You haven’t experienced Knysna until you’ve been for a cruise on the Knysna Lagoon. Choose from a wide variety that caters for most preferences.
The expansive Knysna estuary is the central feature around which the town is built and sees lots of leisure boat activity. Stretching from the famous Knysna Heads, where the Knysna River flows into the Indian Ocean, it is about 20 km long and 3 km at its widest so there is plenty of room for boats and ferries.
Sunsets are magnificent in Knysna. You can watch the sun go down over the lagoon and admire the breathtaking display of colour before the sun finally disappears beyond the horizon from many vantage points in Knysna, but possibly the very best place is on the estuary – commonly referred to as the Knysna lagoon by local residents – itself.
A wide variety of options
There are a number of different sunset cruise options and each one is unique. You can choose between a sundowner cruise with snacks or a full dinner experience.
The Featherbed Co offers both options depending on which boat you book – the John Benn ferry, the Paddle Cruiser or the Heads Explorer yacht. All vessels depart from the Featherbed Ferry Terminus at Cruise Café restaurant in Remembrance Drive.
The classic wooden ferry John Benn is a double-decker floating restaurant which is a great option for a cruise to The Heads for the whole family. It is fully enclosed, so trips are not weather dependent. The boat has two full bars on the upper and lower deck and offers a 1,5 hour sunset cruise departing at 5pm in winter and 6pm in summer.
The catamaran yacht Heads Explorer is for the adventurous and romantic and offers the option of sailing beyond The Heads into the ocean when conditions permit. On the 2,5 hour sunset cruise a delicious anti-pasta platter is served with wine. You can request oysters as an optional extra and order from the cash bar.
Dine in style
If you want to dine in style on your sunset cruise, book a dinner cruise on the stately Paddle Cruiser, South Africa’s only paddle-driven vessel. Leave at sunset for a cruise to The Heads and return at twilight under the stars, while tucking into a Mediterranean menu which caters for all dietary requirements.
Alternatively, you can book a 1,5 hour oysters and wine sunset cruise on the child-friendly Knysna Charters Oyster or Pearl boats which depart daily at 5pm from the Activity Desk at Sirocco Restaurant on Thesen Harbour Town. The cruise to The Heads is slow and leisurely on these comfortable, stable, 9m vessels which accommodate a maximum of 12 guests and offer an informative and interactive experience with a qualified guide who will answer all your questions about Knysna.
If sailing is your thing there are a variety of options. Springtide Charters has an elegant single hull yacht, the Outeniqua. Or board a luxury catamaran from Ocean Sailing Charters. The Knysna Pirate Ship Zamani is a beautiful wooden Ketch sailboat with all the essentials and comfort. Leaving from the Knysna Waterfront or the jetty at Thesen Harbour Town, the skippers usually make a call about whether it’s safe to sail through the Knysna Heads. While on board you can try your hand at fishing, have a dip in the lagoon or even get onto a SUP. Or you can just sit back and relax and enjoy the sunset!
Or more speed?
Whichever cruise you choose, be sure to book in advance and pack your camera and binoculars to track the prolific marine and birdlife, and a windbreaker just in case!