If cruising along the ocean in a luxury yacht – cool wind in your hair and champagne in your hand – sounds appealing, then you might want to add “Cape Charters” to your Cape Town bucket list. Sailing around the bays and backwaters of the Atlantic Ocean is a truly invigorating experience, and one that every Capetonian – and visitor to the Mother City – should experience at least once.
A castaway fantasy come true
For our 2015 end-of-year party, the Insiders decided to splash out and charter a boat from the V&A Waterfront to Clifton Beach. Equipped with sunscreeen, sunglasses, hats and cozzies, we hopped aboard our yacht at the Hilderbrand Restaurant, leaving phones, deadlines, emails and traffic far behind us. As soon as the anchor had been reeled in – and we’d glugged down our first glass of ice-cold bubbly – we could literally feel the stress melting away…
Based at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Charters is a family-run operation owned by a crew who truly care about giving visitors the ultimate experience. There are four yachts in its fleet, two for private cruises and two tourist boats.
Our boat was decked out with every mod-con you’d expect on a luxury yacht – a comfy lounge with inviting couches to really make you feel at home, a fridge and extra cooler box stocked with all the good stuff, a dinky loo, a cosy corner with a comfortable bed, for those needing to lie down or take a nap, a covered eating area on deck for a sit-down meal, and a sound system compatible with most smartphones, so we could play whatever music we desired. It was a sunny Friday afternoon, so we went for some celebratory house beats.
Setting sail from the V&A, the yacht started off nice and slow, gathering speed as we headed into the ocean. As we zoomed across the Atlantic, the invigorating ocean breeze on our faces, we were met by a pod of dolphins, which was, for me, the highlight of our ride. According to Benji, our crewman for the day, they are very intelligent and curious creatures and love to follow the boats.
Once we had docked at Clifton, the intrepid among us donned our costumes and plunged into the cool, clear ocean, while the rest of the team continued to quaff drinks and nibble snacks, while enjoying panoramic views of the wide-open sea, the city beyond, and the swanky cliff-hugging Atlantic seaboard homes.
After a couple of hours soaking up the sun, we headed back to the Waterfront, our seats at the front of the boat providing spectacular views.
The boat accommodates a maximum of 12 people and costs R8 000 to hire it for two hours during the day, and R12 000 for an exclusive Sunset Cruise. It’s the perfect “venue” for an intimate 21st birthday celebration, corporate function, or an office Christmas party. Drinks and snacks are included in the fee (usually biltong and nuts, as they help to settle the tummy in the event of seasickness).
The three captains – Benjy, Marius and owner Allan – are wonderfully unobtrusive, but are available (and keen) to answer questions and provide information should you so desire. “Our role is to make you feel at home,” says Allan, “and give you an amazing experience. We can even arrange an on-board Glenfiddich whisky tasting if that’s your thing… This might surprise you,” he adds, “but most of our guests are locals, not tourists.”
And now for something completely different
If sipping champers and nibbling on cashews is not your thing, the boat is available for deep-sea fishing trips, shark-cage diving and other ocean-related adventures.
So, head on over to the Cape Charter’s spot at the V&A Waterfront (in front of Hildebrand Restaurant), and sail away…
Cost R8 000 (2 hours)
R12 000 (2-hour sunset cruise)
Contact 021 418 0782, firstname.lastname@example.org