The Table Bay Marine Game Drive is offered by OceanAdventurer in partnership with the Two Oceans Aquarium. The OceanAdventurer is one of the most established and innovative charter companies operating from the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. The world-renowned Two Oceans Aquarium is visited by about half a million people each year.
The Ocean Adventurer is managed by David de Villiers, a highly qualified yachtmaster with 20 years of chartering experience in South Africa and around the world. He is passionate about the sea and marine life and has spent many months developing the Table Bay Marine Game Drive.
‘There are numerous tour operators in the V&A Waterfront offering pleasant day charter experiences, either motoring or sailing around Table Bay on different kinds of vessels. However, it began to occur to me that there was nothing on offer which focused on its wonderful marine wildlife.
‘We therefore set about designing an excursion that would focus on this resource, and sourcing a vessel that would not only be an efficient viewing platform but also would also be as ecologically friendly as possible.
‘We are fortunate to have formed a partnership with the Two Oceans Aquarium, which has greatly enriched the project with its status and expertise.
‘Above all, we want people to have a great experience, observing some of the wonderful creatures of the sea at close range.’
The Marine Game Drive is run on a purpose-built 12-metre (40 foot) powered catamaran which has been modified to maximize passenger comfort and safety, and minimize its environmental impact.
Originally designed as a high-performance sailing catamaran, this vessel was chosen because it is stable and spacious and because its slim hulls are easily driven, which allows propulsion power to be minimized.
The foredeck has been customised to allow more people to sit safely in the open air. Passengers can also sit on comfortable moulded seats in the spacious main cockpit, sheltered by a curved canopy with large plexiglass windows.
The vessel is powered with two relatively small four-stroke outboard motors, which minimises noise, vibration, fuel burn, and pollution.
The vessel is fully compliant with stringent SAMSA safety regulations for passenger vessels, and is certified to carry 40 passengers. Life jackets are carried for all passengers, and crew members ensure that they are worn by children aged 12 and under as required by the regulations. The vessel carries two 25-person life rafts, and the entire foredeck is enclosed with lifelines. Both skipper and crew are highly qualified and experienced.
The on-board guides are marine biologists who receive further specialized training from the Two Oceans Aquarium. The guides and passengers have constant access to a detailed and comprehensive manual on the marine environment which has been specially compiled for the Table Bay Marine Game Drive.