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Boat Trips to Robben Island (Compare Prices,Tours & Tickets)

(31 customer reviews)


Last updated on April 28, 2019 9:20 pm
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Robben Island Tour

Robben Island, a tiny island located off the coast of Cape Town, holding so much of South Africa’s history in its soil. Some even refer to this historical landmark as the Nelson Mandela Island.

The anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela, spend 18 years of his life imprisoned on this island. So if you’re looking for an experience that will guide you through this historically rich site – then this tour is for you.

The only way to reach this island is by helicopter or the Robben Island Ferry, making this an extremely popular boat trip in the V&A Waterfront. To avoid long lines and disappointment, be sure to book tickets for the Robben Island boat trip online.

Prices 2019

Robben Island Ferry

Ferries depart from Nelson Mandela Gateway, Clock Tower Precinct at the V&A Waterfront. Visitors will disembark and re-embark at Murray’s Bay Harbour situated on the east coast of the Island.

Robben Island Ferry Times

The ferries leave the V&A Waterfront at 09:00, 11:00 and 13:00.


The tour from start to finish takes about 3.5 hours. The duration depends largely on which boat is used, as some are slower than others.


Tickets can be bought for around R400 ($30, €25, £22), not including hotel pickup or a 24hr cancellation, the cheapest ticket listed is around R750 with both extras.

Price Includes

This price includes getting there, the tour once you reach Robben Island and the Ferry back to the V&A.


The ferries are wheelchair friendly. Some of them have drinks and snacks on-board for sale, however, there are no restaurants on the island so it’s a good idea to pack snacks to take with you.


Capacity depends on which ferry is in use, but ferries can hold over 100 people, at least.

Robben Island Tours

Climbing aboard the ferry bound for Robben Island is exciting, even more so when you know what awaits you.

This 3.5 hour tour starts with you hopping on the Robben Island Ferry and heading towards this historical island. You will disembark on the other side at Murray’s Bay Harbour and take a short walk to buses that will transport you to all the historical sites around the Island.

Ex-political prisoners first hand experiences will guide you on your 45 minute bus ride tour of the island and the tour of the Robben Island Museum, including the former prison cell of Nelson Mandela.


Robben Island Tour Stops:

  • The graveyard of people who died from leprosy
  • The Lime Quarry
  • Robert Sobukwe’s house
  • The Bluestone quarry
  • The army and navy bunkers
  • The Maximum Security Prison where thousands of South Africa’s freedom fighters were incarcerated for years.
  • The viewing of Nelson Mandela’s prison cell.

Robben Island Museum

The museum is responsible for managing, maintaining, developing and marketing Robben Island as a national estate and World Heritage Site. It was established by the Department of Arts and Culture in 1997.

Implementing a wide range of conservation, educational, tourist development and research, the museum aims to conserve the Island’s natural and cultural resources and heritage. This is done while also promoting it as a platform for critical debate and life-long learning.



Secure your ticket for the ferry to Robben Island by booking a Robben Island tour online today.

Tickets can be bought at the V&A Waterfront too, however in the peak season of summer, they are likely to already be fully booked by the time you arrive.

Be sure to check your cancellation policy before booking tickets online too, as if you’d like to postpone your trip due to undesirable weather conditions – most ticket providers have a no refund policy. With us however, you can cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.

With our Robben Island tour tickets, you can enjoy the comfort of a hotel pick-up from locations such as: Camps Bay, Sea Point, City Centre, Green Point & Waterfront too.



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31 reviews for Boat Trips to Robben Island (Compare Prices,Tours & Tickets)

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  1. LIGIA – Romania


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  2. a GetYourGuide customer – France

    it was a great first day of holiday for us we had a very nice day and were able to do everything that was on the tour. Our guide was very friendly and interesting.

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  3. Yoav – South Africa

    interesting trip could use same boat to go back as was a long unnecessary boat ride on choppy water

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  4. J.G. – Netherlands

    very interesting tours, especially the townshiptour But, we would have liked some deeper insights of prisonlife at Robbenisland. It was informative and interesting but as said not very deep. Video or pictures eg. might already contribute to catch the feeling.

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  5. Erick G

    Very touching tour. A must see to get a glimpse of the recent history of South Africa. Part of the tour is given by former prisoners, and this add an important personal touch to the story. You don’t want to miss this one.

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  6. Janet K

    The tour guide was very good, she was nice and she was always trying to go the extra mile. She was very friendly.

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  7. Alia L

    highly recommend

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  8. emjones55343

    Great tour, enlightening. Our guide was knowledgable, shared a lot of detail and history and was enjoyable to be wtih. The Robben Island part of the tour was cancelled due to a broken down ferry.

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  9. rje1152000

    I would recommend this tour if you want to get some of the history of Cape Town. Our guide grew up in Cape Town, actually in the township that we toured. He was very knowledgeable of what the townships life is like, because he still lives there with his wife and children. The tour of Robben Island was worth the time and money. We also had wonderful guides on the island also. Gave me a clearer understanding what the prisoners lives where like. It’s sad that humans can treat other humans they way they do. Bonus we saw whales on the trip over to the island.

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  10. mazkosma2011

    Our guide for the Townships part of the tour was a resident of the township. It was eye opening to see the hardship and the living conditions these townships residents. The trip to Robben Island where Mandela was imprisoned was a must see.

