Walvis Bay Cruise

One of Namibia’s most magnificent bays 
Flamingos, pelicans and oysters
Sailing along the Skeleton Coast

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Walvis Bay

Cuisine and natural lagoons

On your MSC South Africa cruise you can admire Walvis Bay, which, thanks to its rich marine life, is one of the places of most outstanding natural beauty in Namibia. Its gourmet delights are not to be missed either.

Before leaving the port you have to eat homegrown Walvis Bay oysters in one of the many restaurants that have sprung up in recent years. Today, maybe it’s harder to see whales in these waters but the highlight of Walvis Bay (aka Whales Bay) is still its natural lagoon with its abundance of seabirds, including flamingos and pelicans, which are joined every year by thousands of migratory birds.

As this is an area of outstanding natural beauty, there are many options for spending your time away from the ship. Due north of Walvis Bay along a coast road, the Atlantic harbour town of Swakopmund is just waiting to be discovered on an MSC South Africa excursion.

Offering a vivid reminder of Namibia’s colonial past, the older architecture is Germanic in style, German is widely spoken and the restaurants delight in serving bratwurst. There’s even an annual Oktoberfest, a jolly knees-up featuring locally brewed lager and Bavarian-style bands in lederhosen. Swakopmund is a safari and backpacker hub with some great shops selling souvenirs including beautiful, locally made jewellery, crafts and curios.

This is also Namibia’s extreme sports capital, with several operators offering quad-biking, dune buggy racing and sandboarding. Swakopmund and Walvis Bay are the southern point of the Skeleton Coast where, on nature trails across the sands and gravel plains, you can observe ancient desert-adapted plant species such as welwitschia (an endemic, trunkless tree which sags raggedly on the ground and can live for over 2500 years), lithops and delicate lichens.

Must see places in Walvis Bay

Discover our excursions

5 results found

  • Aquatic Adventure

      • Duration
        3 h

      • Adults89Price per person

      • Children85Price per person


      This boat-cruise in the lagoon and harbour area will put you into another world. Along the way some pelicans and flamingos might be spotted, and don't be surprised to see dolphins swimming alongside the boat. Quite regularly, you can also expect a visit onboard from our famous charmers of the seas - the seals, who quite often hand out their charms in return for a piece of fish. Experience some up close and personal encounters with the sea life on the Namibian west coast. At around midday, snacks of fresh Namibian Oysters and sparkling wine are served onboard the boat, whilst floating in the lagoon area. Please note: this tour depends on weather conditions and foresees no shopping stop. The skipper is also the guide. We recommend wearing a jacket, a hat, sunscreen and comfortable shoes. This tour is not suitable for guests in a wheelchair. Guests allergic to seafood, especially oysters, should avoid consumption onboard.
    • Fun in the dunes

        • Duration
          2 h

        • Adults69Price per person

        • Children69Price per person


        One of the most famous desert landmarks in Namibia is the dune belt between Walvisbay and Swakopmund, which hosts some of the highest crests in this desert area. The quad-biking is enjoyed within the safety of a group, and is accompanied by experienced quad-guides on an eco-friendly routing at a location in the dunes between Swakopmund and Walvis bay. Optional Sand boarding is available for the more adventurous. (not included!) Note: limited seats. Climbing the dunes can be strenuous
      • Swakopmund & city tour

        CITY TOUR
          • Duration
            2:30 h

          • Adults69Price per person

          • Children65Price per person


          You will drive through Walvis bay for a short sightseeing tour, including a stop at the Walvis bay Lagoon, famous forest prolific bird life, where a variety of flamingos and rare white pelicans can be seen. Birds visit the lagoon on a migratory basis, and move north towards Etosha and Botswana during certain times of the year. From Walvis bay we depart to Swakopmund where we have a sightseeing tour through this coastal town. The Woermann House (1905) now houses an art gallery. The Woermann Tower was used in earlier times to see if ships come into the harbour. Other old interesting buildings include "Die Alte Kaserne”;, "Hohenzollern Haus”; and the Railway Station Building. Note: Shops can be closed on Sunday calls
        • Salt, Sand & Sea Tour

          SEA & SUN
          • Limited seats

          • May involve a limited quantity of steps, uneven surfaces and/or periods of standing

            Difficulty Level

          • Duration
            2:30 h

          • Adults72Price per person

          • Children59Price per person


          Enjoy a short tour highlighting why Walvisbay and the surrounding area has grown and prospered as a tourist destination and economic hub for Namibia. You will have the possibility to visit the lagoon, a RAMSAR site and home to a huge variety of birdlife, before moving onto the biggest Salt mine in Namibia. Entrance into the mine is not allowed but you will have enough photo opportunities and insight into the mining of this “white gold”. Lastly, enjoy the desert under your feet as we visit one of the highest dunes in the Namib, Dune 7, for a breathtaking view over the dune belt, before returning to the harbour. Please note, you can only book this excursion on board.
        • Living desert tour

            • Duration
              4:30 h

            • Adults129Price per person

            • Children119Price per person


            From Walvis bay you will be transferred to Swakopmund, where you are transferred to 4x4 vehicles. From here you travel into the Swakop River towards the local dune belt between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. The dune belt is about 30km long and 5km wide and supports an impressive wealth of fauna and flora. During your trip we slowly drive along the foot of the dunes. Conservation issues and the geological structure of the desert will be discussed in detail en route. Plenty of time is available for frequent stops to take photos of the dunes and the surrounding environment. This tour provides endless vistas, amazing facts about creature survival in the desert and a adrenalin packed journey where experienced knowledge of sand driving is essential. Note: limited seats. This tour requires walking in dunes at times

          The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Cruises guests with an idea of the different tours which can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
          Shore excursions programmes and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
          Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.


          Exhilarating nature
          Exhilarating nature

          When returning from a holiday to Namibia it’s hard for travellers to be left cold – this striking, sparsely populated country has such charisma that it’s regularly voted one of the top adventure destinations in the world. Key to the appeal of a cruise to Namibia is the spacious drama of its desert landscapes, where oryx, the kind of antelope Picasso might have dreamed up, pick their way over towering, apricot-coloured dunes, ostriches dash through the shimmering haze and elephants lumber along richly textured gorges. At dusk, Namibia’s huge skies mould themselves into a dizzying dome of stars. Best of all, these splendours are accessible – while you might feel apprehensive about venturing into the trackless Sahara, Namibia’s great desert regions are loosely crisscrossed with decent gravel roads.

          With enough mineral wealth to make it one of Africa’s more prosperous countries, Namibia, though somewhat troubled by land reform issues, is largely a model of peace, stability and inter-ethnic respect. It’s also a leader in community-based conservation: rural Namibia is dotted with conservancies, wilderness regions whose residents have been granted the right to profit from sustainable tourism and are therefore motivated to care for their environment and its flora and fauna.