboard your vessel, you will be welcome to enjoy a glass of complimentary sparkling wine which will be accompanied by commentary from the crew whilst on board the boat. This cruise is the second-last of the day, and returns to the V&A Harbour prior to the final sunset Champagne cruise.

Cape Town: Marine Big 5 Ocean Safari from V&A Waterfront

7. Cape Town: Marine Big 5 Ocean Safari from V&A Waterfront

Escape of the hustle and bustle of the city to smell the fresh ocean air and learn about the Atlantic coastline's unique marine ecosystem. Your skippers and guide are experienced enthusiastic and love sharing knowledge and experiences of the ocean. Gaze at the beauty of the ocean as well as at the beauty of the Cape Town Atlantic Coastline. Cruise along and see the city from a different perspective. During the tour, you have the chance to see dolphins, cape fur seals, whales, penguins, sunfish, and more depending on the season. Get views of the 12 Apostle Mountain Range, Signal Hill, Lions Head, and Table Mountain as you make your past Sea Point, Clifton, Camps Bay, and Oudekraal. 

Cape Town: Coastal Cruise & 14-piece Sushi Meal

8. Cape Town: Coastal Cruise & 14-piece Sushi Meal

Enjoy a scenic 1-hour coastal cruise from Cape Town. Take in spectacular views of the city and Table Mountain from the perspective of ancient mariners. Keep an eye out for marine life such as whales, dolphins, penguins and seals. Dig into a sushi meal ashore at a local restaurant afterwards. Take in great views of the harbor over a 14-piece sushi meal.

Cape Town: Guided Marine Wildlife Cruise and Cape Point Tour

9. Cape Town: Guided Marine Wildlife Cruise and Cape Point Tour

Immerse yourself in the thriving center of the "Mother City" and experience a fun combination tour of both the land and the sea. The tour starts with a trip to the waterfront for a 1.5-hour cruise of Table Bay. You can marvel at the amazing sea life that lives here including seals, penguins, and dolphin pods, and if you’re lucky enough you might even spot a whale. From here you can also enjoy the stunning views of Table Mountain and Robben Island from the water, and can snap some incredible photos as the wildlife appears before you. Following the boat ride, you can enjoy a stroll along the waterfront's indoor food market and taste the flavors of the region with a selection of local delicacies and traditional treats. Once lunch is over, you will return to your guide in time for the afternoon peninsula tour. You will drive past the beautiful scenery of the Twelve Apostles before your first stop of Hout Bay, the fishermen's town. Next, drive through Africa's most iconic road, Chapman's Peak, and keep an eye open when you enter the Cape Point National Park as you might spot zebras, ostriches, baboons, and elands. On your way back up to Cape Town, you will make a final stop in Simon's Town in False bay for a non-intrusive visit to see its most famous residents, the Jackass Penguins on Boulder's Beach (optional).

Cape Town: 1-Hour Sunrise Ocean Safari

10. Cape Town: 1-Hour Sunrise Ocean Safari

Depart from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront for an early-morning, sunrise ocean safari. Your 1-hour adventure is aboard a rigid-hulled inflatable boat, which is ideal for getting up close and personal to ocean wildlife without intruding. With the Atlantic Ocean sparkling under the early morning sun, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to leisurely observe nature at its most beautiful. Arguably the best time of day to see wildlife, this sunrise ocean safari gives you the chance to see some marine and water species ranging from whales like orcas and southern rights, sprightly penguins, graceful dolphins, languid sunfish, and so much more. Explore the wildlife of the Atlantic Ocean from below in the water, on the surface, and in the air above. During this sunrise ocean safari, enjoy stunning views of the Cape Town coastline as well.

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Frequently asked questions about Cape Town Dolphin & Whale Watching

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What people are saying about Cape Town

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 105 reviews

It was a very good experience I fully enjoyed myself and keagan was a delight, very funny guy. The skipper was great the way he managed the boat I didn't get sick once and the lady with the frizzy hair her way she received myself and my fiance was something to look forward to. I'm no good with names so I apologise for not remembering but to rate the expirations out of 10 I would most certainly give it a full 10. Loved it and planing on taking my nephew soon.

Was a little tricky to find the site among all the other cruise sites in same area, staff there were great and took us to our beautiful catamaran where it turned out we were the only two people at that time. We had a private tour, and the crew were great-spotting seals, penguins and dolphins-alas no whales that day. But was a wonderful tour! Highly recommend

This was AMAZING! The view was so beautiful! My guide really made me feel comfortable while in the air! Definitely would try again!

Excellent experience. We were lucky enough to see dolphins, seals, penguins and a whale.

It was just an indescribable experience. There's nothing to add here!