Iziko Maritime Centre

Iziko Maritime Centre, Cape Town

Iziko Maritime Centre
3.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
The Iziko Maritime Centre features an overview of shipping in Cape Town. There is a collection of ship models and objects associated with shipping in Cape Town, in particular the era of mail-ships. Large and medium-sized images support the exhibitions, with the emphasis on the Union-Castle Line. A key part of this resource centre is the John H Marsh Maritime Research Centre. The Marsh collection consists of various collections including an important archive of nearly 20,000 photographs, depicting 9,200 ships dating from the late 1920s to the early 1960s.Please note that members of the public are currently unable to visit the SAS Somerset.
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3.5
15 reviews
Excellent
4
Very good
4
Average
6
Poor
0
Terrible
1

RHMo
Helsinki, Finland25 contributions
Jun 2019 • Solo
This is a very small maritime museum. The exhibits are interesting, but there really isn't that much to see. They closed an hour earlier than what was stated on the sign at the entrance so I felt a bit rushed. Totally apathetic (semi-rude) staff at the front desk. Somewhat disappointing, but luckily the entrance fee was only 20 rand. Pop in if you're nearby, but it's not worth any extra effort to visit. Barely average.
Written 29 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jonathan B
Singapore22 contributions
Mar 2019 • Family
Years ago the V&A Waterfront had a big, fantastic maritime museum. It even has two museum ships (one is now being scrapped and the other has been sold and moved to a small town miles from the ocean). But all that is gone because commercial entities can pay higher rent.
The Iziko Maritime Centre, the maritime museum's successor, is much smaller and tucked away above a bank in the old Union Castle Building. It may be right in the centre of the action, but you'd hardly know it because it is not widely promoted and there is little to indicate that the entrance leads to anything more than a bank. Be that as it may, if you do find your way in to this museum you will find a treasure trove of large ship models, mostly of the old passenger liners that used to call at Cape Town. It is a traditional museum that has no buttons for children to press, but I am sure they too will find the models quite fascinating. Inside the museum there is also a maritime library that has a very good book collection. The staff of volunteers, when they are there, are happy to chat with curious visitors and allow them to browse the books. All in all, an interesting place to visit, and at 20 Rand to enter, just about the cheapest thing to do on the waterfront.
Written 13 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jill d
Port Elizabeth, South Africa2 542 contributions
Jul 2018 • Solo
Housed in a stunning art deco building, is this museum displaying some of our more interesting maritime involvement, as well as a few scale models of some of the old Union Castle liners.
There is also a well documented, video-supported account of the sinking of the South African troop carrier ship, the SS Mendi, off the coast of the Isle of Wight in 1917.
The staff here are friendly and helpful and I spent a pleasant, unrushed time looking at all the exhibits. There is also an archive of things maritime in the research library, but that is open by appointment only.
Note - Iziko museums entrance fees are reasonable, but SA pensioners have free access on a Friday!
Written 4 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Don Wright
Vancouver, Canada1 310 contributions
Nov 2017 • Couples
For just R20 (about $2 CAD), drop by this small museum for a bit of the history of the old port, from the days when it was established as a refreshment station for the Dutch East India Company, through the days of slavery, to it’s importance as a major shipping and passenger terminal. There is an eye-opening display describing the tragic loss of over 600 black recruits who were on their way to serve in the first World War when the ship they were on was accidentally rammed by a British cargo ship in the English Channel; the Mendi, a converted cargo ship itself, sank in twenty minutes. There is also an interesting display about the Union-Castle passenger line whose head office was in this building. There is a maritime research library at one end of the exhibition area that looks like it would be of interest to hard core maritime history buffs (thousands of photos and other documents available).
Written 3 February 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peter
Glasgow, UK2 994 contributions
Dec 2017 • Couples
In 1970 I worked as a photographer on 2 Union Castle ships, so to be in the Union Castle building alongside ship models and history boards was heaven for me.
Very under visited.
Good research library inside.
Written 21 December 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kirkcaldylad
North Lanarkshire, UK1 707 contributions
Dec 2017 • Couples
This museum is squeezed between banks in what was the Union Castle shipping line’s Cape Town HQ. A splendid old building and on its first floor there is this small museum dedicated to Cape Town’s maritime history. Most of that
concentrates on the 20th century and about half is appropriately focussed on Union Castle’s history. That is well displayed. There is also a maritime history resource archive that is worth a visit.
You may have to press the buzzer for admission and the admission price is a mere 20 Rand! Worth every penny.
Written 21 December 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dirmu G
Eversdal, South Africa2 381 contributions
Jun 2017 • Friends
It is the 2nd time that we visit this museum when we are in the Waterfront for Museum Night. The enormous model ships & boats are amazing. Displayed in glass cabinets. They also have some artifacts (porcelain & silver, etc) on display which were on the ships.
Written 21 July 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Pi3t3r
60 contributions
Jul 2016
Located on the tourist hub that is the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, you find this historic exibit on many things connected to the Cape of Storms chronicling the last 400 years or so. It includes postal services, weather-related events and a brilliant model ship display spanning many rooms. A worthy look-see for history buffs and school trips too.
Written 17 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dirmu G
Eversdal, South Africa2 381 contributions
Jul 2016 • Friends
From old engraved postage stones to artifacts found from shipwrecks and amazing models of ships. If you have an interest- or memories of old post ships etc, you will enjoy this museum
Written 14 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

brigitte855
Johannesburg, South Africa9 contributions
Dec 2015 • Business
Since the disappearance of Mr. Butcharts very unique modell ships, I am sad to say, the (Cape Town Maritime Museum) now Iziko Maritime Centre, has lost most of its value!
Written 14 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Iziko Maritime Centre

Iziko Maritime Centre is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00


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