Featherbed Paddle Cruiser-Knysna’s Lagoon

Featherbed Paddle Cruiser-Knysna's Lagoon
Featherbed Paddle Cruiser-Knysna’s Lagoon

South Africa’s only paddle cruiser, operated by the Featherbed Company, and therefore often known as the ‘Featherbed Paddle Cruiser’, is to be found on the Knysna Lagoon in the heart of the Western Cape’s Garden Route.

Whether you’ve come for a lunchtime cruise, a sundowner, a whisky tasting or a wedding reception, the Featherbed Paddle Cruiser on the Knysna Lagoon is the perfect venue. Its classic Mississippi-style furnishings – at times complemented by a jazz band – make for a great ambience as you dine in its onboard restaurant.

The Featherbed Paddle Cruiser is South Africa’s only paddle-driven vessel, offering a unique and unforgettable experience on the Knysna Lagoon.

What Featherbed Paddle Cruiser Offers

  • Cruise in style on the Lagoon to the famous Knysna Heads aboard this unique paddle-driven vessel.
  • A fine dining experience.
  • Contemporary decor – luxury with great ambience.
  • Magnificent 360° Lagoon views.
  • Great for cocktails and sundowners.
  • A wonderful dinner venue – leave at sunset, see the Heads at twilight and return under the stars.
  • Speciality Mediterranean cuisine with superb service.
  • The menu caters to all dietary requirements.
  • Two full bars, one on each deck.
  • Fully enclosed – not dependent on the weather.
  • Oyster and sparkling wine cruises by arrangement.
  • A unique function and wedding venue.
  • An unconventional conference venue.

Cruise Cafe

Cruise Cafe
Cruise Cafe

Did you know that the Cruise Café on board the Paddle Cruiser carries a 4-star SA Tourism Council grading? And being on it at sundown is right up there with the Cajun Queenriver ride. Cruise Café is known for its fresh seafood and modern-styled cuisine, a relaxed atmosphere with exceptional views of the Lagoon.

Cruise Café presents diners with a soothing yet sophisticated ambiance, graced by lots of blond wood, sepia-coloured alcoves and enlarged nautical photographs. Enjoy specialty coffees and classy cocktails on the lagoon deck with superb views, or sample the delightful breakfasts, healthy lunches and mouth-watering dinners from our fine selection of menu items.

The Feather Bird Nature Reserve

The Feather Bird Nature Reserve
The Feather Bird Nature Reserve

The Featherbed Nature Reserve, situated on the Western Head in Knysna, is the premier eco-experience on the Garden Route. The seabirds fly home to roost, the setting sun streaks the sky with ochre tones, and a soft breeze over the lagoon cools the summer evenings. It offers:

  • Return ferry trip on the Knysna Lagoon to the Western Head.
  • 4×4 vehicle and trailer drive up the headland onto the Reserve, stopping at spectacular viewpoints.
  • Specialist guide giving information on history, fauna & flora.
  • Optional guided 2.2km walk through coastal forest and fynbos into ancient sea caves.
  • World-renowned buffet lunch at an outdoor restaurant setting under a canopy of Milkwood trees.
  • Wonderful family outing, suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

The John Ben

The John Ben
The John Ben

The John Benn is a double-decker floating restaurant offering daily Lagoon cruises to the Knysna Heads. A memorable family activity on Knysna Lagoon. One of the best-floating restaurants in Knysna.

  • Cruise to the Knysna Heads, on a boat steeped in history, named after a legendary pilot of a bygone era.
  • Comfortable and cozy with a classic wooden finish.
  • Friendly and hospitable service.
  • Sundowner cruises with fresh Knysna oysters and local beer or sparkling wine.
  • Special group menus, wine and dining whilst cruising.
  • Two full bars on the upper and lower decks.
  • Fully enclosed – not dependent on the weather.
  • A wonderful function and wedding venue.

The Catamaran Yacht

The Catamaran Yacht
The Catamaran Yacht

The catamaran yacht, ‘Heads Explorer’, is for the adventurous and romantic, creating another unforgettable experience, sailing on the Knysna Lagoon to the Heads and beyond. It offers:

  • Sail in style on the Knysna Lagoon to the famous Heads.
  • The catamaran yacht is licensed to go through the Heads and into the Indian Ocean.
  • Sailing with your experienced skipper is an exclusive way to enjoy the splendour of the Lagoon.
  • View dolphins, seals, birds and, in season, whales.
  • Sunset cruises are accompanied by a delicious sundowner / anti-pasta platter and a choice of wine.
  • Optional extra oysters available on request; cash bar available.
  • Special stop-off at Featherbed Nature Reserve by arrangement.
  • For small and exclusive groups.
  • A romantic way to experience the Knysna Lagoon.

Three Legs

Three Legs
Three Legs

Three Legs for a 75-minute cruise with a difference. This is a fun and adventurous cruise to and into the Knysna Heads between the cliffs (ocean conditions permitting), visiting Otter Cove, Island Rock and passing the beachcomber caves. This unequalled experience takes visitors back in time to the days when Knysna was a port and shares with those on board the thrills and spills of Knysna and its past. Three Legs is an open ferry with a sun deck or shaded seating.

There are roll-down weather blinds, fold-away tables and cushioned seats. There is also a cash bar and snack menu on board (in season, or on request with prior bookings). This cruise is ideal for groups, so enjoy the sun on your face, and the wind in your hair and experience the excitement of being on the water!

Knysna Wedding

Knysna Wedding
Knysna Wedding

A Knysna Wedding at The Featherbed Company offers you the ultimate in romance and elegance, with the romantic sound of the sea lapping in the background.

Your dream of a sunset beach wedding, with soft footprints in the sand or a ceremony on the unforgettable Knysna Paddle Cruise where the breeze softly whispers against your cheek and as you breathe the scent of ancient Milkwood trees at the idyllic Featherbed Nature Reserve.

Getting There

The Paddle Cruiser departs from the Featherbed terminus near Thesen Island at the Knysna Lagoon. Knysna is a popular seaside resort on the Garden Route.

Best Time To Visit

Knysna is a perfect summer destination, and good in winter for those who like to visit when it’s a little quieter, though the weather isn’t as nice.

The Cost

Lunchtime cruise: Cross the lagoon to the Featherbed Reserve, have a 4×4 ride through the reserve and the option of a 2km walk, then lunch at the reserve’s restaurant: R420 per adult; tickets for children aged 4-10 cost R90; children aged 11-15, R200.
Supper cruise: Cruise the lagoon, enjoy a buffet supper and a cash bar: R370 per adult; tickets for children aged 4-10 cost R100; for children aged 11-15, R190.
90-minute cruise of the lagoon (a la carte meal excluded): adults R150; children under 15 R65.

Length of Stay

Approx. 2 hours to half a day or an evening, depending on which option you choose.

What to Pack

Pack a light jacket in summer in case a wind comes up over the water; in winter, dress warmly.


Featherbed Company
Tel: +27 (0)44 382 1693
Email: booking@featherbed.co.za
Knysna Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)44 382 5510
Email: info@knysna-info.co.za

About the author

Kamal Kaur