The V&A Waterfront

Cape Town’s historic harbor, the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, has been transformed over the last twenty-two years into a mixed-use development and one of the city’s largest tourist attractions. Visitors can tour the harbor by foot, bike, boat, or helicopter; board ferries to Robben Island; shop at an expansive mall; and ride the Wheel of Excellence (which, in my opinion, is not any more excellent than most other Ferris Wheels). This article has a great overview of the harbor’s history and the preservation efforts that have successfully kept it as a working harbor throughout its redevelopment. Despite its centrality in World Cup celebrations, it still remains relatively isolated from the rest of the city. Cape Town Partnership CEO Andrew Boraine has some suggestions on how to strengthen the Waterfront’s linkages to the rest of Cape Town.

I made one of my visits to the Waterfront on a Friday when the world’s largest ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2, was docking in Cape Town. It docked at the adjacent modern port, since it is far too large to access the Victoria and Alfred Basins. As is usually the case, the ship’s hordes of tourists had to make their way from the ship to the shopping on a fleet of tour buses.

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