Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

The Ultimate Cruisers' Planning Tool

Navigation

You are here: Home / Countries / St Helena
By No owner — last modified Sep 08, 2017 10:41 PM

 St Helena - Profile

Facts

  • The island of St Helena lies halfway between Africa and South America. It is part of a British Overseas Territory, (nowadays called St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha), under the sovereignty of the British Crown.
  • St. Helena has only one harbour suitable for yachts. It is called James Bay and now benefits from a new field of  mooring buoys. Rupert's Bay, lying 1km NE of the moorings, is not available to yachts as the planned pier there is for cargo.
  • Most of the coast is towering rocky cliffs backed by lush green slopes climbing up to the highest spot on the island, Diana's Peak, at 823 metres. There is
  • St. Helena's popularity as a port of call for passenger liners has now been taken over by sailing yachts, a large number of which stop there every year. A warm welcome awaits the visiting sailor ashore in Jamestown, the island's main settlement.
  • There are weekly flights to and from Johannesburg and more a more regular service to and from Ascension Island.
  • Getting work done: In the past the Island had no real ability to deal with yacht repair. However, there is a plan for a short-term haulout facility on either the Jamestown Wharf or Rupert’s Pier once the commercial and industrial center moves away from Jamestown.
  • Provisioning: Provisions are limited and expensive at this time.

Weather

The climate is tropical, but cooled by the SE trades, and the cold Benguela current from the Southern Ocean. The weather is warm and occasionally humid, but it varies within the island and it is sometimes foggy or misty at the higher elevations..

St Helena's Balloon Men
St Helena’s Met Office surface and upper air observing techniques.

St Helena Weather Forecast - UK Met Office

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

Jamestown *

* indicates port of entry

angela smith
angela smith says:
Jul 17, 2018 03:16 PM

Stop over between Cape Town South Africa to Salvador Brazil. Not a cheap stopover at all, rather the opposite. Country currency is British Pounds.

Formalities example landing fees, mooring fees, customs ect etc was way over 200£. Then you have to use the local ferry from your boat to shore at 2£ per person return trip. Operates from 8am to 6pm daily. They are supposed to work until 8pm but say NO, when you ask. So no late returns to boat.

Food supplies- don't count on it. Make sure you have provisioned enough to complete your crossing. Don't even count on fresh bread, fruit & veg. If you find it's an added bonus and you extremely lucky.

Alcohol - most alcohol comes in from South Africa, but at triple the price. Stock your boat to the brim for the entire crossing .

Banking - no atm. You draw money from a bank teller with between 15 to 20£ handling fee on each transaction. No shop on the island accepts cards of any sort.

Community - wow what a beautiful friendly community. They go out of their way to great. Your go to place on the island is Ann's place. You need assistance with anything you ask for help at Ann's place. Sadly we only learnt that the day before we were leaving.

Car rental on the island is cheap. We used Brendan, he went the extra mile for us. We were charged 15£ a day no hidden costs. He delivered and collected the car with no extra charge. Please support him.

Jacob's ladder, is a must do. 699 steps, you can do it you just need to find a rhythm. At the top about 300 meters down that road you will find Rosies restaurant, its another must visit. Once you filled up with food and beer, walking down the 699 steps comes naturally.I did it in 5 min down. I met a gent in his late 60's heading up. His time is 13min up.

The island is rich in history and a really must see so rent a car and get out into the island.

Oops almost forgot - washing. Yes it can be done but at a price. Saying that it was worth every £. We did the wash and fold option. The clothing came back looking like it was ironed. It's a serious up hill walk to the company again arrange with Ann's place for collection /delivery.

Yacht Club - I would prefer not to comment and sound negative. Sad as so much can and should be done to make visiting yachts feel more welcome.

angela smith
angela smith says:
Jul 17, 2018 07:30 PM

Great write up Sam. Slow down so we can catch up.

Samuel Goldenbaum
Samuel Goldenbaum says:
Jul 02, 2018 06:50 PM

A welcome stop for those on transatlantic passages, St Helena is a beautiful and curious island. Moorings are well maintained and while the anchorage can roll a little at times, it was really pleasant and able to swim off the back of the boat in clear water to view local marine life. We met a very large and friendly manta ray and had fish around the boat most times.

The dingy dock is across the local anchorage and best to use ferry service in and out. Our tender miraculously disappeared one night from the dock, but locals will insist there is no theft on St Helena - even after this was the third incident in recent months. The ferry service is not cheap at 2 GBP and runs hourly till 6pm. This is rather unfortunate as you cannot get back from town after dinner. The ferryman can get rather irate if people are not on schedule or request a pickup outside of the hourly schedule so best to plan around that.

Check in is fairly straightforward, but does require a trip across town as immigration is now housed at the new police station. The small town is really quaint and people are friendly and helpful. Fuel is easily arranged via the Solomans company and water is available at the main dock. No stores accept credit cards and best to use GPB. WiFi must be the most expensive in the world and is charged by the minute at 13 GBP. It’s slow and cell [mobile] phone connection around the island is intermittent and poor - no reception at the cruiser’s anchorage. Fresh vegetables and eggs are rare to come by, and typically come to town once a week on Thursdays - grab what you can when you can. Most spares and parts are all flown in from South Africa or the UK. Flights from South Africa arrived once a week.

