Robben Island is at the core of South Africa’s rich history and culture. The tiny island located just off of the coast of Cape Town is home to a large amount of history and tells the story of Nelson Mandela’s captivity – and subsequent freedom – which became iconic for the democracy of South Africa.
Today, the island is a popular tourist attraction for those with a passion or interest in history and human justice. The only way to reach the island is by boat or air. Here we will discuss a variety of ways to visit the island by ferry – and even by helicopter.
Know before you book:
- The ferry is subject to weather and trips may be canceled
- There is a two-tier price system and Non-South Africans need to make sure that they select the correct option for the ticket to be valid
- The tour ends at the Robben Island Ferry gateway
- Learn about life on Robben Island
- Discover aspects of South Africa’s intricate history
- Visit the cell where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned
Robben Island is an iconic landmark in South Africa’s history of democracy. Best known for being the place of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment, today the prison is a museum that travelers can explore and discover the detailed history of South Africa’s past.
While the only way to reach the Robben Island is by boat or air, there are still a variety of Robben Island tours to choose from. Choose from the below convenient and enriching Robben Island tickets that best suit your budget and schedule.
Secure your standard ticket for the Robben Island ferry and museum entry that will give you the opportunity to learn about the dramatic history of the island (and South Africa) from a former prisoner. This tour includes hotel pick-up for your convenience and is perfect for travelers who want to authentically experience Robben Island.
If you want a little bit more context, the township and Robben Island combination tour offers the standard ferry to Robben Island as well as a tour to various townships in Cape Town. In this tour, the lingering effects of poverty and injustice can still be witnessed despite the strides of overcoming.
While it is most common to take a boat to Robben Island, there is also an alternative option for those who experience sea-sickness or wish for an alternate view of the landmark. The 20-minute scenic helicopter ride circumnavigates the island to offer unparalleled views.
Robben Island Prices 2019
Tours cost between $52 USD (R550) for the standard Robben Island tour with hotel pickup, up to $146 USD pp for the more exclusive helicopter ride.
There are several ferries leaving for Robben Island throughout the day. Ferries typically depart at 9 am, 11 am and 1 pm so pre-booking is essential to secure your spot. It is important to arrive 30 minutes before departure.
Best time to go
The tour – including the two ferry trips – is normally around three and a half hours. In order to make the most out of your day, it’s suggested that you go earlier rather than later. When booking your trip, try to check the weather forecast. The experience is best when the sun is out and the winds are soft. If the weather is really bad, the tour may be canceled for the day and you will need to reschedule it.
Robben Island Tours 2019
Depending on the time and budget you have available, you may want to simply tick off the island, or expand on its learnings and visit the surrounding townships in Cape Town. Alternatively, if you are really pressed for time, you can take a scenic helicopter ride over the island.
Robben Island Boat Trip and Hotel Pick-Up
This is the standard Robben Island ferry and tour of the museum, with the luxury of a hotel pick-up included. Enjoy a sea-breezing trip to the island on one of the dedicated ferries before exploring the history that is dictated on the island.
Listen to stories of South Africa’s apartheid past as told by an ex-prisoner on the island, and visit the infamous cell where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of his 27 years in jail.
Get picked up in comfort from your hotel in the city center and nearby surrounds and be transported to the ferry boarding where your pre-booked ticket has secured your spot for the journey.
- Pick-up from central Cape Town accommodation
- Return Robben Island ferry ticket
- Tour of the island and prison
- Food and drinks
An incredible experience for those interested in the underlying history and culture of South Africa. Robben Island is an iconic landmark in Cape Town and a must-see for anyone wanting to truly experience the city.Check Price & book
Township and Robben Island Tour Combination
Visit different townships around Cape Town and witness the after-effects of the struggles of apartheid before hopping on a ferry to Robben Island and discovering the story of one of the men who played a vital role in overcoming the social injustice.
The eight-hour tour includes a guided visit to the most important townships in Cape Town, a ferry ride to Robben Island and an unparalleled historical and cultural experience.
- Vehicle and driver guide
- Robben Island ferry ticket
- Tour of the island and prison
- Passenger liability insurance
- Return transfer to hotel
- Food and drinks
Helicopter Ride – Robben Island by Air
Jump on board a helicopter and enjoy a 20-minute helicopter ride over Robben Island for an unparalleled view and alternative experience. Experience post-card views of the island first-hand from the air as the helicopter circumnavigates one of the most significant landmarks in South African history.
- Shared helicopter flight
- In-flight commentary
- Free pick-up and drop-off from accommodation
- In-flight video package (available for purchase)
- Secure a ticket on the ferry to Robben Island
- Discover the rich history of the island from a former prisoner
- Learn about South Africa’s dramatic past
- The tour may be canceled due to bad weather conditions
Specification: Boat Trips to Robben Island (Ferry, Combo Tour or Helicopter)
Admission tickets, Hotel pick-up, Return ferry tickets
Food and drinks, Gratuities, Hotel drop-off
|Meals & Drinks|
Everyone, History enthusiasts
45 reviews for Boat Trips to Robben Island (Ferry, Combo Tour or Helicopter)