This year marks the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Tristan da Cunha by the Portuguese navigator Admiral Tristão da Cunha. To celebrate the anniversary, the Tristan da Cunha Association has organized a cruise to the island leaving Cape Town on January 30th. The ship will take five days to sail to and from the island, and it will spend seven days visiting the Islanders.
According to information about the cruise on the Association’s website, the cruise is completely booked up. The vessel, the RMS St. Helena, is a 6767 ton Royal Mail Ship with accommodations for 128 guests. The website indicates that guests lucky enough to have booked passage on the boat will be treated on the island to open days at government departments, a concert, a sports day, two receptions, and an evening dance.
The normal capacity for guest beds on the island is 40, but Tristan families are being asked to offer as many spare rooms as possible for the passengers on the ship, most of whom will doubtless want to stay and visit with the Islanders during the week of February 5 – 11. The island has no inns or hotels, though there are two guest houses. While the Islanders may offer full board to sporadic visitors, normally passengers from ships do not stay overnight since the weather could change and leave them marooned on the island.
A distinguished visitor accompanying the cruise from Cape Town will be Governor Michael Clancey. According to the Tristan Times, he left St. Helena on January 20th for Cape Town. This will be his first official visit to the island.
The Peaceful Societies website is pleased to mark the quincentenary by adding another scholarly journal article about the peacefulness of the Islanders to the Archive (please see separate news story).