“The time has come”, the Walrus said,Lewis Carroll, ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’; 1871
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings”.
This week we celebrate a small milestone in Waterfront Charters history – our 100th weekly blog post. A whole century of articles; we hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as we have researching and writing them. Our industry – our passion – allows for an amazing range of interests and subjects to be examined and discussed, and as long as there are seas to sail, oceans to cross and harbours to shelter in we’ll have a never-ending source of material to share with you.
Looking back over the months it is obvious that there are certain subjects that we’ll never tire of promoting and supporting through this medium, and at the pinnacle of these are the conservation and the preservation of our natural resources. At Waterfront Charters we recognise that our oceans and our wildlife – all land, sea and air creatures – are of paramount importance to the future of tourism here in the Western Cape, and that is just the selfish side of supporting protection endeavours. Ultimately the true aim is to exist in harmony with nature without exploiting resources to the point of destroying them, something humans have managed to do with increasing efficiency over the past two hundred years or so.
We are deep into what scientists are calling the Sixth Extinction, and whilst there is no turning back on the horrors we have already wrought, there is time to take stock of the future and take immediate and sustainable action. As the cliché has it, we are borrowing this world from future generations – we don’t have that much to be proud of at the moment. If we had put a deposit down when moving in, we’d lose it. Come to think of it, we might even be evicted.
Waterfront Charters are very proud of their home, the venerable V&A Waterfront. For nigh on thirty years we have been a part of this great Cape Town attraction, and we have witnessed amazing change over that time. A Waterfront Charters Harbour Tour is to be highly recommended to every visitor to the V&A precinct; it’s definitely not just an excursion for tourists. Believe us when we tell you that you’ll get insights into the harbour that are just not available to pedestrians – seeing the ships, the quays, the buildings old and new, the workers and the wildlife from the deck of our sturdy Southern Cross is like viewing history.
It doesn’t take much imagination to see the harbour as it was a century or so ago, now overlaid with modernity. An informative commentary helps guests to focus on various aspects of the harbour they may not know about (or have forgotten over time), and the half-hour trip also gives something that is unique to our Harbour Tours: we take you out of the entrance of the harbour to the circle the bright red port outside buoy (with its lazy complement of baby seals) so you can see Table Mountain and the city spread out before you in all its wonder.
You gaze upon a mountain range that has thrilled visitors since 1487 when Bartholomew Diaz first rounded the Cape; it’s the sight that epitomises Cape Town, and you’ll see as Jan van Riebeeck saw it; as guests upon countless passenger ships have seen; as the crews of innumerable cargo vessels, tankers, fishing boats and navy ships have seen it. It’s iconic in the true sense of the word, and it is the easiest trip in the world to facilitate: we do it regularly every day.
In this rather tremulous time of almost-but-not-quite post Covid-19 the tourism industry is fighting to regain its place in the economy. We wrote last week about just how important a financial cog tourism is internationally, and at Waterfront Charters are doing our bit to help kickstart the stalled tourism engine. Until the end of October we will be offering those amazing Harbour Tours at half their normal price – an absolute bargain in every sense of the word. We want to fill the twin decks of the Southern Cross with happy people (with sensible social distancing, of course) who will thrill at the joys of a cruise through an historic harbour and have their breaths taken away by seeing ‘their’ mountain filling the horizon. It’s a sight that will never grow old, whether you are a Capetonian born and bred, an upcountry visitor or an overseas guest.
After all, we see it every day and believe us, we still thrill to the sight. Book online or drop in a Shop 5 Quay 5: the Southern Cross is moored right in front of the booking office and her crew can’t wait to see you aboard and share the magic.