Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
The global site for cruising sailors
Sections
You are here: Home / Countries / St Helena / Changes in St. Helena

Changes in St. Helena

By Cruising World — last modified Jan 10, 2017 02:44 PM
The formerly isolated outpost has big changes coming, opening St. Helena to cruisers willing to make the trek.

Published: 2017-01-04 00:00:00
Countries: St Helena

This report by Cruising World Magazine.

We were about 20 miles out from the South Atlantic island of St. Helena when distinct lines started to break up the soft gray clouds that were obscuring the horizon. Charles Darwin once wrote, “St. Helena rises abruptly like a huge black castle from the ocean.” Closer to the coast, we spotted stone fortifications built into the cliff faces, and the impression that we were approaching a midocean fortress was reinforced.

For more than 500 years, the only way to reach the British Overseas Territory of St. Helena has been by the sea. Before the Suez Canal opened, more than 1,000 ships a year called at St. Helena. By traveling there aboard our own boat, we followed in the wakes of Capt. Cook and Joshua Slocum. In the more recent past, all the island’s visitors have come via cruise ships, private yachts or the mailboat RMS St. Helena, but now, thanks to the brand-new airport and weekly flight service from South Africa, St. Helena and all its wonders will be accessible to visitors from around the world.

For sailors, the new airport makes St. Helena a viable mid-­Atlantic port for dropping off guests, changing crew or having spare parts flown in. The increase in tourism will also mean improved provisioning options and easier access to the island’s highlights, which include fantastic ­hiking, historic stone fortifications, Napoleon’s estate and tomb, whale sharks, and spectacular diving.

Along with the new airport, other changes are coming to the formerly isolated outpost. RMS St. Helena is slated for decommissioning, and thanks to the new breakwater and pier in nearby Rupert’s Valley, freighter operations, cruise ship landings and fish processing will all be moved off the historic Jamestown Wharf.

With the commercial and industrial center moved away from Jamestown, the Jamestown Wharf will be reconfigured as a public space. The St. Helena Yacht Club is looking forward to an increased presence on the wharf and providing a warmer welcome to cruisers. There’s also a plan for a short-term haulout facility on either the Jamestown Wharf or Rupert’s Pier.

While some cruisers have expressed concern that the airport will change the nature of the friendly island, early indications are that it’s making life better for the locals — offering jobs and opportunities they used to need to travel abroad to find.

— Diane Selkirk

Share |
wapiti
wapiti says:
Jan 05, 2017 09:48 PM

I was in St Helena in 2014 and yes it is amazing. However I should point out that large jets cannot land safely at St. Helena due to wind shear, and research is continuing about how to deal with this problem. Apart a Boeing 737-800 and a C-130 only smaller private and charter aircraft, including Medivac flights, have used the airport. No scheduled commercial flights are yet proposed and no airline has agreed to a contract, which will require a large subsidy. Until that time the RMS St. Helena is continuing services at least until July 2017. So no plans should be made for crew changes or parts arrival by air should be made by commercial flights at this time.

Countries
Albania
Algeria
American Samoa
Angola
Anguilla
Antarctica
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Ascension Island
Australia
Azores
BIOT (Chagos)
Bahamas
Bahrain
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bermuda
Bonaire
Bosnia
Bouvetoya
Brazil
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Cambodia
Canada
Canary Islands
Cape Verdes
Cayman Islands
Channel Islands
Chile
China
Christmas Island
Cocos Keeling
Colombia
Comoros
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Curacao
Cyprus
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominica
Dominican Republic
East Timor (Timor Leste)
Easter Island
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Eritrea
Estonia
Falkland Islands
Faroe Islands
Federated States of Micronesia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Guiana
French Polynesia
French Subantarctic Territory
Galapagos
Gambia
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Guam
Guatemala
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Hawaii
Heard, McDonald & Macquarie Islands
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Jordan
Juan Fernandez Islands
Kenya
Kiribati
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Libya
Lithuania
Macau
Madagascar
Madeira
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marion & Prince Edward Island
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Mexico
Monaco
Montenegro
Montserrat
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Namibia
Nauru
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Nicaragua
Niue
Norfolk Island
Northern Marianas
Norway
Oman
Palau (Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Pitcairn Island
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Reunion Island
Romania
Russia
Saba
Samoa
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Sint Maarten
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Africa
South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands
South Korea
Spain
Spanish Virgin Islands
Sri Lanka
St Barts
St Helena
St Kitts & Nevis
St Lucia
St Martin
St Pierre & Miquelon
St Vincent & the Grenadines
Statia
Subantarctic & Southern Ocean Islands
Sudan
Suriname
Sweden
Syria
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Tokelau
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia
Turkey
Turks & Caicos
Tuvalu
US Virgin Islands
USA
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uruguay
Vanuatu
Venezuela
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna
Yemen
Add/Update Your Business
If you would like your business to be listed, or the details are wrong, please update your business