St. Helena to Cape Verde

Witness the northbound spring migration


Atlantic Odyssey
© Rob Tully

During the days at sea, the chances of meeting whales are high. Witness the northbound spring migration of northern birds like Arctic Terns and Long-tailed Skuas who join us in crossing the Equator (“the Line”).

Duration: 11 days
Starts: St. Helena
Ends: Praia
Language: English Speaking Voyage


Included


PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. The on-board expedition leader determines the final itinerary. Itineraries may mention places that require permission to land, which must be granted by the relevant national authorities. Such permission is not granted prior to the publishing of these itineraries. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Average cruising speed for m/v Janssonius is 10,5 knots.

During the days at sea the chances of meeting whales are high. Witness the northbound spring migration of northern birds like Arctic Terns and Long-tailed Skuas who join us in crossing the Equator (“the Line”).

The astronomical program: -
During the voyage described, you will travel in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres, assembling on the aft deck to observe how stars and constellations change as we travel north. Southern constellations like the Southern Cross, with its so-called “jewel box” of stars, will be visible if the weather permits. You might also see the large globular cluster, Omega Centauri, as well as the Magellanic Clouds, which are “satellite clouds” of our own galaxy, first reported by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521.

On the South Georgia leg of our voyage, it is planned to visit Moltke Harbour in Royal Bay. On top of being the location of a great king penguin colony, this is also the site of an astronomical station where a German expedition using the vessel SMS Moltke observed the Venus transit in 1882. As you sail north across the Atlantic, new constellations will appear over the northeastern horizon.

Weather and time permitting, you also intend to climb the hill at Saint Helena Island, where English astronomer Edmond Halley (discoverer of Halley’s Comet) investigated the southern sky and described nearly 400 stars in their constellations during the 17th century.

When the equator is crossed, you will notice the moon looks different in its phases in the Southern Hemisphere as opposed to the Northern. Some of the stars we will look for, like Epsilon Eridani, have planets around them, which can inspire discussions about the likelihood of extraterrestrial life.

Optional workshops in astronomical navigation will be offered with sextants during our sea days. These fascinating workshops are limited in the number of people who can participate, however, and reservations are required. You can practice calculating a position at sea while also learning about the Huygens clock, Mercator projection, and other related topics.

In addition, a workshop about astrophotography (also limited, reservations required) will be provided, that will focus on the photography you can do with your own equipment. The focus on board will be the theoretical background and image-processing techniques, since conditions on a moving ship will most likely not allow astrophotography. But if weather and time allow, we may practice some photography on Saint Helena.

Itinerary

© Lauren Steijn
© Oceanwide Exp
© ST

Day 1: Heading out of Helena
The voyage starts in Jamestown, a uniquely situated city that offers much to see before we set sail. Enjoy the local British culture, tropical climate, and endemic birds of this remote volcanic island. You can visit Longwood House, where Napoleon died in 1821, and even walk the 699-step Jacob’s Ladder if you feel ambitious. If you have more time, you can also go on small hikes or snorkeling in the shallows, seeing multitudes of tropical and subtropical fish.

Day 2 – 3: Sailing the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Today it is aimed to sail along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the sprawling submarine mountain range that runs about 16,000 km (10,000 miles) from the Arctic Ocean toward the southern tip of Africa. Join for stargazing on the aft deck, where it will be shown you the many highlights of the equatorial sky. Weather permitting, these celestial wonders can be seen with binoculars or even with the naked eye.

Day 4 – 5: Onward to Ascension Island
This dry volcanic island is a major home for sooty terns (also known as wideawakes), whose colony here sometimes grows to over a million breeding pairs. You may get the chance to hike up to the richly vegetated summit of the island, and you might also visit the beach to watch green turtles laying eggs.

Day 6 – 10: Crossing the equator
Joining you across the equator are Arctic terns and long-tailed skuas flying their northbound spring migration. At this stage of the voyage,it is hoped for good weather as more stargazing on deck is attempted, observing how the polar star becomes visible on the northern horizon.

