Silversea Luxury Cruises To East London

The gateway to both the Wild Coast and Amatole, East London was built around the mouth of the Buffalo River, which forms South Africa's only river port. Although fairly urban, East London is still close to the rural heartland, so it retains a pleasantly small-town air. There's a great museum here, and you can take a half-day city tour, an escorted visit to a local township, or a full-day tour of a rural village. View more

Although the beaches on the outskirts of the city are wonderful, those within the central business district are crowded and not very pleasant.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.

Excursions in East London

Biko Remembrance Tour

Explore the journey of one of the most influential figures to help bring about the end of Apartheid in South Africa during this moving, half-day excursion honouring Steve Biko.


East London, Buffalo River Bridge, Biko Bridge, Mtiza Forest, Ginsburg

Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 45-minute drive to Ginsberg, part of the Biko Heritage Trail, and a visit to the Steve Biko Centre. En route, cross the Buffalo River over the old, dual-level, car-and-railway bridge connecting East London and the West Bank. Although recently re-opened to traffic after a five-year restoration, many aspects of the bridge's restoration continue. The new, four-lane bridge viewed to the right is the Biko Bridge, one of the many memorials named in honour of Steve Biko. After passing the East London Airport, head inland and join the road to Ginsberg, which skirts around the Mtiza Forest, home to the endemic Mtiza Tree, and is situated just outside of King Williams Town. Here, Steve Biko is honoured for his role in the struggle against apartheid through the Biko Foundation and Biko Centre.


Biko Centre, Guided Tour, Life Story of Steven Biko

Upon arrival at the Biko Centre, experience one of the country's most insightful and interesting socio-political tours at the museum. The Biko Foundation has a mission to educate the public about the anti-apartheid struggle, and life of Biko within that struggle. This modern museum presents visitors with a country's journey of violence, oppression and anti-Apartheid heroes. One of the most influential individuals to bring about the end to apartheid, Stephen Bantu Biko, who was born in 1946 and died fighting for freedom and an end to black oppression in 1977, is at the foremost of the heroes which make up the tour. Learn about Biko's life story, from his school years as a top student who was expelled for his strong political views at a young age, to his rise as a revered black consciousness leader within the struggle to end Apartheid, and his eventual imprisonment and death of injuries sustained while in detention.


Steve Biko's Home, Garden of Remembrance, Shisa Nyama Visit

As part of this Remembrance Tour, see Steve Biko's home in Ginsberg and stop by the Garden of Remembrance, the National Heritage Site where Steve Biko is buried. Upon arrival, take a short stroll through the garden, and ponder the politics, pain and successes of South Africa's recent history. Your last stop offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a beverage at one of South Africa's more recent urban social gatherings, a traditional, informal township barbeque known as 'shisa nyama'. Here, a vibrant, modern South Africa enjoys each other's company, regardless of race, creed or nationality. At the conclusion of your visit, re-board your coach and commence the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier.


Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 328 yards (about 300 metres), at times over uneven surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach. This tour is suitable for guests with limited mobility, but is not wheelchair-accessible. Lightweight, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. Guests must be at least six years old to participate on this tour; minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over 18 years old. The tour sequence may vary.

Canoeing on the Nahoone River

Get an up-close look at nature surrounding East London during this fluid kayak adventure.


Depart the quayside and proceed to East London's city centre. Drive along Oxford Street, passing the City Hall, built in 1897, in the 60th year of Queen Victoria's reign. Today, the City Hall is graced with a statue of the martyred activist, Stephen Biko.


In 1836, the British established East London as a military post, which they used as a base during the Xhosa wars. The arrival of German settlers, who had been serving as mercenaries in the British-German Legion, gave the place at the mouth of the Buffalo River an economic boost - and in 1873 East London was given town rights.


Continue past the East London Museum, which was established in 1921. It is home to a number of fine exhibits, including the type specimen of the coelacanth, a fish previously believed to have become extinct some 80 million years ago.


