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The V&A Waterfront has announced the Ocean Life Festival, a new endeavour which will celebrate the sea but also educate people about the current challenges around marine protection. The new festival forms part of the Volvo Ocean Race, set to arrive in Cape Town over the next few weeks.

The Ocean Life Festival has been launched by the Waterfront in associaltion with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Intended to become an annual event, the V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival will see a carefully curated programme of events and activations spread across the property between Monday, 27 November and Friday, 8 December. The idea behind each of the Festival’s events will be to engage and delight visitors’ interest in ocean life and ocean sustainability.

“The V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival will be held on the property every year as one of the ways in which we are looking to celebrate all that is related to the ocean,” said David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront.

This year, the Festival will have a strong sustainability message, with many activities focusing on the harm that plastics and other foreign materials do to the world’s maritime assets. The educational programmes that form part of the Festival will highlight the deteriorating state of the world’s oceans, and explore innovative solutions to protect the future of our waters.

The Festival will highlight the deteriorating state of the world’s oceans, and explore innovative solutions to protect the future of our waters.

Partnered with the V&A Waterfront to create the Festival is the Dutch Consulate, which has taken a keen interest in working with South African entities to create sustainable solutions to ocean pollution. As one of the world’s great maritime nations with a long legacy of crossing the world’s oceans, the Netherlands has significant experience and knowledge in oceanography, providing a tangible opportunity for South Africans to learn through this partnership.

“We are honoured to have partnered with the V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival. Through #cocreateSA, the Dutch Consulate General aims to co-create sustainable solutions. The #cocreateDESIGN activation promotes collaboration between designers from the Netherlands and South Africa. Together, they will creatively engage on solutions to the rapidly growing and critical problem of plastic polluting the ocean. I believe that by working together we will create awareness, change behaviour and leave behind a lasting legacy,” said Bonnie Horbach, Netherlands Consul General.


Volvo Ocean Race Arrivals

Date:           ETA between Friday, 24 and Tuesday, 28 November

Time:          N/A

Venue:       Quay 6, V&A Waterfront

Contact:     V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Innovation Station: Ocean Plastics

Date:           Tuesday, 28 November to Sunday, 3 December

Time:          10h00 to 18h00

Venue:       Centre Court, Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre

Cost:            Free

Contact:     V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Head to the Victoria Wharf Centre Court between Tuesday, 28 November and Sunday, 3 December for some creative fun turning recyclable plastics into new keep-sakes!

This educational activation has been designed to increase awareness about the hazards of excessive plastic pollution. Ocean Plastics will run daily from 10am to 6pm and participation is free. Each participant will be exposed to three elements:

  1. Information: infographics highlighting the damage caused by plastic and benefits of recycling,
  2. Demonstration: of the recycling process using plastic waste collected from Cape Town beaches to produce beautiful objects, and
  3. Participation: a craft area where participants can explore and create products with ocean waste plastic.

V&A Ocean Film Festival, curated by Wavescape

Date:  Wednesday, 29 November to Friday, 1 December

Time: 20h00

Venue: Ster Kinekor Nouveau Cinemas, Victoria Wharf

Tickets: Available through Ster Kinekor:

Standard ticket R55

2D block booking R45.50

2D kids ticket R44

2D pensioners ticket (60+) R44

2D Discovery Vitality ticket R28

2D Edgars ticket R28

Contact:     Ster Kinekor at

Merging art with a cause, the V&A Waterfront has partnered with Wavescape, using cinema to drive awareness around sustainability challenges facing the world’s oceans. Kicking off at Ster Kinekor Nouveau on Wednesday, 29 November, the inaugural V&A Ocean Film Festival will show four films that address ocean conservation issues with tactile solutions. Tickets start from R55 pp and are available through Ster Kinekor.

Night 1:

A Plastic Ocean (1 hour, 42 minutes)

A Plastic Ocean is an adventure documentary shot on more than 20 locations over the past four years. Explorers Craig Leeson and Tanya Streeter and a team of international scientists reveal the causes and consequences of plastic pollution and share solutions.

Night 2:

Chasing the Coral (1 hour, 33 minutes)

Around the world, coral reefs are feeling the heat — literally. Persistently rising ocean temperatures have triggered coral bleaching events on a scale never seen before. This new documentary tells a grim story of reefs in trouble, and warns about what we could lose when they die.

Night 3:

First screening: Blue (1 hour, 10 minutes)

Blue is a powerful film about our oceans. It charts the challenges we face and the opportunities for positive change. Filmed in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, the South Pacific and the United States, this stunning cinematic documentary comes at a time when we are making critical decisions that will decide the legacy we leave for generations to come.

