Franschhoek Wine Tram Navy Line
Cape Winelands,  DESTINATIONS,  Franschhoek,  Western Cape

The Franschhoek Tram Navy Line: A Useful Guide

The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a wonderful way to explore the Cape Winelands, allowing you to hop on and off at various wine farms along different color-coded routes. However, with so many great options, choosing a route can sometimes be difficult. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely already done some research on which line might suit you best. Apart from the convenience provided by the Navy line as part of the Full-day Franschhoek Hop-on Hop-Off Wine Tram Tour from Cape Town, what also makes the Navy Line a fantastic choice is its wine farms. So, if you’re planning a trip on the Navy route, hereโ€™s everything you need to know about the Franschhoek Tram Navy Line, including booking tickets, getting to Franschhoek and my wine farm suggestions along the route.

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Where do you buy your Franschhoek Wine Tram Tickets?

You can purchase tickets for the Franschhoek Wine Tram either online through the official site or directly from their ticket office located at 32 Huguenot Rd, Franschhoek. [GPS PIN]

The current (2024) price for a ticket for the standard hop-on hop-off lines experience is R300. This price is for transport on the wine tram only – wine tastings and any other experiences or purchases are NOT included.

How do you get to Franschhoek?

Full Day Tour: Want to explore wine country without worrying about transport? Try the Full-day Franschhoek Hop-on Hop-Off Wine Tram Tour from Cape Town. It’s convenient, fun and a fantastic price. In fact, I loved it so much I went back for a second time! The Tour includes transport to and from Cape Town in a luxury coach. and then you hop on the tram in Franschhoek valley. As of June 2024, this tour includes tickets for the Navy Tram Line. Nice and easy, right?

Car Rental: Renting a car gives you the flexibility to explore at your own pace. Franschhoek is about an hour’s drive from Cape Town, and the route is scenic. Most major car rental agencies operate in Cape Town, and you can easily pick up a car at the airport or in the city.

Private Transfer: If you prefer not to drive yourself, you can arrange for a private transfer from Cape Town or the airport to Franschhoek. Many companies offer this service, and it’s a convenient option if you want a hassle-free journey.

Shuttle Service: Several shuttle services operate between Cape Town and Franschhoek. These services typically run at scheduled times and can be more affordable than a private transfer. It’s a good option if you don’t mind sharing the ride with other travelers.

Uber or Bolt: If you’re planning to use Uber or Bolt to get to Franschhoek, it’s typically possible, but it depends on the availability of drivers in the area at the time you need transportation. Keep in mind that driver availability and pricing may vary depending on the time of day and demand, so it’s a good idea to check the app in advance if possible.

How does the Franschhoek Wine Tram work?

Franschhoek Wine Tram
The Wine Tram
Franschhoek Open Air bus
The Open-Air Bus

The Franschhoek Tram operates on a hop-on, hop-off circular route system. You can hop off at any wine farm you wish to visit and hop back on when you’re ready to move on to the next estate. A tram passes by each stop every hour. Some Wine farms are not directly linked to the railway, so the tram is actually a combination of a tram and open-air bus. Each route, including the Navy Line, offers a choice between starting with either the tram or the bus. Your choice will dictate the order in which you visit the wine farms, but you’ll still get to see them all either way.

For full details on understanding the timetable and hop-on-hop-off system, read my guide on how the Franschhoek Wine Tram Works.

Where do you board the Franschhoek Tram Navy Line?

Franschhoek Terminal
Groot Drakenstein Terminal

The Franschhoek Wine Tram operates between two main terminals: the Franschhoek Terminal in town [GPS PIN] and the Groot Drakenstein Terminal [GPS PIN], about a 15 minute drive out of town. With its convenient location, the Franschhoek Terminal is the more popular starting point. Here, you’ll also find a small kiosk for purchasing drinks and snacks before departure. The official start of the Navy Tram Line is the Groot Drakenstein Terminal. However, you can still start your tram experience from the Franschhoek Terminal as there is a free bus service that will transport you to Groot Drakenstein. Just make sure to arrive 30 minutes early for the transfer.

Note: If you’ve booked the Full-day Franschhoek Hop-on Hop-Off Wine Tram Tour from Cape Town, you’ll get dropped off at the Franschhoek Terminal, where you’ll then hop on a shuttle to Groot Drakenstein to kick off the official Navy Route.

What are the best wine farms on the Franschhoek Tram Navy Line?

Alright, so you have your tickets. You’re all aboard the tram. Now, how do you know which wine farms are the best ones to stop at?

The Franschhoek Navy Line features a selection of 8 wine farms along its route. Based on my experience, visiting three farms a day is perfect. We also found an hour to be enough time at a wine farm to enjoy a tasting at a leisurely pace. However, sometimes we stayed longer at farms that offered food-wine pairings or other experiences, such as Boschendal. No matter which wine farms you pick on the Franschhoek Navy Line, though, you’re in for a great time. Below are some quick highlights of the different wine farms on the Navy Tram route.

