Walking Tour 6:

V&A Waterfront Tour


Tour Length: 3 hours

Tour Themes: XXXXXXX

Meeting Point: V&A Waterfront (Specific details)

End Point: XXXXXXX

Fitness Level: Medium

Language: English

Price: R150

Starting Point

End Point

A Bit of Background

V&A Waterfront – Stop All the Docks

For this edition, we kick off from the antique beach of yesteryear and amble down to the docklands of the V&A to unpeel the last few decades of neoliberal greenwashing, revealing Cape Town’s lush, sordid, anarchic, internecine and cornucopian history as the reviled & revered ‘tavern of the seas’.

At one time the Cape Peninsula was the second most important and frequently-docked harbour site in the world (can you believe London was the first?), and it still holds the mantle as the global capital for shipwrecks. As I usually end my Adderley wander by saying, this city was literally built (and continues to be built) on buried treasure.

And so much of it is still visible! From the aborted breakwaters that could have saved whole generations of sailors from storm-tossed nightmares, to the Portuguese watering-holes that capped centuries of Iberian curiosity with an innocuous empire of fish’n’chips, to the dozens of converted silos, batteries, warehouses, marinas and other slices of Victoriana that showcase, more clearly perhaps than anywhere else on the earth, how we changed from a species of merchants, wanderers and soldiers to a tidal wave of tourists, consumers and bemused spectators.

As ever, we’ll run in a just-under-two-hour circuit before freeing you to join for a speakeasy drink and brain-picking session afterwards! We’ll start outside the Ferryman’s Tavern at the beginning of the mall walk and then slice through four centuries to the heart of the first crossroads of all the world’s hemispheres.

Archive Gallery

All photos, unless otherwise stated, are from the collections of Michael Fortune, Etienne du Plessis and the Cape of Diab group.

Our friends in Hout Bay

Reference Books for this Tour


  • Book 1
  • Book 2
  • Book 3
  • Book 4

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