Cape Town is renowned for her outstanding scenery and picture-perfect good looks but one can’t really fully appreciate her magnificence until you have gazed upon her from the sea…

Boating in Cape Town really gives you a renewed appreciation for this amazing city and it is a fantastic way to enjoy the city’s fine summer days and long-lasting evening hours. Whether you want to own your own boat and enjoy your days as you please, have a desire to learn to sail or only have a few hours to spend onboard, there is a boating dream to satisfy your needs.

Here are the five best ways to go boating in Cape Town:

1. Learn to sail

Have you always wanted to learn how to harness the power of the wind and sail away into the sunset? There are a number of sailing schools based out on the foreshore area in Cape Town that will teach you the ins and outs of this exhilarating sport.

Whether you just want a basic introduction into the sport or want to complete your skipper’s course, you will find a variety of training options to suit your needs. If you are just hankering to give it a try before you commit or have sailing experience but don’t know the local scene, try popping down to the Royal Cape Yacht Club on a Wednesday afternoon during summer when their evening racing is held – often there are boats looking for crew and if you are lucky you may just find yourself a spot on a sailing yacht!

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2. Buy your own share in a boat

Have you always dreamed of the yachting lifestyle but have been put off by the expense and effort of owning your own vessel? Boating World, based out of Cape Town’s Water Club, offers co-ownership schemes in a number of luxury motor boats, allowing you to own a quarter share of your own boat.

Not only does this make owning your own boat a more affordable option but you also can rest assured that all the cleaning, maintenance, mooring, crew and catering worries are taken care of so that all you need to do is step on with your friends and family and enjoy your time on the water.

3. Book onboard a charter

A number of charter boats operate from the harbour at the Waterfront, offering a variety of cruises to suit any budget. You can splash out on a private vessel for the entire day, complete with all your meals and drinks, or just spend a few hundred rand on a sunset cruise for two!

The Jolly Roger is a favourite with children as the vessel is shaped like a pirate ship and you can even host kids’ parties on board, while Tommy the Tugboat is perfect for just pottering around the harbour with the little ones.

4. See the seals in Hout Bay

Head down to the Hout Bay harbour and join a trip on the glass bottomed boat out to the seals at Duiker Island. These inexpensive cruises run a number of times per day and allow you to see the Cape fur seals in their natural habitat. Alternatively, if you are looking for a real adventure, join a seal snorkelling trip where you will be afforded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snorkel with these curious creatures!

Cape Fur Seals at Duiker Island, South Africa Copyright: albertoloyo / 123RF Stock Photo

5. Go whale watching in Simon’s Town

The picturesque Simon’s Town harbour is rich in naval history and also offers a number of interesting shops and restaurants to explore. Between July and October you can join a boat trip to look for the Southern Right Whales out in the bay or during the summer months simply go out for a leisurely day on the water.

Simon’s Town also offers a good number of coves which are ideal for kayaking and snorkelling and there are a few operators in the area who offer these activities in a safe and professional manner.