Feedback from visitors to Tristan da Cunha.

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What our visitors say about their experiences on Tristan

We encourage cruise passengers, yachtsmen and other visitors to send us feedback of their experiences on Tristan da Cunha using our Visitors' Feedback Form.

Below, we reproduce comments - both positive and negative - extracted from the feedback submissions we have received, along with our responses where appropriate. We reserve the right to make minor editorial changes and corrections to the original feedback.

To preserve their privacy, we do not give the visitors' names or email addresses, but we do give their nationality and the name of the vessel on which they visited.

Visits at the Tristan da Cunha welcome sign

Swiss passenger on the sailing vessel Bark Europa, visiting March 2023

Activities: Guided tours; Pub/Prince Philip Hall; Post Office & Tourism Centre; Shopping; Sending Post; Independent hiking
Highlights of the visit: Nice lunch box!!!
Helpfulness of island guide: He didnt speak so much, it was more like a nice walk through the Patches without speaking, too expensive for that. We had to ask him many questions to get some information. 'Guided' is not the right word.
Response: We are sorry that your hike to the Patches was not as informative as you wished. We will review the tour with our guides.

Montserratian passenger on the cruise ship MV Hondius, visiting April 2023

Advance information: from; Cruise Company; Conrad Glass, who was a member of the ship's expedition staff
Highlights: On the final day, all passengers did succeed in landing, but only at Stony Beach. So that was the highlight!
Suggested improvements?: As some crew managed to land at the harbour, I wish the option had been given to the more able-bodied passengers to allow them to attempt to land. We had all signed indemnity papers! But I understand this is the cruise company's decision
Further remarks: Very disappointed at not being able to land at the settlement. If there is a next time, which I very much doubt, suppose it would have to be on a ship with a helicopter
Response: We were also very disappointed that you were unable to land at the settlement despite repeated attempts. We are pleased, however, that you were able to land at Stony Beach.

German guide on the cruise ship MV Hondius, visiting April 2023

Advance information: from; Cruise Company; Nice discussions on Bbard with Conrad Glass, my fellow Guide. He answered all my questions in detail :-) Thus I was very well prepared for the questions of the passengers. Connie did an excellent job!!!
Landing: There was too much swell for disembarking Hondius safely at the settlement. Finally, we managed a landing in the south of the island which made the passengers happy.
Souvenirs: I think you managed well to make possible as much as the conditions allowed.
Highlights: Impressive landscape and nature. Birders on board were also happy with their observations. Great Zodiac cruises at Inaccessible Island and Gough Island.
Suggested improvements?: No negative points. All limitations were due to the weather conditions. Too much swell to bring the (older) passengers on land, safely. However, no additional Guides were available to come on board, but well understandable as it was Easter, also "family time" here in Germany.
Response: We are glad that our fellow islander Conrad Glass was so helpful.

United States passenger on the cruise ship Silver Cloud, visiting March 2023

Highlights: Amazing visit! We were so lucky to be able to land. All the islanders were helpful and friendly. My husband hiked and visited the crayfish factory while I did the town tour, grabbed a bite at the tourist center and shopped. We loved our experience! We wish we had more time!
Unavailable wishes: We would have enjoyed visiting the pub but it was closed.
Response: We're sorry about the pub being closed.

United States passenger on the cruise ship MS Hanseatic Spirit, visiting December 2022

Suggested improvements: Poor weather blocked the possibility of going ashore :.(((( Arrange better weather - Haha
Some of your residents came on board our ship. It was really great meeting them, they were all very nice!
Souvenirs: rated excellent.
Response: We were equally disappointed that you were unable to land, because we had had no visitors land here for three years. We were pleased to meet passengers on board though, before conditions became too rough even for our seamen.

Canadian passenger on the cruise ship MS Silver Whisper, visiting February 2022

Highlights: Wonderful landscape and friendly people. It was great to see the schoolchildren run down the field to greet us.
We hope to visit again in 2024, on another cruise.
Response: We are sorry you were unable to land on this occasion. We are confident that Covid-19 restrictions will no longer be in place by 2024.