Logistics aside, St Helena was surprisingly beautiful and a trip into the island's interior is a must. It has verdant hills, green pastures, lush rainforest and arid, rock-strewn hills all in one. Diving is great and Craig at Into the Blue is patient and professional. Hazel and Peter at the consulate hotel provide a warm welcome for cruisers. While there is a yacht services company, the majority of our interactions were confusing and unpleasant resulting in pretentious lectures by the owner and recounts of his recent circumnavigation. We were not exactly sure what was being offered other than recounts of their voyage and best to clarify exactly what services are provided and the associated costs before making any assumptions and avoid unpleasantries. They did however assist in catching our catamaran after the Mantus mooring carabiner failed and she drifted. We spent 3 weeks in St Helena while waiting for a new wind transducer and really enjoyed our time there, but 1 week would have been more than sufficient for us.

Blackie
Blackie says:
Sep 01, 2017 11:02 AM

Visited there in June 2017 - Harbour dues 35GPB, mooring ball 2GBP per day, Ferry service 2GBP return trip payable at the end of your stay and Immigration was 17GBP per person. Fuel is delivered to the boats at 1,27GBP per litre. We stayed a month, hired a car and really enjoyed the hospitality of everyone especially Hazel, the owner of the Consulate Hotel.

haiqu
haiqu says:
Mar 08, 2017 03:59 PM

According to Webb Chiles' journal of March 7th 2017:

"I like St. Helena very much. It is remote, quaint, and unchanged ashore from when I was here in 1988. An airport has been built at a cost of more than three hundred million dollars and was supposed to open last year, but almost unbelievably they built it in the wrong place, on the edge of the cliffs on the windward side of the island where turbulence from the trade winds meeting those cliffs makes landings and takeoffs unacceptably dangerous. How such a mistake could be made by presumably professionals boggles the mind. In any event, when any of the 4,000 residents of St. Helena see an unfamiliar face they still know you’ve sailed there on your own and are charmingly friendly."

Doesn't look as if the airport situation will be solved any time soon.

Jack Dale
Jack Dale says:
Oct 23, 2015 09:59 PM

Rather than changing currency in St Helena, bring British pounds which are accepted and are way easier to convert to another currency after you have departed.

Everything is pretty such cash. Not able to use credit cards or debit.

wapiti
wapiti says:
Oct 25, 2014 02:35 PM

Update notes for St. Helena.

Immigration is a flat fee of 17GBP for up to 183 days.

If the ferry service is used after hours there is an additional fee of 10GBP payable.

If you want to see some of the island there is a lovely lady called Val Joshua tel: 22235 who loves walking and is glad to take people for serious walks. She is a mine of information. She does not charge and she may not be available. She doesn't like to take more than 4 people.

St Helena
Jamestown
Profile
Facts
Security
Weather
Main Ports
Formalities
Clearance
Immigration
Customs
Health
Documents
Fees
Restrictions
Local Customs
Clearance Agents
Pets
General Info
Time Zone
Yachting Essentials
Opening Hours
Money
Communications
Transport
Diplomatic Missions
Events
Emergencies
Publications
Links
Update History
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
Related Reports
Ascension Island: Important Update regarding Flights and Fuel

Ascension Island: Important Update regarding Flights and Fuel (10 May 2017)

St. Helena: Clearance & Cruising Information

St. Helena: Clearance & Cruising Information (13 Jun 2016)

St. Helena for Cruisers

St. Helena for Cruisers (27 Mar 2016)

Passage Notes: Namibia to St Helena

Passage Notes: Namibia to St Helena (18 Mar 2016)

Cruising Updates for St. Helena 2015

Cruising Updates for St. Helena 2015 (23 Mar 2015)

Namibia, St. Helena, Ascension Island and Brazil: Report on a Recent Visit

Namibia, St. Helena, Ascension Island and Brazil: Report on a Recent Visit (09 Mar 2014)

Report Icon

St Helena: Welcomed with open arms (30 Aug 2013)

Report Icon

Saint Helena Review and Prices from July 2012 (01 Aug 2012)

Report Icon

A Visit to Namibia, St. Helena & French Guiana in 2009 (16 Aug 2010)

Report Icon

Update from the South Atlantic island of St. Helena (03 Feb 2010)

Report Icon

South Atlantic Circuit (10 Feb 2006)

Report Icon

St Helena cruising report 2002 (22 Aug 2002)

Related News
New year brings new adventures for World ARC rally circumnavigators

New year brings new adventures for World ARC rally circumnavigators  (08 Jan 2018)

Changes in St. Helena

Changes in St. Helena  (04 Jan 2017)

Race from South Africa to St. Helena this December

Race from South Africa to St. Helena this December  (07 Sep 2014)

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted  (23 May 2013)

Report Icon

St Helena: Robust Mooring Field now Available  (21 Jan 2013)

Report Icon

South Africa, Cape Town: World ARC 2012/2013 sets sail for St. Helena and then Brazil  (08 Jan 2013)

Report Icon

Simon’s Town, South Africa to St. Helena: The Governor’s Cup starts Saturday 22 December  (18 Dec 2012)

Report Icon

Routing: Getting Back to Europe - Avoiding GOA and the Red Sea  (19 Aug 2011)

Report Icon

Governors' Cup 2010 - From Capetown To St. Helena   (31 Mar 2010)

Report Icon

World ARC Circumnavigators head into the South Atlantic  (04 Jan 2009)