The great thing about family visiting is that I get to play tourist in Cape Town, the city I live in now. I usually get to see places that I haven’t had time to visit before. One of these  hidden touristy gems is the Cape Town Canal cruise. This Cruise  definitely allowed me to see the city in a new light and learn more about Cape Town.

  1. The canal cruise is a hop-on, hop-off water taxi that departs from behind the One & Only Cape Town hotel in the Waterfront. Hidden just behind the Two Oceans Aquarium is a whole new world that until now, wasn’t all that easily explored. But City Sightseeing’s new Waterfront to Convention Centre Canal Cruise lets you float away into the lifestyles of the rich and famous as you wind your way along the calm waters sporting any number of luxurious yachts and watercraft.

2. There are three brightly coloured 30-seater boats that cruise down the canal during the day, and you can get on and off at a number stops along the way – behind the One&Only Cape Town; at the City Lodge; at Harbour Bridge; at the Westin Hotel; and at the CTICC.

3. Harbour Cruise tickets cost R40 per person (R35 if you book online) and R20 for kid

4. Total tour takes about 30 – 45 minutes. The experience on the whole is somewhat surreal, taking on the feel of a sedate theme park or museum ride rather than a Canal Cruise through a real marine estate.

5. You get commentary in 15 languages  and there’s a special channel for kids. The on-board commentary kept us entertained as we glided past high-end apartments, some of which are owned by global celebrities. With everyone plugged into the fascinating audio tour, we floated silently through the shallow waters, swept up into the surreal world surrounding us and forgetting about everything else.

6. You get to float down a canal that connects the V&A Waterfront and the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).

7. You get beautiful views of  Table Mountain as it pops up between foreshore buildings and the more industrial buildings of the working harbour.

8. You get to see other landmarks of Cape Town like  Signal Hill and the unique water-level angle made the sights that much more intriguing.

9. Eventually the quiet boat cruised back towards the One & Only, branching right this time around the luxury hotel chain’s private island.

10. Tickets are valid for the entire day, which means you can hop on and off at your leisure. Take the kids to the Two Oceans Aquarium, stroll through the Waterfront or stop at one of the hotels for a five-star meal.