Frequently Asked Questions


Is it safe?

We have been operating since 1989 and have a 100% safety record. In addition to this we:

  • Comply with all SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) regulations and our vessel is surveyed annually by SAMSA to ensure that it is seaworthy
  • Employ competent, qualified skippers
  • Ensure that all our crew are fully trained and competent
  • Carry R20mil Public Liability and Passenger Liability cover

Why should I choose Drumbeat Charters?

Our boat has been purposely built to ensure that you have the best close up viewing of the seals. Other benefits are:

  • Friendly and helpful crew
  • Comfortable seating with large covered area for added protection from weather (rain, wind and sea)
  • Licensed bar on board offering a variety of snacks and refreshments
  • 2 x flushing toilets
  • Information leaflet in your language of choice – we carry information about the seals and Hout Bay in 25 languages

When are cruises available?

We run 364 days (subject to weather and sea conditions) of the year and only close on the day of the Argus Cycle Tour. Our daily schedule is as follows:

  • 07h50, 08h30, 09h15, 10h00, 10h45, 15h30 (40 min cruise)
  • 12h15, 14h00 (1 hour SPECIAL CRUISE which includes a trip to the seal colony at Duiker Island and one of the following:
    • Chapman’s Peak or,
    • The Shipwreck in Maori Bay
  • Later trips are available – especially during the summer season when we run all day
  • Note – all trips are subject to a minimum of 15 people per cruise

Do you offer special rates?

We do offer special rates for children (14yrs and younger), school groups, students and pensioners – please contact us on 082 658 7055 to find out about our special rates and terms & conditions.

Do you offer private cruises and sunset cruises?

We do offer private cruises for special events such as parties, weddings, corporate functions and any other group wanting to book the boat. Times are subject to availability and we recommend that you contact our office on 082 658 7055 to find out about rates and terms and conditions. Note we do not provide catering, entertainment or decor. We do have a licensed bar and you are welcome to use this or provide your own catering, entertainment and decor.

What can we expect to see on a cruise?

We can guarantee spectacular scenery and thousands of Cape Fur Seals. Other possible sightings could include but are not guaranteed:

  • Whales (especially during whale season which runs from end July to October each year)
  • Dolphins
  • Various birds such as Sea Gulls, Cape Cormorant, Oyster Catcher

Will I see sharks?

Most probably not – sightings of sharks are very rare.

 Do I need to make a booking?

Although it is not essential to make a booking we would recommend that you contact us to enquire about availability (especially during the busy season which usually runs from early September to end of April each year). You are however more than welcome to just pitch up and book on the next available trip.

How big is your boat?

Our boat, Drumbeat II, is registered to carry 118 passengers and 5 crew.

Do we have to wear a life jacket?

Although we do carry life jackets (PFD’s) for all passengers and crew it is not essential or a requirement that you wear this during the cruise. We would however recommend that you pay attention to our safety briefing and ask our crew where the life jackets are located.