Highlights of the Navy Line Wine Farms

  • Allรฉe Bleue – Platters, Pinotage & Biltong Pairing | MCC & Confectionary Pairing | Picnic (pre-booked)
  • Camberley – Red Wine | Boutique | Rose Garden
  • Bartinney – Gin Pairing | ‘Best Views in the Valley’ | Fynbos & Wine Experience (pre-booked)
  • Le PommierPizza & Wine Pairing (pre-booked) | South African Food & Wine Pairing (pre-booked) | Soup & Wine Pairing (pre-booked) | Kiddies Pairing (pre-booked)
  • Zorgvliet – Child-friendly – Jungle Gym, Splash Pad, Sand Pit | Restaurant (pre-booked) | Picnic (pre-booked)
  • Boschendal* – Chocolate, Charcuterie, Cheese & Oyster Pairings | Werf Restaurant & Bar (pre-booked) | Deli | Picnic (pre-booked) | Kids Playground | Farm & Butchery & Homeware Shop | Art Gallery | MTB running & hiking (pre-booked) | horse riding (pre-booked)
  • Plaisir – Artisinal Confectionary Pairing | Artisinal Gin Tasting | Gin Bar | Local Food Market | Trail Centre
  • Vrede en Lust – Garden Walk | Lindt Chocolate Pairing (pre-booked) | Dalewood Cheese Pairing (pre-booked) | Horse-drawn carriage rides (pre-booked)

*Top Tip: As Boschendal estate is large, allow 2 hours or more. A bus will take you through a working estate to the wine-tasting area, which is +/- 20 min from the tram platform.

Camberley Wine Estate: Reds, roses and friendly dogs

Camberley Wine Estate Franschheok Tram Navy Line

Camberley Wine Estate was our first stop on the Navy Line, and it turned out to be quite the gem! Started as a winemaker’s hobby driven by a love for wine, this family-run winery has now become a full-blown passion. Camberley stands out for its intimate feel and exceptional red wines. We had an excellent tasting on the small patio connected to the tasting room. As an added bonus there was the lovely rose garden next to the patio, which we strolled through while enjoying our wine. If youโ€™re into red wine AND love dogs, Camberley is even more perfect for you! Their dogs are not only gorgeous but also super friendly. It was wonderful having them join us during our wine tasting โ€“ added a whole lot of fun to the experience!

Bartinney Wine Estate: The Best Views in the Valley

Bartinney Estate

Bartinney, known for the best views, lived up to its reputation. The highlight is the terrace with sweeping views of the Banhoek Valley, vineyards and mountains. We tried three wines – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Despite not being a big white wine fan myself, Bartinney’s whites were truly exceptional. If you’re not into wine, they also offer Tempest Gin Tasting, a unique pale yellow gin served with flavored ice blocks and tonic of your choice. Bartinney also has a third and very unique tasting option, namely the wine and fynbos experience. This innovative tasting includes three estate wines, alongside native fynbos.

Plaisir Wine Estate: Wine tasting with a rich history

Plaisir Wine Estate

With a 400-year winemaking history, Plaisir is a great stop on the Franschhoek Tram Navy Line. The estate has a historic Manor House and diverse vineyards, producing wines like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and more. You can try their flagship wines such as Grand Plaisir, Cabernet Franc, and Shiraz inside an 1823 barn or on a lovely outdoor patio. They also do artisanal wine pairing with nougat, chocolate truffles, and fudge. If wine isn’t your thing, there’s a great range of tempest Gin to choose from. Oh, and their cheese and charcuterie platters look really delicious, too!

To sum it up, the Franschhoek Wine Tram’s Navy Line is an awesome way to explore some of the regions best estates. From the friendly and inviting Camberley Wine Estate with its furry companions to the stunning views at Bartinney and the history-steeped ambiance of Plaisir, the Navy Line promises a mix of flavors, scenery, and stories. And, when you’re done exploring the wine farms, dont miss out on discovering everything that Franschhoek Town has to offer with my guide on how to spend one day in Franschhoek.

Top tips for enjoying the Franschhoek Wine Tram experience:

  1. Book in Advance: The Franschhoek Wine Tram is a popular attraction, especially during peak seasons. Be sure to book your tickets well in advance to secure your spot.
  2. Choose Your Wine Farms ahead of time: Research the wine farms beforehand and choose the ones that best suits your preferences. Consider spending more time at larger wine estates.
  3. Arrive Early: Get to the starting point early (for the Navy Line this means arriving at the Franschhoek Terminal at 08:45am or 09:20 at the Groot Drakenstein Termainal) to ensure you have enough time to park, pick up your tickets, and familiarize yourself with the tram schedule.
  4. Stay Hydrated and Eat: Wine tasting can be dehydrating, so be sure to drink plenty of water between tastings. Consider bringing snacks or booking a lunch stop along the way to keep your energy levels up. Eat a good breakfast! (trust me on this one)
  5. Take Your Time: Don’t rush through the wine tastings. Take your time to savor each wine and appreciate the beautiful surroundings of the Franschhoek Valley. I suggest only stopping at 3 or 4 wine farms in one day.

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