Simon’s Town’s Floating Museum: The SAS Assegaai

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Already well-known as a naval town, Simon’s town now has a new addition to its fleet of ships, only this time it’s a submarine, and you can come aboard.

The SAS Assegaai, formerly the SAS Johanna van der Merwe, was a Daphne-class submarine of the South African Navy. It was decommissioned in 2003 and is now the only one of the three former Daphne class subs to be retained for preservation as an on-board museum. The other two subs were cut up and sold for scrap.

The Assegaai is a French-built sub and has been lovingly restored by a group of retired, in-service naval staff. They have opened her up to the general public with he blessing of the South African Naval Museum. If you’re thinking of visiting this mammoth vessel you’ll need to have some degree of sea legs, be reasonably fit and not have a fear of small, enclosed spaces. The Simon’s Town Boat Company’s dockyard ferry will take you to the sub where you will enter and exit on a vertical ladder.

Guided tours take place every day (weather permitting) between 9h30 and 15h00. Touring groups are kept to a maximum of 10 people. You’ll enjoy climbing into a world of fascinating spaces and technology. The 60-minute tour departs from the Simon’s Town harbour and will cost R40 for adults and R20 for children under 12.

The knowledgeable ex-submariners onboard is extensive and they are truly passionate about this massive vessel so look forward to an informative and warm tour. If you will be entering the vessel, dress practically (no skirts ladies).

Most people will spend their whole lives never setting foot onto a submarine so consider yourself lucky to have the opportunity. If it hadn’t been for the dedication of the committee who raised funds for the project the Assegaai would have gone the same way as her two sister-submarines.

The sub will be a floating museum for just two years before it is turned into a static exhibit ashore. If you live in Cape Town or are visiting from abroad make sure you come and enjoy this exhilarating experience. If you would like to know more information call the Simon’s Town Boat Company on 021 786 2136 or for on-board enquiries call 021 787 5267.

Jade Scully
Jade Scully is a copywriter excited about writing copy and stories, blogging about the world and editing. She currently and regularly publishes her stories on a number of blogs. Jade loves animals and hopes to begin writing copy for the animal rescue charity TEARS as her contribution to the cause.
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