Romonza in Mossel Bay

The Romonza in Mossel Bay


Interview with Charmaine Klapwyk  from the Romonza

On the 10th of January 2011 I had an interview with the owner of the Romonza in Mossel Bay, the mecca of the Garden Route in South Africa. The main aim of the interview was to get an in-depth look into the Romonza as well as get their view of this year’s season. A big Thanks to Charmaine for her time to do do the interview.

Romanza was built for sailing around the world

Romonza in Mossel Bay

The Romonza was not initially built for what it is used for today. Wim Klapwyk built the yacht to embark on a trip around the world. It took him 7 years to complete the project after which he first only played with it in the bay of Mossel Bay.

The Romonza takes people on Seal Island trips in Mossel Bay

It was only while doing this that he realized that his wife got motion sickness and the trip around the world became only a dream. He then just used the boat to explore the bay and went around Seal Island. People soon started to ask him to take them along when he went around the Island and this was how the Romonza started as a passenger boat.

According to Charmaine, Wim Klapwyk asked his children to give him a name for the boat and they came up with the name Romonza. They took all three their names and added it; Robert, Monica and Zandra.

seal watching from romonza

Romonza also offers Sunset Cruises, Ocean Safaris and Whale Watching Trips.

The Romonza offers the tourist a variety of activities such as Island Trips, Sunset Cruises, Ocean Safaris and Whale Watching Trips. They are also more than willing to accommodate people with whatever their needs are. They had private weddings, engagements as well as occasions when people wanted to through their relatives ashes into the ocean.

Charmaine said that the crew likes to trawl when they take the boat out for a trip. They are most likely to catch Bonito while trawling. Tourists enjoy this because they can see the bait on the surface and it is an experience to see when a fish takes the bait. There is an air of excitement on the boat as the crew shouts “Strike!” The captain stops the boat and the catch is bought in and weighed.

The Romonza is almost synonym to Mossel Bay as sand is to a beach. The Romonza had its maiden cruise in 1976 and its first trip as a passenger boat in 1978. It is still the same boat as the first day it set of sailing.

“The summer season of 2010 was not as good as previous years due to the bad weather we had. We had bad weather for 8 days during our peak season,” Charmaine said.


Last year’s winter months were also rather quite. Charmaine said that she noticed that most of the tourists took their vacations a little earlier than usual, which meant that they missed the whaling season. Charmain said that it is mostly the overseas tourists that embark on a whale watching trip. By the time that they wanted to do the trips the whales were already busy migrating, which meant that they mostly had to watch the sharks.

The second part of the interview  with Charmaine will be published soon

Watch out for a follow up of this interview. Charmaine promised me more  information about their whale watching experiences.