Vasco da Gama would have been green with envy…

Cape Town is one of the world’s number one tourist destinations for a multiplicity of reasons. It has Table Mountain as a stunning backdrop as a start, but that is only the entrée: the whole Cape Peninsula is a smorgasbord of mountains and valleys, lending itself to a plethora of attractions from cable cars to scenic drives; top hotels and perfect beaches. It’s a hiker, mountaineer and a mountain biker’s paradise - with superb vineyards as a bonus; it has two oceans lapping at the shores which means a huge variety offshore adventures.

In this day and age of flight, most visitors are denied the iconic first view of Table Mountain that sailors and travellers of earlier times enjoyed. Whilst the instantly recognisable shape of Table mountain and its sidekicks, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head still form the bulk of tourist photography, these days one has to engineer a vantage point to get the full picture.

This is where Waterfront Charters enter the picture. A cruise aboard any one of our scheduled trips ensures that guests are treated to the perfect view of Table Mountain: from Table Bay, where all the early explorers first scudded down the Atlantic coastline. There are differences, of course. Vasco da Gama and his crew didn’t have champagne glasses in hand. They weren’t aboard a luxurious catamaran that answered the helm like a racing yacht; they didn’t have music to set a gentle ambience. Most definitely they didn’t have the V&A Waterfront awaiting to welcome their arrival with a choice of superb restaurants.

Which leads us to the perfect 21st century evening’s experience: the Waterfront Charters Cruise and Dine option. All of the above denied to early sailors encapsulated in a single adventure, with a Cape sunset thrown in for effect. Dead easy to book online, but you’ll have to do some hard thinking: you still have to choose from three vessels and three restaurants – that’s the only tough decision. A schooner sail and a seafood meal, or a motor powered luxurious catamaran and an Italian feast? Or perhaps a catamaran under sail followed by a delicious grill? The best bet is to try all nine options, but we still reckon that it’ll be impossible to pick a winner.

Three of the top gourmet V&A restaurants - City Grill, Meloncino and The Greek Fisherman have partnered with Waterfront Charters to offer this Cruise and Dine Experience, and those who have enjoyed an incredible combination all agree that this is yet another reason Cape Town is such an ideal tourist destination. But you don’t have to be a tourist to qualify! Locals have learnt that at the end of a hard day’s work nothing beats a luxurious sunset cruise with chilled champagne to toast the last rays of a disappearing sun, followed by a meal ashore that epicureans rave about.

A final word – for a romantic evening with a special person (or someone you would like to be that special person in your life), a Cruise and Dine evening beats a love potion, hands down.

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