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  11. Mary Lou S

    We had a wonderful guide named Joseph who escorted us around for the day. He went above and beyond to ensure all our needs were met when we changed the schedule around. Joseph is very professional, polite and friendly. He spoke knowledgeable about all the sites we visited and answered all our questions. We loved every moment of the tour! We would, without a doubt, recommend viator

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  12. hannahdriscoll

    This tour was amazing!

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  13. Laurie F

    An excellent trip, with a visit to the District 6 museum about the area that was cleared of blacks to make room for whites, the Langa Township where they were settled very welcoming to us, helped by the fact that some of the tour costs goes to the community, and Robbin Island, where Mandela was imprisoned. A very full and informative day!

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  14. Fergus R

    Guides were very important to understanding this tour. Our morning guide tookus through the apartheid connection and the township visit. As a township resident his experience was very important to our understanding. The afternoon visit to Robben Island was outstanding and the guide to the prison was a former inmate so we had a better undertstanding of conditions. ALL IN ALL AN EXCEPTIONAL DAY OUT.

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  15. William J

    The company was 2Africa for this full day tour, however, because of weather it was split into two days. Weather plays an important part in this tour because our visit to Table Mountain had to be cancelled because the mountain was clouded in and the cable car was under maintenance and our trip had to be rescheduled to another day and this was done by our guide as soon as the tour started. The company has good guides and because his quick action, our trip was rescheduled for the day before our departure. The city tour was good and everything listed for the tour was completed. The outstanding part of the tour was the visit to Robben Island which combines a boat ride, bus tour of the island and prison grounds, and a walking tour of the prison with a former prisoner.

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  16. Donna T

    I highly recommend this tour. Beware as it may go long as the guide may take you to a local jewelry shop before going back to the hotel. He was kind enough to leave the group at the shop and bring us to our hotel.

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  17. Gordon R

    An very interesting and touching tour of Robbin Island. So pleased that we did it. Table Mountain we were fortunate that there were no clouds when we went up. Amazing views from the top. Buy your tickets before you go as it misses the queue to buy them.

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  18. Kathleen M

    This tour is a must for anyone wanting to learn about the apartheid era in South Africa. Our guide, who had been born in District Six, was great and told us we could ask any question we wanted to. The former prisoner who took us on the tour of the prison on Robben Island was mesmerizing in his description of what the political prisoners like him endured. This tour was a great experience for us and our children.

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  19. Wick

    Tour guide was excellent! Walk through Langa was a great experience!

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  20. Margaret T

    Great experience.

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  21. Joanne H

    Wonderful tour. Guide Nadia Agherdine was a super guide. We were picked up at the hotel on time, and delivered to the port in time to meet our cruise ship. A wonderful learning experience.

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  22. larissathorpe

    Historical aspects great and ex-prisioner talk fantastic. Using a personal guide, apart from transporting us there and accompanying us on the trip, unfortunately there wasn’t much else that the guide could have done as once on the Island, the ‘official’ guides free did everything else. So really, one can make one’s way there and back via the ferry with no need for paying for a guide.

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  23. Matt

    Loved this, its a must see and do if you want to see the island.

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  24. Dom Fletcher

    A must do in Cape Town, this is something we take everyone to go and see when they come and see.

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  25. Deal Huner

    The Robben Island tour was very eye-opening, something that should be done by those who have an interest in history!

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  26. Anonymous – Sweden

    Fantastic! Thank you Serge: you made our full day trip on Dec 28 into an absolutely wonderful memory forever! It was very exciting, informative and you were very helpful! And fun!!!

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  27. Anonymous

    Danson went above and beyond for us the entire day. Great tour! We had a great time on this tour and although Robben Island took up the majority of the day, our guide Danson made sure we had enough time at each location after that despite traffic on the way down to Boulder’s and Cape Point. Danson was extremely knowledgeable, courteous, and professional. He was also an amazing photographer! We also did not bring enough money with us for the shuttle up to the top of Cape Point and back, but he was more than happy to lend us the fee until we got dropped off. Overall a great experience and a fantastic way to see the beautiful points of Cape Town

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  28. Anonymous – Norway

    History of South Africa in a day Essential tour for anyone interested in history or politics or who want to learn about the country they are visiting. Very exciting and educational, brilliant guides who invited us into their daily lives in the townships, and shared stories, history, values as well as inspiring innovation and entrepreneurship. The second part needs no description; visiting Robben Island for the first time is a memory for life.

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  29. Eamonn – Ireland

    Very interesting and well organised trip Only problem is that the bus driver left me at the ferry and I assumed that the tour company was picking me up from the returning ferry but when I docked there was nobody there to drop me back to the hotel and I had to walk

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  30. Anonymous – South Africa

    Really interesting Well organised

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  31. Barbara – United States

    Entire experience was excellent and educational. Pick up directions unclear, said pick up at 11:15. We waited until 11:35 and the Ubered to the port. Driver called us at 11:40 and said he was at our hotel and that the pick Up time was 11:15 to 11:45. Very confusing. But eventually straightened out and didn’t harm the overall experience.

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    Boat Trips to Robben Island (Compare Prices,Tours & Tickets)
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