South African Cruise Ports

Cruise Port Focus: Walvis Bay, Namibia

Home to a beautiful lagoon, washed pale pink by a colony of resident flamingos, Walvis Bay is a colourful African port call, where you can meet some of the continent’s most flamboyant wildlife. The city takes its name from Whale Bay, which reflects the wonderful wildlife watching opportunities available here. 

MSC Sinfonia in Port of Walvis Bay

The deep-water blossoms with rich levels of plankton, and hundreds of thousands of birds assemble here, to make the most of the tidal lagoon. Boat tours can take you out amongst the preening crowds, or you can admire the flamingos, herons and carefully treading wading bird species from afar. 

At nearby Pelican Point, a sandy spit, which calms the waves heading for the waterfront, there are whales and dolphins frolicking offshore, and on the cusp of the sun-scorched Namib Desert beyond, Dune 7 rises up to form the highest sand dune in the country at 380 metres. 

Pelican Point

Here, guests can engage in sand skiing or sandboarding, or take a flight tour to see further afield and spot some of the extraordinary land animals who roam the landscapes. There’s also the natural drama of Sandwich Harbour, where the golden sand dunes plummet directly into the ocean’s waves.

How to Behave in Walvis Bay

Visitors to Walvis Bay are encouraged to respect the local customs and environment. Dress conservatively when visiting local communities or religious sites. Be mindful of the fragile desert ecosystem; do not litter and adhere to designated paths to protect wildlife habitats. Bargaining is not a common practice in fixed-price shops, but may be acceptable in informal markets. Always ask permission before taking photographs of people.

Location of Walvis Bay Cruise Terminal

Walvis Bay does not have a dedicated cruise terminal, but the commercial Port of Walvis Bay where ship’s dock is located near the city centre, and serves as a convenient starting point for excursions into the city and beyond, with transportation options readily available to take visitors to nearby attractions and the downtown area.

Currency and Language in Walvis Bay

The currency used in Walvis Bay is the Namibian Dollar (NAD), which is pegged to the South African Rand (ZAR) and can be used interchangeably in Namibia. English is the official language and is widely spoken, particularly in the tourism sector, making communication for international visitors relatively straightforward. Other languages such as Afrikaans and indigenous languages like Oshiwambo are also spoken in the region.

The lagoon in Walvis Bay is home to migratory flamingos

Top 5 Attractions in Walvis Bay

  1. Walvis Bay Lagoon: Renowned for its abundant birdlife, including flamingos and pelicans, the lagoon offers picturesque views and tranquil settings for nature enthusiasts.
  2. Dune 7: As the highest dune in the area, Dune 7 provides a challenging climb and an unforgettable panorama of the desert landscape. It’s a popular spot for sandboarding and photo ops.
  3. Pelican Point Kayaking: Take a guided kayaking tour to Pelican Point, where you can glide alongside seals and dolphins in the serene waters of the bay.
  4. Sandwich Harbour: Part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, this area is where the towering dunes meet the sea. It’s a spectacular place for 4×4 adventure tours and bird watching.
  5. The Raft Restaurant: For a taste of local cuisine with a view, visit The Raft. Built on stilts in the lagoon, it offers fresh seafood and local dishes, allowing diners to enjoy their meal surrounded by water and wildlife.

Exploring Walvis Bay offers an enriching experience that combines the allure of the desert with the serenity of the ocean, making it an exceptional destination for cruise passengers seeking adventure and natural beauty.

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