Set amidst a maritime backdrop of modern ships and turn of the century sailing vessels, the V&A Waterfront provides a harmonious setting for an afternoon drink or meal, a shopping spree or a pleasant stroll along the pier.
Shops are open until 9pm, 7 days a week. There are over 240 specialty stores, 11 cinemas and a variety of restaurants and cafés. Many of the restaurants and cafés border the marina offering delightful meals at the harbour's edge. Several restaurants have both indoor and outdoor seating, which makes for a pleasant atmosphere in which to enjoy Cape Town's summer sunsets and winter evenings. The most remarkable and unique aspect of the V&A Waterfront is that it remains a real working harbour with a rich cultural heritage dating back hundreds of years.
History of the Cape Town Waterfront
On 17 September 1860 Prince Alfred, Queen Victoria's second son, tipped the first load of stone to start construction of the breakwater for Cape Town's harbour. Alfred Basin could not handle the increased shipping volumes and subsequently a larger basin, the Victoria Basin, was built. The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront derived its name from the 2 harbour basins around which it developed.
The Waterfront Company was announced in November 1988, with a mandate to develop the historic harbour as a mixed use area, focusing on tourism and commerce with the continuing operation of the working harbour.
The Waterfront Today
Today the Waterfront provides a variety of entertainment for the whole family. Visitors can enjoy scenic views of Table Mountain, historic buildings, museums, tours, boat trips, helicopter rides, sea plane rides, a working brewery and much more. In addition, the resident population of Cape Fur Seals provides a further attraction. Special events and promotions contribute towards the Waterfront's naturally festive atmosphere.