Visiting the submarine
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
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.
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
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.
The museum is one of about five
of its kind in the Southern hemisphere and the first in
More than 20 countries
including Germany, United States of America and the United
Kingdom have Museum Submarines.
submarine fact file
2 (3 blade
tons (Surface) | 1034 tons (Submerged)
2 x 8-cyl SEMT-Pielstick
8 PA4 185-450Kw
800hp dual armature Jeumont-Schneider electric propulsion motors
2 compartments (80 cells
13.5 knots (25
km/h Surfaced) 16 knots
(29.6 km/h Submerged)
4300nm (7 963km) @ 7.5 knots
2700nm (5 000km) @ 12.5 knots (Surface)
550mm (8 forward 4 aft - only reloadable when alongside)
8 Forward (Internal)
6 Officers and 45
(+ 6 to 10
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: firstname.lastname@example.org