Your canoeing adventure will take place on the Nahoon River and takes approximately 2 hours. There will be a qualified lifeguard on each canoe trail and lifejackets will be worn by all participants. Fluid kayaks will be used which are very stable and take two people each with a maximum carrying capacity of 485 pounds (220 kilograms/ 35 stone). It is a tidal estuary and there is abundant birdlife including kingfishers, cormorants, herons (a large nesting colony) darters, wooly necked stalk, sacred ibis, Egyptian geese, blacksmith plover, egret, occasional fish eagle, osprey and goliath heron sightings. Dassies are frequently seen and some mullet can be seen jumping out of the water to escape predatory fish, and if you are really lucky you may encounter an otter or sea lion in the river. There are some beautiful riverside properties to be seen as well as some small uninhabited islands. The total distance covered will be 1-3 miles (3-6 kilometres) depending on weather conditions and the fitness of the group.


Thereafter, return to the quayside, passing the residential suburbs of East London, as well as Orient & Eastern beaches en-route.


Please note: This tour involves extensive activity and is recommended for guests in good physical condition. Life jackets are provided and must be worn at all times while on the water. Guests should wear a swimsuit under a cover-up, water shoes and ample sun protection. Kayaks are 2-person style with a maximum capacity of 485 pounds (220 kilograms / 35 stone). A waiver is required to be signed in order to participate in this tour. If you are pregnant, have had a recent operation or have a medical condition that may be deemed unsafe to paddle (if unsure please ask us), for safety reasons you may not be able to paddle. Guests are required to sign an indemnity form. This tour is weather permitting - may be cancelled due to bad weather conditions. A moderate amount of fitness is required as a distance of 1-3 miles (3-6 kilometres) will be covered, depending on the overall fitness of the entire group.

Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve

Experience the thrill of a game drive on this half-day search for animals including rhino, giraffe and indigenous birds.


Depart the pier and drive through East London, passing Orient and Eastern Beaches en route. Travel along the national highway toward the former homeland, known as the Transkei, enjoying views of rolling hills, farmland and traditional Xhosa villages.


On arrival at Inkwenkwezi, you are welcomed by a group of Xhosa singers and dancers. Sip a welcome drink before boarding the 4x4 open-air canvas-topped vehicles.


Enjoy a two-hour game drive in search of a variety of game, including rhino, wildebeest, giraffe, warthog, zebra, springbok, impala, gemsbok and the rare Eastern Cape kudu. The bird life includes gracious crested crane, secretary bird, ground hornbill and ostrich.


Following your game drive return to the main lodge for a comfort stop before re-boarding your coach for the transfer back to East London


Please note: This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. Although little walking is required (656 feet / 200 metres) on this tour, it is suggested only for those guests able to tolerate the rough ride of an open-air vehicle traveling on unpaved surfaces. The roads in the game reserve are gravel, with some inclines; parts of the game-drive are bumpy. Therefore, this tour is not suitable for guests with back or neck problems. It could be difficult for some guests with walking difficulties or hip/knee problems to get in and out of the open vehicles. For safety reasons, children under the age of six (6) may not participate. The spotting of wildlife cannot be guaranteed. Wear light clothing, including flat, comfortable walking shoes, and protection from the sun; binoculars are recommended. Guests are not permitted to use mobile phones, smoke, speak loudly, or stand up in the vehicle on or during the game drives, as this will disturb the animals. Thank you for your understanding. Small gifts can be purchased at the local souvenir shop. Local currency or credit cards are accepted.

Khaya La Bantu - Xhosa Cultural Experience

Experience a taste of the Xhosa culture on this half-day memorable excursion to Khaya La Bantu.


Depart the quayside and drive through East London, passing Orient and Eastern Beaches en-route. Travel along the national highway toward the former homeland, known as the Transkei, enjoying views of rolling hills, farmland and traditional Xhosa villages en route to Khaya La Bantu, an open-air, Xhosa cultural museum.


On arrival at this reproduction of a traditional village, you will be welcomed by the local villagers and invited to join them at the community centre, which the villagers built by hand using mud for the walls and thatch for the roof. Wooden benches provide seating. Please ask the locals for premission to take pictures of them.


At the community centre, listen as one of the representatives introduces you to the various Xhosa customs and traditions and a performance of traditional dance and song.


You are then invited to join your guide for a walk through the village. See the traditional kraal, a round building of interwoven branches that houses cattle, pigs, goats and chickens. The friendly villagers invite you to look into their huts as they explain the techniques used to build them.


