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Edinburgh of the Seven Seas

Travel Guide Africa Tristan da Cunha Edinburgh of the Seven Seas

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Introduction

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas

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Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is the 'capital' of the island of Tristan da Cunha and has a population of just several hundreds. It is named after the Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria, who visited the island in 1867. The people of Tristan da Cunha don't use this name though and always call it The Settlement. Apart from the Administrator's House, a post office and some other basic facilities, there is not much in this town. The Settlement was destroyed after a volcanic eruption in 1961 after the residents where moved to the United Kingdom. They came back to rebuild the town in 1963 though. It is often thought to be the most remote permanent settlement of the world, although other settlements claim the same.

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Events and Festivals

  • January 1 New Year's Day Public holiday is the 2 January if 1 January is a Sunday; public holiday is the 3 January if 1 January is a Saturday
  • 3rd Monday in April Queen's Birthday (Elizabeth II's actual birthday is April 21)
  • May or June - Ascension Day
  • May or June - Whit Monday
  • May or June - Ratting Day
  • August 14 - Anniversary Day
  • December 25 - Christmas Day The public holiday may be on a different day
  • December 26 or 27 - Boxing Day. If the 26 December is a Sunday, then Boxing Day is held on 27 December; the public holiday may be on a different day

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Getting There

It is not possible to get to Tristan da Cunha by plane, so you will need to take the boat, most likely from Cape Town or sometimes from Walvis Bay in Namibia. As there are only about 10 ships making the trip a year, it requires special planning if you want to travel there by yourself. Most places on board are booked months if not a year in advance, mainly for locals returning to their island. If you are lucky enough though, the trip takes 5 or 6 days and will mean you have to spend months on the island. Tickets roughly cost about US$800 for a return trip on one of the fishing vessels and around $1,000 to $1,200 on the Agulhas ship. It's best to check the Tristan da Cunha website for details about schedules and prices. Also, contact them at their website for permission to visit the island and arrange accommodation and possible trips on Tristan da Cunha and surrounding islands.

Otherwise, if you want to visit for a brief periode of time, it is best to join a tour with boats (mainly sailing ships) between Antarctica and Europe for example. Pricey, but priceless! Oceanwide Expeditions offers a cruise to Tristan da Cunha and other remote islands in March-April.

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Getting Around

Everything is accessbile on foot.

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Eat/Drink

The only public place available is the Prince Philip Hall which occasionally serves food, the building also houses the Albatross Bar - the island's only pub. Opening hours are sketchy to say the least, and the only time it's very likely to be open is when cruise ships are docked at the island. If you are hungry and the hall is closed, your only other bet is a visit to the Island shop.

The Post Office also houses a small café, serving tea, filter coffee and cakes.

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Sleep

Self-catering accommodation is £20 per night, while home stays, which include meals and laundry, cost £40 per night. There are discounts for Tristan Islanders and children. Booking information is available on the Island's official website (see below).

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Keep Connected

Internet

The Internet Cafe houses a number of PCs and spaces to use your own laptop, and costs £10 for visitors for the duration of their stay. Internet access for the island is via a satellite link, so the 1Mbps connection is shared between everyone - don't expect it to be fast.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

There is no mobile phone network on the island (nor will you have had signal for the last week after you lost sight of Cape Town!)

A payphone is available in the Internet Cafe - you'll need to ask for it to be unlocked if you wish to use it.

Post

Post can be sent from the Post Office, or the post box just outside, but will likely travel back with you on the same ship as you are on. Expect it to take a couple of weeks to arrive at its destination. Last posting dates for each ship are advertised at the Post Office when known.

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Contributors

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This is version 7. Last edited at 8:05 on Apr 18, 17 by Utrecht. 3 articles link to this page.

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