Sole Operators of Boat Cruises at Pont de Val

Float out on the Vaal River in style on one of our luxurious Merlin boats in front of Pont de Val Winery – the timeless French-style escape just one hour from Jozi.


The Merlin – Only 1 in SA

The Merlin is a one of a kind spacious French styled open top design boat, which compliments the Vaal River with its elegance and beauty. It was created especially for special occasions & celebrations in the fresh open air, and it is now available for cruises for up to 12 people, or dining cruises for up to 6 people at Pont de Val.

The Story of the Merlin:

It is an original life raft built in Japan by the Hakodate Shipping Company in 1972. How it landed in South Africa remains a mystery but what we do know is that it was purchased by Vernon Rice of the Knysna Oyster Company in 1987. It’s purpose was to transport builders by water from Knysna town to his property on the Knysna Heads. After his property was completed he restored it for his personal use and named it after his wife Janet Elizabeth. It was then used in the early 90’s to train sea cadets. Nobody is too sure what happed after that but it was by chance discovered by Shelter Marine in an old abandoned building several years ago. While researching ideas on interior finishes it was discovered that this type of hull is extremely popular in Europe, it’s know in parts of the world as a Sloep/Sloepen. Today you can be a part of history and take a voyage on the one of a kind Merlin.


Soak up the sun as the therapeutic sound of the water passing through the almost 100 year old Barrage in the distance helps you relax while you sip some chilled bubbly and enjoy delectable cuisine with people you cherish.