Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
It is very hard to reach St. Helena. The only regular ship, ST.HELENA, is very often full with natives going back home from London or from Cape Town, and they have priority in the ship.
I was one of the few foreign passengers in the last journey of the boat ST. HELENA in September 2004, from England to Saint Helena Island. After that trip, the ship would remain in Africa with the following itinerary: Ascension - St. Helena - Swakopmund - Cape Town. And once a year it will call Tristan da Cunha Island, in the South Atlantic.
You can also getinto St. Helena Island flying first to Ascension, from Norton Brize, in England, and then wait for the ship ST. HELENA.
Sometimes there are cruises coming or going to Antarctica which call in St. Helena and Ascension Island. Life on board ST. HELENA is luxurious, with plenty of good food, shows, lectures, captain cocktail parties, etc. There are films, a good library, cafeteria, etc.
In Saint Helena Island it is compulsory to book a hotel upon your arrival in Jamestown, otherwise, in theory, the police can send you back to the ship. Life is not expensive in the island. You can find business lunch for about 5 English pounds.
Internet is expensive and there are only two places for that: the main Post Office in Jamestown and the hotel in front. Hitch hiking is great and people will give you a lift immediately. You can also rent a car or take buses to move around the island.
The island is beautiful, mountainous and very green. The best (and only) purchases in St. Helena are: coffee (very good quality) and original stamps for the philatelic.
There is only an anglican church in Jamestown (the catholic is empty and without priests), one more protestant and a small bahai community.
There is a fortress in the middle of the island, and the house where Napoleon lived, in Longwood, today a museum.
Also deserves attention the house of the French Consulate, outside of Jamestown.
The ship ST. HELENA stops for a few hours in Georgetown, in the Island of Ascension, with a population of about 500 people. It is arid, volcanic, and there are military bases.
You can get cheap accommodations in private houses. Please, ask in Jamestown, in the Tourist Information Office. They are very helpful and will introduce you probably to their familiars to rent you a room.
Private houses are better than hotels. People love the hospitality and will furnish you lots of anecdotes about Napoleon erotic life in the island.
In the port, alter passing through the gate, there is at the left of a park with a big garden a very nice restaurant with terrace where they serve local food for a few pounds.
In Jamestown you can climb up the hill through the over 500 steps. The view up there is spectacular.
Several years ago the French Army landed in St Helena to pay homage to the tomb of Napoleon (he died in St. Helena, but presently the tomb is empty. French took his body to the Hotel des Invalides, in Paris).
I spent my first night in St Helena in my sleeping bag besides the tomb, but the second I was compelled to look for a hostel, since the police do not allow camping in the island.
They had been looking for me and asking to the local people all the night, until they found me the next day when I entered a cafeteria in Jamestown to drink hot coffee.
Date posted: July 2013
Have you been to Island of St Helena? Share your experiences!