Fragile South Atlantic Destinations and Eco-friendly Tours
The passenger/cargo liner RMS St Helena operates in some of the cleanest, most pristine seas in the world, with voyages from Cape Town to the South Atlantic Islands of St Helena and Ascension Island and on to Europe. These voyages take her through waters containing some of the most delicate and undisturbed ecosystems on the planet, areas of natural aquatic beauty, teeming with ever interesting and intriguing marine wildlife. Even some of the seabirds here are unique and can be found nowhere else. These are the trademarks of an environment well worth preserving.
Bearing all this in mind, the dedicated Ship’s crew is always actively involved with protecting the environment for the benefit of all. Many of the everyday shipboard activities, which may appear routine enough, are all carried out with an eco-friendly mindset. Our passengers are encouraged to see Mother Nature at her finest. Guided excursions with a ‘Green Flavour’ are offered in many of our destinations. All this seeks to increase everyone’s awareness of the Environment and what is currently being done to protect it.
Although we do not offer ‘dedicated’ tours in this port, there is plenty of opportunity to experience the various protected wildlife parks and nature reserves in South Africa. Why not take a trip to the beautiful wine regions of the Western Cape or visit eco-friendly Table Mountain or simply sit on the dock edge and watch the always amusing seals basking in the sunshine. If you’re lucky enough, you may even get see a ‘Wandering Albatross’ off Cape Point. The quality of wildlife here is on a scale that is almost unimaginable!
The tiny tropical island of St. Helena is the historian and nature enthusiasts’ answer to paradise. The seas surrounding the island where Napoleon Bonaparte spent the final six years of his life in exile are teeming with fascinating marine life. Weird and wonderful creatures can be seen here as easily as ‘red buses in London’; dolphin, whale and bird watching excursions are fun, educational and readily available. These are flexible and can be tailored to suit your individual interests. The formidable coastline of St. Helena is the gateway to many unique plant and animal species that thrive here and call it home, plenty of which are endemic, like the world famous Wirebird! The lush green central regions also have their fair share of interesting flora and fauna; many of these are found nowhere else in the world. The St. Helena National Trust is an active organisation whose aim is to promote awareness of the island’s fragile environment. Excursions are regularly held with walks to some of the island’s remotest locations. These ‘adventure tours’ and ‘Post Box Walks’ are filled with exciting and interesting things to see and learn. The endemic ‘Giant Earwig’ was last seen in the 1970’s and although unproven, is believed by some to be extinct. Why not take advantage of these special excursions and who knows, you may be lucky to re-discover one of these ‘elusive’ creatures!
This has got to be one of the most mysterious landscapes you’ll ever see in your lifetime. The moon-like landscape is home to hundreds of thousands of ‘Wide-awake Turns’ and other interesting bird species (RSPB Protected) and has to be the avid bird watchers paradise. Even at the top of lush ‘Green Mountain’ you’ll be fascinated to find the ‘Land Crab’, a formidable creature, spending most of its life as far away from the ocean as it can possibly get, only returning to the shoreline once a year to lay it’s eggs! The ocean surrounding the island is crystal clear and is home to some very fascinating sea creatures. Even the famous ‘Green Turtle’ makes the long and dangerous trip all the way from South America once a year to lay it’s eggs on the beautifully clean, white sandy beaches of Ascension.
The Ascension Conservation Group, like the SNCG on the neighbouring island of St. Helena, regularly offers informative tours of Ascension with a special emphasis on wildlife and environmental protection issues. This is one not to be missed!