Romancing the soul

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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his Valentine’s Day we urge you to spoil yourself and your partner. You work hard, grind your way through rush hour traffic every day and ensure that your family is well cared for. You do this year in and year out and now the time has come to wine and dine your partner. Just the two of you, no kids, no dogs or pet parrots allowed; to find your way back to each other, without the constant interruptions of everyday life?

Leisure Boating went to the four corners of scenic South Africa in search of some of the best romantic cruises and boat trips, where the gently lapping waters will wash away any thoughts of work and reaffirm your love for those close to you.

As Charles M. Schulz put it: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Let’s celebrate this Valentine’s Day the right way.


This is a must cruise for those romantic couples who want to enjoy breathtaking scenery coupled with scrumptious fare. There is a choice of a lunch or dinner cruise in the harbour. The romantic setting – particularly in the evening – as the harbour lights twinkle against the night sky, creates the idyllic setting for Valentine’s couples wanting to spend quality time together. This memorable experience should be on every couple’s romantic bucket list.

La Vue is Durban’s top cruise and floating restaurant and its journey through the working harbour, along the Victoria Embankment and out to sea, offers unhindered views of the Durban skyline. The meals are prepared fresh and cooked on board, being overseen by the resident executive chef. This is the romantic trip of a lifetime. Spoil yourself and your partner. It’s a unique combination of premium service and gastronomical delights, infused with real romance.

WHERE? Fish Wharf Street
WHEN? All year round
HOW? Call +27 (0)83 327 7418 or email
OVERNIGHT? No. Accommodation available in Durban.


Spend Valentine’s Day with your partner in the tranquility of unspoiled wetlands, misty sunrises and beautiful, still evenings. Anchor in the secluded spot of your choice, fire up the onboard braai and tell your partner to put his or her feet up while you cook up something delectable.

Retire to bed under the starry South African skies with frogs croaking their accompaniment and drift off in water-lapping luxury. Chartering on the Vaal River with Old Willow No 7 Houseboat Charters is an unforgettable experience for couples, honeymooners or friends to enjoy.

WHERE? Vaal River
WHEN? All year round
HOW? Call +27 (0)83 391 4884 or email
OVERNIGHT? Yes. Day charters are also available.


Go for the two- or three-hour trip of a lifetime. Bring your own snacks, platters and champagne or braai on board, if you wish. Go in a group and celebrate a Valentine’s Day with a difference.

What better way to spend a relaxing trip than cruising up the Nahoon River surrounded by lush vegetation with a colourful cocktail for you and your partner. You can even have your drinks on the rocks, if you wish.

WHERE? Nahoon River picnic site below Battling Bridge
WHEN? All year round
HOW? Call +27 (0) 82 443 4166 or email
OVERNIGHT? No. Accommodation available in East London.


This wonderful cruise in a 55-foot luxury catamaran cruiser departs from the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. It has chill lounges and sun decks, large plasma screens, TVs and more, to suit all types of entertainment.

It is a private charter that sets off on a romantic sunset cruise along the Cape coastline. It won’t be long before the paté platter and the bubbly is served while the setting sun forms a romantic
backdrop. Choose the four-course dinner option at a candlelit table covered with rose petals to really wow your partner.

This cruise is perfect for proposals, anniversaries or simply showing your partner just how much you care.

WHERE? V&A Waterfront in Cape Town
WHEN? By arrangement.
HOW? Call +27 (021) 418-0241 or +27 (0)82 852-4383 or email
OVERNIGHT? No. A variety of packages are available. Accommodation available in Cape Town.


This is the opportunity for you and your partner to shut off the outside world and explore a completely relaxing alternative. The Nirvana Houseboat is moored just of Kraalbaai in the West Coast National Park. It sleeps 22 people and is the perfect romantic getaway for couples who want to party with their friends.

With the warm waters of Langebaan Lagoon lapping at your feet with conditions ideal for swimming and fishing, this is a must for couples in search of crystal clear waters and a rekindling of love. Smaller groups of friends can book the Larus Houseboat which sleeps six.

WHERE? Kraalbaai, Langebaan
WHEN? All year round
HOW? Call +27 (021) 526 0432 or email


Rent your very own romantic self-drive houseboat and take your partner on the most romantic cruise. The houseboats are luxurious and fully equipped with comfortable sleeping quarters, an outside dining area for sundowners and a well equipped galley to prepare intimate candlelit dinners with the stars as accompaniment.

The galley has a stove, oven, fridge and all the utensils required to put together the most romantic Valentine’s Day fare. There is even a braai on the sun deck which can be fired up as you languish in the sun.

This is the ideal destination for couples that want to get away from it all. Shorts, flip flops, T-shirts and bikinis are your main wardrobe requirements. Don’t forget the sun tan lotion
as your beautiful maiden (the one in the sunglasses and skimpy bikini) sun tanning on your houseboat, needs all the protection she can get from the sun’s rays.

WHERE? Knysna Lagoon
WHEN? All year round
HOW? Call +27 (044) 382 2802 or email
OVERNIGHT? Yes. Minimum two-day stay.


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