Complimentary refreshments will be served at the community centre and you will have the opportunity to taste a variety of traditional Xhosa foods, including samp(de-hulled dried corn) & beans, wild spinach with maize-rice, and pot-breads.


During your visit, a variety of handicrafts including beadwork and clothing will be on display and are available for purchase.


Following your visit, re-board your coach for the return drive to the harbour and your awaiting ship.


Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking outdoors for approximately 985 feet (300 metres) and it is not suitable for guests who utilise a wheelchair or for those with limited mobility. The terrain at Khaya La Bantu is mainly grass and uneven ground and it can get slightly muddy after heavy rain. Guests are advised to wear flat, comfortable walking shoes, sun protection and a warm jacket. Khaya La Bantu in not an authentic village; it is an open-air museum with cultural entertainment. Guests should have small denominations of local currency (South African Rand) if they wish to make any purchases. The price of this tour is adversely affected by the cost of conducting business in this high-cost infrastructure area. Guides and adequate transportation need to be sourced from a distance.

Mpongo Private Game Reserve

Experience the spectacular natural beauty and wildlife of South Africa during this unforgettable, half-day game-drive excursion to the Mpongo Private Game Reserve.


East London, Mpongo Private Game Reserve, Game-Drive

Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 45-minute drive to the Mpongo Private Game Reserve, located only 22 miles (about 35.4 kilometres) from the city of East London. Upon arrival at the lodge, you are welcomed with a refreshing beverage before setting off in an open-air, 4WD safari vehicle with a park ranger for a fun-filled and exciting, approximately two-hour game-viewing adventure.


Rhinos, Buffalo, Hippos, Giraffes, Antelope, Bird Species, Rolling Hills, River-Valleys

Home to elephants, lions, rhinos, buffalo, hippos, giraffes, numerous antelope, and many bird species, the Mpongo Private Game Reserve offers a unique blend of luxury and gaming experiences on over 8,600 acres (about 3,480 hectares) of conservation land. This magnificent reserve in the heart of the Eastern Cape boasts rolling hills, river valleys and luscious surroundings that cater to the heart of even the most discerning eco-tourist.


Comfort Stop, Return Drive

Following your exciting game drive, return to the lodge for a comfort stop. Afterward, transfer from the lodge to the main entrance aboard the open-air, 4WD safari vehicle, then re-board your coach and commence the approximately 45-minute drive back to the pier.


Please note: This tour involves an extensive amount of off-road driving and a moderate amount of walking for approximately 219 yards (about 200 metres), at times over uneven, bumpy, gravel, and natural surfaces and inclines, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and open-air, 4WD safari vehicles. This tour is recommended for active guests in good physical condition. This tour is not suitable for pregnant guests, guests with back and/or neck problems, guests with heart and/or respiratory conditions, guests prone to motion sickness, guests with limited mobility, and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Guests are advised to wear lightweight, comfortable clothing with flat, closed-toe walking shoes, and bring sun protection, insect repellent, a light, weatherproof jacket, and a camera from the ship. Guests must be at least six years old to participate on this tour; minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over 18 years old. Guests are not permitted to use cellular phones during the game drives. Guests are not permitted to speak loudly, nor stand up on the game drive vehicles, as this disturbs the animals. Smoking is not permitted during the game drives. This is a malaria-risk area; please make sure the necessary medication has been taken. Guests must carry their passports. The open-air, 4WD safari vehicles utilised on this tour are not covered, and guests are therefore exposed to the elements. Although frequently encountered on this type of tour, animal sightings are not guaranteed. Due to the prevailing weather conditions and movement of dangerous wildlife on the Game Reserve, the programme contents and sequence are subject to change by the lodge management without prior notice. Space on this tour is extremely limited; we suggest you book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Natural History Adventure

Depart the pier and proceed to East London's city centre. Drive along Oxford Street, passing the City Hall, built in 1897, in the 60th year of Queen Victoria's reign. Today, the City Hall is graced with a statue of the martyred activist, Stephen Biko.


In 1836, the British established East London as a military post, which they used as a base during the Xhosa wars. The arrival of German settlers, who had been serving as mercenaries in the British-German Legion, gave the place at the mouth of the Buffalo River an economic boost - and in 1873 East London was given town rights.