Day 11: The pleasures of Praia
You will disembark in the town of Praia, on Cape Verde’s Santiago Island, at 9:00 hours*. If you are flying out on the night of April 25/April 26, an additional tour in and around Praia is offered. Here you can visit the historic Cidade Velha and its massive hillside fortress, built to defend against English raiders. Other sights include the oldest Christian church in the tropics as well as the slave whipping post in the main square. You can also simply explore the streets of Praia, enjoying the folk music spilling out of tavern windows.

*Disembarking passengers will have access to hotel rooms where you can collect your luggage and freshen up before traveling to the airport or back to your hotel, if you are staying longer in Praia.

Itinerary

Day 1: Heading out of Helena
The voyage starts in Jamestown, a uniquely situated city that offers much to see before we set sail. Enjoy the local British culture, tropical climate, and endemic birds of this remote volcanic island. You can visit Longwood House, where Napoleon died in 1821, and even walk the 699-step Jacob’s Ladder if you feel ambitious. If you have more time, you can also go on small hikes or snorkeling in the shallows, seeing multitudes of tropical and subtropical fish.

Day 2 – 3: Sailing the Mid-Atlantic Ridge
Today it is aimed to sail along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the sprawling submarine mountain range that runs about 16,000 km (10,000 miles) from the Arctic Ocean toward the southern tip of Africa. Join for stargazing on the aft deck, where it will be shown you the many highlights of the equatorial sky. Weather permitting, these celestial wonders can be seen with binoculars or even with the naked eye.

Day 4 – 5: Onward to Ascension Island
This dry volcanic island is a major home for sooty terns (also known as wideawakes), whose colony here sometimes grows to over a million breeding pairs. You may get the chance to hike up to the richly vegetated summit of the island, and you might also visit the beach to watch green turtles laying eggs.

Day 6 – 10: Crossing the equator
Joining you across the equator are Arctic terns and long-tailed skuas flying their northbound spring migration. At this stage of the voyage,it is hoped for good weather as more stargazing on deck is attempted, observing how the polar star becomes visible on the northern horizon.

Day 11: The pleasures of Praia
You will disembark in the town of Praia, on Cape Verde’s Santiago Island, at 9:00 hours*. If you are flying out on the night of April 25/April 26, an additional tour in and around Praia is offered. Here you can visit the historic Cidade Velha and its massive hillside fortress, built to defend against English raiders. Other sights include the oldest Christian church in the tropics as well as the slave whipping post in the main square. You can also simply explore the streets of Praia, enjoying the folk music spilling out of tavern windows.

*Disembarking passengers will have access to hotel rooms where you can collect your luggage and freshen up before traveling to the airport or back to your hotel, if you are staying longer in Praia.


© Lauren Steijn
© Oceanwide Exp
© ST


INCLUSIONS

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
Comprehensive pre-departure material.

EXCLUSIONS

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
Pre- and post- land arrangements.
Passport and visa expenses.
Government arrival and departure taxes.
Meals ashore.
Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).


Dates & Rates


Ship: Hondius | Date: 20 Apr 2024 - 30 Apr 2024 (2319)
Quadruple Porthole
$2,150
Triple Porthole
$2,450
Twin Porthole
$2,800
$2,150
Twin Window
$2,900
Twin Deluxe
$3,000
Superior
$3,300
Junior Suite
$3,550
Grand Suite
$4,100
Ship: Hondius | Date: 15 Apr 2025 - 25 Apr 2025 (2327)
Quadruple Porthole
$2,350
Triple Porthole
$2,700
Twin Porthole
$3,100
Twin Window
$3,200
Twin Deluxe
$3,300
Superior
$3,600
Junior Suite
$3,900
Grand Suite
$4,500

* The prices are per person in US Dollars, unless expressly specified in a different currency. In that case, payment will be in US dollars at the exchange rate of the day.
** All prices will be re-confirmed by email at the time of booking.
NOTE: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

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