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By No owner — last modified Sep 08, 2017 10:41 PM

 St Helena - General Info

Time Zone

UTC all year.

Yachting Essentials

YACHTING ESSENTIAL

Water

There are four drinking water taps/faucets located within 10 metres of the wharf landing.  The tap at the top of the steps has a hose which makes it quick and easy for filling water jugs.  The water is free (part of your port dues).

Fuel

Contact Michael Richards at the Marine office, Telephone number: +209 22030. The island also has three service stations for cars and trucks.

Garbage Disposal

The trash cans/bins are located on the waterfront wharf.

Money

St Helenian pound (£) of 100 pence, fixed at parity with £ sterling. Sterling currency can be used everywhere; change is given in St. Helena Pounds.

Before leaving all money should be changed back to sterling, as the notes are not valid outside of St. Helena and Ascension Island.

There is one bank in Jamestown. See Banks for further info. It's easy to get caught out here as there are no ATMs. The bank can do cash advances on Visa or Mastercard but there is a service charge.

A few shops and businesses do accept credit cards. The Yacht Club and the Consulate Hotel accept credit cards.

Cruisers however recommend that the easiest solution is to arrive in St Helena with Pound Sterling.

Communications

International dialing code in St Helena is +290.

Sure (ex. Cable & Wireless) now offers 2G and 4G LTE mobile network. Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased in their office in Jamestown. Data bundles are available and reception (internet usage) is now possible on board. 4G internet is very fast, but expensive comparing to other countries and cheaper than WiFi hot spots on island if it is not used for large data transfers.

Last updated May 2016.

St Helena Radio Station
VHF Channel 16, 26
Opening hours: 24 hours
No traffic lists or weather reports available.

Transport

Buses

The public transport system on St Helena is fairly new and has a very limited service. White buses marked with Route A, B, C, D, or E cover the entire island.  The maximum fare is £2, (about $3 USD) each way per person.  The Tourist Office will give you a copy of the bus schedule.

Hitch-Hiking

Another way to get around the island is to hitch-hike:  This is one of the few places on the planet were hitch-hikers can easily obtain a safe ride.  Getting a lift shouldn't take you long.

Car Hire

Visitors have the option of booking tours through the Tourist Office, car rental or taxis.

It costs £12-15 per day to hire a car and driving is not difficult with the speed limit only 40mph, but prepare to use your horn.Driving is on the left hand side of the road.

Taxis

The taxi stand has been temporarily moved in front of the Canister and at the top of the Stand Car Park in Jamestown. Taxis are un-metred so agree a price before taking a ride.

Various taxis offer tours of the island (at £6 per person). Corker’s Tours ( email ) have a 1929 Chevrolet bus for larger groups.

Airport

The U.K. government decided in 2010 that the long term economic independence of the island would be best served by the building of an airport. This is now open, however problems have been encountered with high winds, so it is currently still not open for commercial flights and large planes, just small charter flights and private jets.

Note: Due to cesation of flights via Ascension Island, it appears that the Royal Mail ship will not be retired as planned. At the moment, it is unlikely there will there be any large planes providing services to St Helena. With the runway at Ascension Island out of action and with no infomation about when, or if, it is to be repaired. (May 2017), the provision of air services to St Helena is in a state of flux.

Once the airport is open, it was planned that the current Royal Mail Ship "St Helena" (predecessors of which have served the island since 1502), would be be retired.

Royal Mail Ship "St Helena"

Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd
Tel +44 0151 4795555, Fax: +44 0151 2362644
www.aws.co.uk.

Solomon and Company Plc. (Agent on St. Helena)
Tel: +290 2380, Fax: +290 2523
Email: [email protected]

Events

The Governor’s Cup – Simon’s Town to St. Helena
The Governor’s Cup Yacht Race is a downwind 1,750 nautical mile ocean yacht race. First held in 1996, it is a bi-annual event starting from False Bay Yacht Club in the quaint naval town of Simon’s Town, South Africa, finishing in Jamestown, St Helena (currently only accessible by one of the last operating Royal Mail Ships, the RMS St Helena). Entries include family cruising boats, circumnavigators, racing boats and single handers. Starts 22 December 2012.

Emergencies

Ambulance - Dial 911

Fire, Police, Sea Rescue - Dial 999

Publications

IMRAY AND ADLARD COLES PILOT BOOKS are available at a discounted price for Noonsite.com users via World Cruising Club

South Atlantic Circuit
By Tom Morgan, RCC Pilotage Foundation
Publisher: Imray, Norie & Wilson - 1st Edition 2002
ISBN 13: 9789541900338

South Atlantic Islands
Free download from the RCC Pilotage Foundation Website
By Pete Hill (2010)

There is an excellent PDF available on line with useful local information for visiting yachts at the St Helena tourist board website.
www.sthelenatourism.com

St Helena Government
The government tourist office is most helpful and can be contacted at [email protected]

Update History

July 2018: Fees updated.
February 2017: Clearance updated with harbour master information added, for making contact prior to arrival. Our thanks to SY Adina for this information.
January 2017: A number of updates re changes in facilities now that new airport open, from Cruising World article. Awaiting confirmation on changes from St. Helena Government.
May 2016: Communications (mobile networks and internet) update from Anton Kosi of SY Mala.
December 2015: Updates and changes due to the imminent opening of the airport, plus corrections from Bob Cornish.
October 2015: Formalities updated.
May 2015: Publications checked
April 2014: Formalities and mooring information updated.
September 2013: Confirmation of location of immigration office from the Herne family.
February 2013: Further details from Customs and Immigration re. correct procedures and fees.
February 2013: Extensive overall updates from Charles and Marie Stutz, SY Dreamcatcher.
February 2013: Fees updated by Harbour master Barry Williams.
August 2012: Update on fees and Internet for Kirk Little, SV Salsa.

Noonsite welcomes information and updates especially regarding clearance, customs and immigration procedures from cruisers visiting this country.
Please E-mail noonsite with any new information, updates or corrections. Even just a short email confirming that the current data is accurate would be most helpful.

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.

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