Drop anchor at the Maritime Centre

  • Posted: Sep 10, 2013

The Iziko Maritime Centre at the V&A Waterfront features an overview of shipping in Cape Town. While shipping may be all but obsolete in a modern era of air travel, the nostalgia of seafaring is tangible in this port city that had its colonial origins as a refreshment station for ships on their way to and from the East.

A collection of ship models and objects associated with shipping in Cape Town, in particular the era of mail-ships are depicted. Large and medium-sized images support the exhibitions, with the emphasis on the Union-Castle Line.

Images showing Table Bay from the 17th to 20th Century give an idea of the development of the harbour. The earliest existing model of Table Bay harbour, completed in 1885 by prisoners and warders of Breakwater Prison, forms part of the exhibitions.

A key part of this resource centre is the John H Marsh Maritime Research Centre. The Marsh collection includes an important archive of nearly 20,000 photographs, depicting 9,200 ships dating from the late 1920s to the early 1960s. The centre has an online service for the answering of queries regarding the ships and for ordering images of these ships.

If you would like learn more about ships, harbours, shipwrecks, and seagoing vessels that called to the Cape of Good Hope, visit the Iziko Maritime Centre, Union-Castle House, Dock Road, V&A Waterfront. Adults R20; 6–18 years R10; SA Students and pensioners R10; Family Ticket (2 adults & 2 children) R50; Under 5’s enter for free. Tel. 021 405 2880 Open daily from 10h00 to 17h00.

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