Durban sundowners at sea


Cruise ships and yachts knock hulls at Durban?s small crafts harbour.

Cruise ships and yachts knock hulls at Durban’s small crafts harbour. (Image: South African Tourism)

There may be no better way to view Africa’s busiest port than from the water. Three well-established operators offer night-time trips around the harbour, providing either the luxury of a floating restaurant or the fun of a booze cruise. These pleasure boats - some converted former South African Air Force vessels - generally run between 7pm and 9pm.

Allen Gardiner

The Allen Gardiner fits into the former category, concentrating on its cuisine. It is open daily as a restaurant, and the champagne sunset cruise is an ideal way to start an evening.

Isle of Capri

Isle of Capri offers daily tours around the harbour or out to sea and its vessel, The Isle of Capri III, is available for charter for night-time cruises.

  • Website:
  • Address: Boatman’s Road, Wilson’s Wharf
  • Tel: 031 306 3099 or 031 337 7751

Sarie Marais

Sarie Marais is South Africa’s oldest boating company, established in 1905. Its kiosk, on the Gardiner Street Jetty, is such a Durban landmark that its location is popularly known as the Sarie Marais Jetty. The company offers educational tours, deep sea fishing and three of its boats - the Jolly Roger, Sea Joy and Fancy Me - are available for hire for harbour booze cruises.

Interestingly, the real Sarie Marais - a farmer’s wife immortalised in the most popular Afrikaans folk song - lived near Durban. Her grave lies close to Greytown. To visit the site, call 033 444 1784

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