Mossel Bay, South Africa Cruise Port

Sailing the Indian Ocean, you may come across Africa's Southern Cape or Garden Route. Here you'll find the bustling cruise port of Mossel Bay, South Africa. Located halfway between the Western provincial capital of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, this city of around 60,000 residents is popular with tourists, especially during the summer months. As the climate here is relatively mild with plenty of sunshine all year long, there are ample opportunities for outdoor fun. Known as possibly the first place Europeans landed in South Africa, the city itself is thousands of years old. It was 1488 before Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias stopped for water and was chased away by the inhabitants; when Vasco da Gama came around, Mossel Bay was marked on maps as Aguada de São Brás, or the "Watering Place of St. Blaize." Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Mossel Bay, South Africa:
 
  • For culture and history, visit the Bartolomeu Dias Museum Complex, possibly one of the only museums where you can whale-watch from the grounds. Tourists come from all over to visit the facility, which consists of three buildings: the Maritime Museum, Shell Museum, and the Granary.
     
  • Hikers will love the St. Blaize Trail, which provides stunning views of the surrounding coastline. From the lighthouse to the golf course, there are many points of interest to explore, such as local architecture and dolphins leaping gracefully from the bay. Good shoes are a must; you can go yourself or take a guide to learn more about the area's history.
     
  • Even though Mossel Bay isn't the tropics, there's still plenty to love about beaches here. One favorite is Santos Beach, thanks to pristine sand, a protected swimming area, and nearby shops for a bite or to pick up souvenirs.
     
  • Those looking for a real thrill may just want to try diving – near Great White sharks. As the bay here has some of the most accessible Great Whites in the world, it's easy enough to find a tour group to take you cage diving close to these magnificent (and terrifying) creatures for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
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