The SAS Assegaai museum submarine in Simons Town aims to gives visitors the opportunity to experience life in a submarine with its’ perfectly preserved interiors and expertly guided tours.
Decommissioned in 2003, the French-built submarine SAS Assegaai has been lovingly restored by a group of retired and in-service naval staff who, with the blessing of the South African Naval Museum, have opened her up to the general public.
The guides explain 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 knowledge of the ex-submariners on board the submarine is extensive and their passion for this grande dame is quite contagious!
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.
The submarine 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.
Tour groups of up to ten persons (twelve in the case of four minors included in the group) are taken through the interior of the boat by our experienced volunteer guides. The guides provide a commentary on each compartment, all equipment, life aboard and how the boat operates.
A maximum of 3 tour groups are normally aboard at any time although provision can be made for schools or other organized groups in the case of advance bookings.
Tickets and visitor access:
Tickets can be purchased from the HGTS office at Simon’s Town station or from the STADCO office on Jubilee Square.
R40 adults | R20 children < 12 years
The bus departs from Simon’s Town station and travels via Jubilee Square to the submarine. The Bus trip and submarine tour lasts about 1 hour.
Operating times on the hour:
Daily summer (Dec- June): 10h30 – 15h00
Daily winter (July – Nov) : Weekdays: 11h30 – 14h30 Weekends: 10h30 -15h00
Closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday.
- No photographs are allowed in the Naval dockyard until one boards the submarine.
- 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.
- Due to IMO regulations there are NO TOILET FACILITIES on board.
- In addition to having some degree of sea legs, it is imperative that visitors are reasonably fit and don’t have a fear of small, enclosed spaces