We did the Robben Island tour this week and felt like it was just a bit disappointing. The ferry experience was not up to par. Old boats with inadequate seating. The 8 mile journey took over an hour each way. On the return trip it was quite choppy and several passengers looked very uncomfortable.
As others have noted, once you arrive you are given a bus "tour" of the island. This is really nothing more than driving around the island in a very old and cramped bus while a guide narrates. Aside from the gravel pit and the actual prison, there is little to see on the island so the bus portion is a poor use of time. Once this concluded, you are provided an ex-prisoner for the tour of the prison. This was interesting, but it was difficult to hear and understand the prisoner and it felt like he was speaking from a memorized script. We were then led out through a gift shop which really cheapened the whole experience.
All in all, it was meaningful to see Mandela's cell, but it was a big use of time for little in return.
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