Mossel Bay - South Africa

Halfway between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth in the heart of the famous Garden Route, nestles the seaside town of Mossel Bay. A bustling holiday resort in summer and a retreat in winter, it features in the Guiness Book of Records as having the mildest all-year climate in the world, second only to Hawaii. If you are into exciting water sports, try shark cage diving, ship wreck diving, snorkeling, power boating and others here. But it's the fascinating history of Mossel Bay which grants the town its status as the historical capital of the Garden Route and one of the most significant towns in South Africa. Back in 1488 Bartholomew Dias anchor in the Bay of St Blaize. "Aguada de Sào Bras" as it was originally known and the town was developed as a busy export harbour for wool, ochre and ostrich feathers. In 1601 the Dutch navigator, Paulus van Caerden, renamed it Mossel Bay, as he found that mussels were a most welcome addition to the diet of his crew. Due to its rich history, there are many historical buildings and museums in the town to visit. The Maritime Museum which focuses on the sailing and ships of the early days of discovery is home to the life-size replica of Bartolomeu Dias's Caravel, ship models and route maps to the East. The Granery is another museum which has a permanent display of fresh specimens of wild flowers found in this region, and a good selection of photographs of the many mountain passes that link the coastal area to the Little Karoo. The Shell Museum houses a very large collection of shells and The Cultural History Museum has many and varied artifacts of historical importance from the area covering various periods in history. Many of these museums were developed within some of the historical buildings in the town, but there are others, such as the Shirley Buildings, the Munrohoek Cottages and many others which may be visited. One of the most popular attractions is the Post Office , which is estimated to be more than 800 years old and has been declared a National Monument. It is underneath this milkwood tree where Pedro d'Ataide left a letter in 1500 in a seaman's boot for passing ships. Letters are still posted there today in a seaman's boot! The following 23 cruises call at Mossel Bay. Discover more by clicking the cruise name or ship or click the Enquire button if you want to check availability and pricing.