Visiting the submarine

Please all note that the SAS ASSEGAAI Submarine Museum will be closed to the public from Monday 3 August 2015. The maintenance period will be used to conduct visual inspections on the hull which has not been out since 2010. In addition, the pontoon, Quarter Master, and brow fittings to and from it must be inspected and refitted.

We hope to be open again in mid October but can only confirm once a safety inspection is done.
Our fitter members who could assist can contact us. Please let us know if you have any queries.

NOTE: We have exceeded 60 000 recorded and organised happy visitors of which about 15 000 have confirmed their enjoyment in writing! Many many thanks to all the volunteers who have made our first ‘commission’ so successful!

As the museum is in the Naval Dockyard, access is only by a scheduled bus service from the station with a pick-up point at Jubilee Square (113 St Georges Street, Simon's Town)

Booking should be done at the HGTS office at Simon’s Town station or the Stadco office on Jubilee Square.

Bookings: (021) 786 5243,

Open 6 days a week (closed on Tuesdays as it is a maintenance day).

Tours are from 10:00 - 15:30 (on the hour and half hour) with LAST tour starting at 14:30.

Tour times and number of groups are dependent on the availability of guides, and tour groups are limited to 10-12 persons. Bookings are thus highly advisable.

Tour tickets cost R40 per person (R20 for children under 12 years old) which includes the bus fare to the submarine's mooring point. The duration of the tour is about 50 minutes.

How to get to the Jubilee Square in Simon's Town

View Larger Map

The museum is informative for youngsters and children who have an interest in becoming submariners, as it gives them the opportunity to find out more on the career that they want to follow. The museum is also aimed at influencing the youth through the various technologies represented aboard and thus promote the sciences in education.


Background Information

SAS Assegaai, formerly the SAS Johanna van der Merwe, was one of three Daphne-class submarines acquired from France during 1970 to 1972, which became the first submarines to serve in the South African Navy. She is 58m long and had a complement of six officers and 45 senior and junior ratings. Fitted with 12 x 550mm torpedo tubes, she could also carry sea mines.



She was renamed SAS Assegaai (Assegaai is the Afrikaans word for 'spear') in 1999 and was the last of the SA Navy’s Daphne class submarines in commission and finally decommissioned in 2003. Currently she is preserved as a floating museum but will be preserved ashore at the Naval Museum by 2013.

Visitors arrive by ferry, waiting to go below. The opened  can be seen to the right of the image

The Assegaai museum submarine gives those who have never been on a submarine the opportunity to experience life in a submarine and its intricacies, albeit for a brief visit. All tours are conducted by experienced volunteer guides who explain life aboard as well as how the boat was run and how the systems work. The interior has been perfectly preserved and one is able to see and experience all its equipment in the cramped setting – for example, the tiny galley.

R Adm (JG) Soderland (SAN Ret), enthusiastically conducting a tour

One also get to experience the feeling of being in a boat underwater. An explanation is also given of how the submarine dives and how it surfaces at sea and you get to know many interesting facts about submarines. One of the more fascinating aspects being the generation of fresh air for the crew when dived.

Interesting Facts:

  • The museum is one of about five of its kind in the Southern hemisphere and the first in Africa.

  • More than 20 countries including Germany, United States of America and the United Kingdom have Museum Submarines.

Daphne Class submarine fact file
Length: 57.75m
Beam: 6.75m
Draught: 5.23m
Shafts:  2 (3 blade propellers)
Displacement: 860 tons (Surface) | 1034 tons (Submerged)
Diving Depth 300m
Machinery:   2 x 8-cyl SEMT-Pielstick 8 PA4 185-450Kw diesel generators

2 x 800hp dual armature Jeumont-Schneider electric propulsion motors

Batteries: 2 compartments (80 cells each)
Speed: 13.5 knots (25 km/h Surfaced) 16 knots (29.6 km/h Submerged)
Range:   4300nm (7 963km) @ 7.5 knots (Snorting)
2700nm (5 000km) @ 12.5 knots (Surface)

12 x 550mm (8 forward 4 aft - only reloadable when alongside)
8 Forward (Internal)
4 Aft (External)

Complement:  6 Officers and 45 Ratings
 (+ 6 to 10 trainees)

R Adm (JG) A. Soderlund (Ret) and a team of volunteer guides, some being ex-submariners, with duty experience on this boat

A visiting school group being assisted down the hatch for a tour of the submarine

Be warned: this vessel was designed and built as a deadly warship. She is compact and filled with machinery. She was not designed for visitors. Passages are narrow and you need to be careful where you step. Ensure that children do not fiddle with switches or equipment because some valves control water ballast systems, and high voltages are present in equipment.

Ladies and Gentlemen: "It is clear to go on board the SAS Assegaai ".


Sent email to the Museum Submarine at:

Submarine Depth is its submersion or diving depth and is measured from under the keel to the surface. The calculated crushing depth of the Daphne Class' pressure hull is 575 meters.

There are many depth gauges throughout the interior of the boat. See how many of them you're able to spot when you do the submarine tour.