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“Beyond the Heads”

Springtide Sailing Charters
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Springtide Charters offers exclusive sailing charters aboard a sleek, custom built 50ft mono-hull yacht called 'The Outeniqua'. Cruises depart daily (weather permitting) from the popular Knysna Waterfront find our Yacht moored in the waterfront next to our brightly painted lighthouse kiosk and ticket office. After exiting the quays our yacht sets sail across the expansive Knysna estuary and out to into the ocean through the Knysna Heads. We sail parallel to the beautifully rugged Knysna coastline and depending on the sailing conditions we either head east towards the Noetzie area or west towards the Buffalo Bay area. The thrill of sailing surrounded by such show stopping scenery makes this an adventure of a lifetime.Sunset Cruises, 2,3 & 4 hour Day charters,private hire (maximum of 12 passengers).
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 26 November 2012

If you are in Knysna then you must go out thru the Heads - Interesting trip and a magificent view of the cliffs - great fun

Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (52)
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32 - 36 of 52 reviews

Reviewed 30 October 2012

We had a most wonderful evening hosted by Stephan and would strongly recommend this to anyone wanting an exciting addition to their trip. The thrill of going out through the Heads was expertly navigated by Stephan and the hospitality and warmth made for a magical evening. Thank-you!

Thank Brian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2012

We booked a sunset sailing tour and were very disappointed. We were told the tour will take 2.5 to 3 hours and we will sail outside the lagoon at the ocean. Well in fact after 2 hours we were back before the sunset even started and sailed only 20-30 minutes outside the lagoon - this is not sailing! The tour cost 650 ZAR this is very expensive for such a tour and even the cheap served wine had to be paid for extra. I would not recommend this tour.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2012

Since my husband and I only had one full day in Knysna, we were really looking forward to our sunset sail in the Harbor and a potential trip past the Heads out into the Indian Ocean- we accepted that was dependent on weather/current. We had a tough time booking with Spring Tide initially- they have a couple of websites (some outdated) and once we located the correct site their system wouldn't accept US credit cards. Finally got everything sorted by phone and confirmed via email (our nice host Graham at Candlewood Lodge also contacted owners to make sure we were all set), so imagine our extreme disappointment when we arrived at the dock for our trip to find no one on board. I called and the polite lady who answered said she had been "desperately" trying to call and email us to cancel due to poor weather (?) and bad currents, but we had no missed calls or messages, so it seems like they just didn't want the bother of a 2-person charter in the off-season. Thankfully, we saw the Featherbed booking desk nearby at the Waterfront and had a terrific sunset cruise on their catamaran- Captain Vlad had no trouble getting out into the Indian Ocean (wow that's some serious surf and dramatic rocky cliffs!) and the experience was amazing, just us and one other couple.

Thank CiaoHolly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springtide1, Owner at Springtide Sailing Charters, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2012

Hello and thank you for bringing this to our attention, I would firstly like to apologize for any inconvenience caused. Due to the fact that we (the Owners) were out of the country at the time, we have taken the time to look into this matter with the various people that were in charge of running the charters in our absence, As an owner run company I run the marketing and admin and Steff not only built the yacht but is also the full time Skipper, I have addressed the difficulty you experienced trying to make the online booking, and they will be getting in touch with you to address this, (I must point out that this is a new online reservation website, this is a third party website). Both the websites that we own have been updated and relaunched in April.

Regarding the cancellation of your booking, On the day of your charter 27 May 2012, the weather in Knysna was poor, our appointed Skipper had observed the weather and had to make a decision based on the comfort and safety of our guests and vessel. The sea was incredibly rough, there was no chance of getting out into the Indian Ocean. Our stand in skipper is a highly respected Yacht Master (the same person who instructs local sailors and would have trained all the local commercial and non commercial skippers) , and has sailed extensively throughout the worlds oceans, but more importantly has been sailing in Knysna for many years. Unfortunately the reservations person who attempted to reach you to notify you of the cancellation could only access the contact numbers which had been entered on the reservations system it seems these numbers (both international numbers were: either not in service or were incorrectly captured so she was unable to get through/unable to reach you timeously to inform you of the cancellation.) in another attempt to reach you she did send an urgent email to you which we have on file, all of this is most unfortunate, since you then arrived at the departure point and then called in to our reservations around half an hour before your departure time to hear that the trip had in fact been cancelled. Annette did offer you a place on the charter the following day which promised to be a much better day both in weather and sea conditions, but unfortunately this did not suit you.

As a company we do not have a problem at all doing a 2 person charter, 2 persons is the minimum requirement for our Sunset Cruises. But we do have to judge our weather closely and due to the open deck area we are well aware that in extremely cold and unpleasant weather the guests generally do not enjoy their trip. All our charters are interactive sailing charters where our clients are able to take a turn at the helm and experience sailing a 50foot vessel, if the conditions do not suit sailing, it is the Skipper and only the skipper who can make a call on wether or not to proceed with the trip. In our absence we appointed Theo and we not only entrusted him with our vessel but also with our clients and we know that he would have not compromised on safety. A judgement call based on the weather is made on the day, and our terms and conditions state that all our trips are Weather and conditions permitting.
I am glad that you were able to sail with the other charter company, however you stated on your review, that on this boat, you did end up going out to sea " Captain Vlad had no trouble getting onto the Indian Ocean" we have spoken with Captain "Vlad" from the other vessel, who confirmed that he was only able to approach the Heads, but did not go through, (going through the Heads involves crossing the bar, and this is an extremely turbulent, unpredictable area, and on bad weather days one could find yourself facing waves anywhere from 6-8 meters or more breaking like a beach break right across the entire opening (300 meter wide opening), The local NSRI station with very powerful motor boats won't even attempt to out through the opening on days like this, in the sailing world it is known as one of the most dangerous ports in the world.) We do not take our position lightly and practice extreme caution, our number one concern is safety which takes president over everything.

As I have already followed up directly with you by email, I feel it is very important to put our point across on this platform, we definitely do not like to have let any of our clients down as our customer satisfaction is very important to us. We wish to invite you and your partner at your convenience to join us on one of our charters whenever you visit our country again so that you can experience sailing with us in suitable conditions.


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Reviewed 27 April 2012

My husband and I took a trip on their sailing boat while on honeymoon in South Africa. The skipper, Steve was a polite, welcoming guy. We loved the trip and the beautiful sights from sea. Greatly recommended!

Thank Dalooyah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springtide1, Owner at Springtide Sailing Charters, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2012

Hello from all of us in beautiful Knysna, thanks for the review, we are grateful for the feedback and that you have taken the time to post this on our profile.

the Springtide crew!

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