Continue to the East London Museum, which was established in 1921. It is home to a number of fine exhibits, including the type specimen of the coelacanth, a fish previously believed to have become extinct some 80 million years ago.


Other notable exhibits include a reconstruction of the extinct dodo of Mauritius along with the only known dodo egg in the world, as well as an extensive collection of beadwork relating to the Xhosa-speaking people, and the Nahoon Footprints.


In 1964, some construction workers at Bats Cave on the Nahoon Bluff corner noticed some strange shapes in the bedrock and on further investigation recognized them to be the fossilized footprints of a child, belonging to the archaic hominid period. 200,000 years ago, the conditions would have been perfect for the child to have been able to create these tracks and they then lay undisturbed for eons, fossilizing over time. Large slabs of sandstone that contained the tracks have been removed and can now be seen at the Museum.


Following this visit, proceed via the national highway through rural countryside en-route to the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve.


Enjoy refreshments at the Footprints Café, which is situated in a building which also houses the Mercedes-Benz Coastal Education & Visitor Centre. The centre provides an informative eco-tourism facility to educate visitors to the area, with boards, photographs and touchscreens mounted on the walls, explaining the unique aspects of East London's coastal environment, the archaeological wealth of Nahoon including the Nahoon Footprints, the history of surfing at the Nahoon Reef, and the importance of environmental stewardship.


Take a short stroll along the wooden boardwalk that skirts the edge of the coastal dunes, to the site where the Fossil Footprints were found. Thereafter, return to the pier, passing the residential suburbs of East London en-route.


Please note: This tour requires a moderate amount of walking for approximately 1640 feet (500 metres) and it is suitable for guests who utilise a wheelchair or for those with limited mobility however guests must be able to embark/disembark the coach via the bus steps. We recommend guests wear flat, comfortable walking shoes, sun hat & glasses, sunblock and windbreaker. Souvenir shops accept local currency and credit cards only. The order of sites seen may vary.

Silver Shore Privato – Private Car with Driver/Guide – Full Day

Explore East London at your leisure during your full-day (8-Hour) sightseeing tour via private car. Customize your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights with your driver and your English-speaking driver/guide.


Depart the pier in an air-conditioned car and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Participation is limited to 2 guests per car. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.

Silver Shore Privato – Private Car with Driver/Guide – Half Day

Explore East London at your leisure during your half-day (4-Hour) sightseeing tour via private car. Customize your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights with an English-speaking driver/guide.


Depart the pier in an air-conditioned car and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Participation is limited to 2 guests per car. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.

Silver Shore Privato – Private Van with Driver/Guide – Full Day

Explore East London at your leisure during your full-day (8-Hour) sightseeing tour via private van. Customize your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights with your driver and English-speaking driver/guide.


Depart the pier in an air-conditioned van and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Participation is limited to 6 guests per van. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.

Silver Shore Privato – Private Van with Driver/Guide – Half Day

Explore East london at your leisure during your half-day (4-Hour) sightseeing tour via private van. Customize your own itinerary or choose to see an overview of the area's highlights with an English-speaking driver/guide.


Depart the pier in an air-conditioned van and discover the city and surrounding areas at your own pace. Your exclusive tour concludes back at the pier.


Please note: This tour is non-refundable if cancelled within 48 hours prior to arrival in the port. Actual vehicle type varies depending on availability. Participation is limited to 6 guests per van. The price, exclusive of meals, entrance fees and gratuities, is per vehicle. Therefore, when making your reservation, please indicate the number of vehicles, not the number of guests. Only one person in the party needs to reserve this program. Please see the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship to arrange your individual itinerary.

An Introduction to Silversea Cruises

The romance of the seas, small ship sizes and intimate atmosphere, Silversea has long been a leader in the ultra-luxury market. Travelling to both iconic and secluded ports, Silversea’s award-winning itineraries inspire wanderlust and exploration. With over 900 destinations, longer port stays and more late-night departures than ever before, even the savviest traveler will find something new. A butler for every suite, a complimentary in-suite bar stocked with your preferences, all-inclusive exquisite dining, award-winning onboard entertainment and an unparalleled space to guest ratio all contribute to the Silversea experience. Not forgetting our famed Italian hospitality, where new faces become old friends. Bienvenuti a bordo.