Second screening: The Smog of the Sea (28 minutes)

The Smog of the Sea chronicles a one-week journey through the remote waters of the Sargasso Sea. Marine scientist Marcus Eriksen invited onboard an unusual crew to help him study the sea: renowned surfers Keith and Dan Malloy, musician Jack Johnson, spearfisher woman Kimi Werner, and bodysurfer Mark Cunningham become citizen scientists on a mission to assess the fate of plastics in the world’s oceans.

TEDxCapeTown Salon | Oceans

Date: Wednesday, 6 to Friday, 8 December

Time: 18h30 to 19h30

Venue:  Volvo Ocean Race Village, VOR Dome, Jetty 2, V&A Waterfront

Tickets: Available through Quicket:

Ticket for one day: R80

Ticket for two days: R120

Ticket for all three days: R140

Contact:     V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx brings you TEDxCapeTown Salon, where TEDTalk videos and live speakers will combine to spark meaningful discussion around the challenges posed by ocean pollution. Kicking off at 6.30pm at the VOR Dome on Jetty 2 each day, TEDxCapeTown Salon will run from Wednesday, 6 to Friday, 8 December, with tickets available via Quicket at a cost of between R80 and R140 per person.

Alex in Waterland, a V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival Theatre Show

Date: Saturday, 2 to Sunday, 3 December

Time: 12h0014h00 and 16h00 (each performance is 45 minutes)

Venue: V&A Amphitheatre

Cost: Free

Contact: V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Alex’s dream is to be the greatest hero that ever lived. His mission is to save the planet from the forces of pollution! To do this, Alex must travel deep into the ocean to help animals defeat the bad guys… but he can’t do this without a little help from his friends.

Join us on Saturday, 2 and Sunday, 3 December at the V&A Amphitheatre to see Alex tackle the evils of pollution, in a production created by the V&A Waterfront Theatre School. With three free shows a day at 12pm2pm and 4pm, children can learn more about the dangers that pollution poses to our oceans around the world.

CoCreateDESIGN – Making Waves for Change

Date: Monday, 27 November to Friday, 1 December

Time: 11h00 to 15h00

Venue: Quay 6, Volvo Ocean Race Village

Cost: Free

Contact: or 021 461 1448

Witness the extraordinary creativity of a circular economy in action during the V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival, as Dutch designers are paired with their South African counterparts in a unique design challenge: CoCreateDESIGN.

Using plastic and other discarded waste, designers will be challenged to create a durable piece of street furniture in just one week, with the final installations going on display at the Waterfront thereafter. Sponsored by the Dutch Consulate, the public is encouraged to stop by to see these imaginative designers in action between 11am and 3pm at Quay 6 in the Volvo Ocean Race Village, from Monday, 27 November to Friday, 1 December.

V&A Ocean Life Festival Beach Cleanup

Date: Saturday, 2 December

Time: 10h00 to 12h00

Venue: Sea Point Beach

Cost: Free

Contact:V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Put on your takkies and head down to the Sea Point Beach on Saturday, 2 December to take part in the first V&A Ocean Life Festival Beach Cleanup! Organised in association with the Two Oceans Aquarium, anyone can join at the Sea Point Beach at 10am to receive their cleanup bags and do their bit to help clean up our coastline.

Plastic pollution is one of the biggest problems facing the ocean today, and more than 8 million tons of plastic land up in the ocean every year. In fact, it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish, by weight by 2050!

Note: Take sunscreen, a hat and water in a reusable water bottle.

Volvo Ocean Race Cape Town – Pro-Am Race

Date:  Thursday, 7 December

Time: 16h45 – 17h25

Venue: Sailors Terrace, Jetty 2, V&A Waterfront

Contact: V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Volvo Ocean Race Cape Town – In-port Race

Date: Friday, 8 December

Time: 11h20

Venue: Sailors Terrace, Jetty 2, V&A Waterfront

Contact: V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600

Volvo Ocean Race Cape Town – Race Restart / Closing Ceremony

Date: Sunday, 10 December

Time: 11h20

Venue: Sailors Terrace, Jetty 2, V&A Waterfront

Contact: V&A Info Centre on or 021 408 7600


I am a lifestyle blogger from Cape Town trying to find the best ways to spend my time, take care of my body and express myself. I am slightly obsessed with fragrances, sneakers, Jamie Oliver and Masterchef Australia. Oh, and I probably drink way too much wine.

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