As whale-watching season reaches its peak in Hermanus, The Marine Hotel extends a warm invitation to locals and visitors alike to immerse themselves in the magic of this extraordinary natural phenomenon.
Celebrating its 32nd year, the Hermanus Whale Festival (29 September to 1 October 2023) stands as the oldest and most prominent festival along the Cape Whale Coast in South Africa. Recognized as one of the country's top 20 ‘must-do’ events, it draws between 75,000 and 130,000 visitors to the Overberg town each year. A symbol of Hermanus’ enduring connection with the majestic Southern Right whales, the festival resonates globally to showcase the region's natural wonders and cultural vitality.
In recent news, the University of Pretoria’s Mammal Research Institute's Whale Unit conducted its annual aerial count survey at the end of August, revealing a remarkable surge in whale numbers in the coastline between Hermanus and Witsand. During gyroplane flights, the research team counted no less than 1136 whales, including 55 mothers with calves spotted in Hermanus’ Walker Bay alone. This number is a substantial increase compared to the last few years. Southern Right whales, known for their immense size, measuring between 13 and 16 meters in length and weighing up to 50 tons, captivate onlookers as they frolic and nurture their newborn calves near the shore. Traditionally spanning from July to November, the whale watching season in Hermanus offers a front-row seat to the playful antics of these giants of the ocean.
Boasting an enviable location on Hermanus' iconic cliff path, The Marine offers breathtaking views of Walker Bay and unparalleled access to the spectacle of the whale ‘nursery’. Guests are encouraged to listen for the hotel’s whale bell, which resonates throughout the hotel whenever a whale is spotted in the waters below. With the delightful possibility of enjoying this natural theatre, even from the comfort of the sea-facing suites, visitors are treated to what is widely regarded as the pinnacle of land-based whale watching worldwide. A short walk from The Marine, the world’s only ‘whale crier’ is on duty throughout the Whale Festival to alert passers-by when whales can be seen close to shore.
Part of The Liz McGrath Collection and a distinguished member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, The Marine extends a warm welcome to all, including families with children, as well as well-behaved small and medium sized dogs during the Hermanus Whale Festival.
For more information and reservations, visit www.themarinehotel.co.za.
About The Marine
The Marine, a member of The Liz McGrath Collection, is one of South Africa's most spectacular seaside hotels. Located on Hermanus’ famous cliff path, overlooking the breathtaking Walker Bay, the Small Luxury Hotels of the World property offers visitors the unique opportunity to experience the finest land-based whale watching in the world from June to November each year. Guests are even able to view these majestic creatures from the comfort of their own sea view room. The Overberg region is also a must for adventure sport seekers, offering a host of activities – including hiking, mountain biking and marine sports.
Back at the hotel, guests can indulge in exceptional culinary delights created by Head Chef Oelof Vorster: from breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Pavilion Restaurant, to Afternoon Tea and sundowners in the Sun Lounge & Bar.
The 40 elegantly appointed rooms and suites include 10 Luxury Doubles with Sea View and 10 Premier Suites – both categories are perfectly positioned for watching pods of dolphins and whales as they swim in the bay below. Guests may take a refreshing dip in The Marine’s pool, located in the hotel’s tranquil courtyard, or in the Tidal Pool, which can be accessed from the cliff path.