British passenger on the cruise ship MS Silver Explorer, visiting March 2022

Hightlights: Wild life which could be seen from the ship and also the zodiacs.
Suggested Improvements: So sad not to be able to land it would have been our third visit, we shall have to come back.
Response: Sorry you were third time unlucky. We are hoping that passenger landings will resume before long. We'll look forward to seeing you on your next visit.

United States passenger on the cruise ship MS Silver Whisper, visiting February 2022

We found your island spectacular and hope to set foot on Tristan on our next cruise.
Highlights: Loved our cruise around your lovely island
Suggested Improvements: Let us disembark next time if it’s safe to do so.
Response: We are sorry that Covid-19 restrictions prevented from landing on this occasion. We missed meeting passengers. The island very much hopes to resume to normal operations at the beginning of 2023.

Austrian crew member on the yacht Argonaut, visiting February 2020

Advance information: Cape Town sailing community; Have to visit when in the vicinity. How often does one get the chance? Keep up your spirits. You rock!
Highlights: Fascinating island. Beautiful landscape. Beautiful friendly people. Very happy all round
Suggested Improvements: Build a yacht basin. Haha.
Cash only premises should be mentioned more specifically on all info material and web site. We were lucky to have had british crew members with pound sterling in their pockets. Otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get on land. We just didn’t realize that card payments are not an option.
Response: Thank you for you suggestion about cash. Our Information for Visiting Ships and Yachts page has been updated accordingly.

German passenger on the cruise ship MV Bremen, visiting December 2019

Highlights: Having a beer at the bar with the islanders :-)
We were lucky enough to have lots of time [because] of bad weather at Nightingale island.
Helpfulness: Very informative
Thank you so much for your kindness and hospitality. I loved it! God bless you! I am so lucky we were able to visit you before the corona crises hit the world!
Response: We are looking forward to receiving visitors again when the risks of COVID-19 have passed.

South African crew member of the yacht Ciao Bella, visiting February 2020

The skipper and his son decided it was too risky to disembark, as our anchor would not hold during the night. It would have been great to have a fixed mooring buoy for visiting yachts so that we could safely disembark and visit the island for a day.
Highlights: The view of the Island as we first saw Tristan through the lifting clouds. The crayfish given to us at sunset by the friendly fishermen.
The Radio operator, the Immigration (lady) official and the Doctor were most pleasant to talk to on the VHF.
I would have bought a T shirt for my wife and two sons. We were unable to disembark from Ciao Bella, so I was very disappointed.
I would love to bring my wife to see the island for a short visit and do some hiking on the island, and just have a peacful holiday on your beautiful island. I would love to show her the Albatrosses and of course eat some crayfish.
Response: The idea of a mooring buoy has been suggested before, but it seems unlikely such a buoy would survive Tristan's winter storms.
You could still buy Tristan T-shirts. They can be purchased from our Online Gift Shop.

German passenger on the cruise ship MV Bremen, visiting December 2019

This feedback was sent in German. We have translated it into English but kept the original in brackets.
Highlights: It was a wonderful, impressive experience. The people were all very friendly and helpful. [Es war ein wunderbares beeindruckendes Erlebnis. Die Menschen waren alle sehr freundlich und hilfsbereit.]
Suggestions: They could offer a tasting from the brewery [Sie könnten einen Probiertest von ihrer Brauerei anbieten]
Some outdoor benches to enjoy the landscape [einige Sitzbänke im Freien um die Landschaft zu geniessne]
Helpfulness: Very friendly and pleasant German [sehr freundlich und angenehmdeutsch]
Response: There are already a number of public benches in the village, in Volcanic Park '61, and elsewhere. Unfortunately, some benches were destroyed by the storms in July and November 2019, and could not be replaced before your visit. We would welcome suggestions for places where additional benches would benefit future visitors.

British crew member of the cruise ship MV Silver Cloud, visiting March 2019

Landing by ship's boat, rated poor. It was entirely due to weather conditions that debark wasn't great, and there's nothing anyone can do about that.
Tristan is absolutely stunning. I wish we could have stayed longer.
It is such a shame to see the profusion of wildlife on Gough Island and none on Tristan, doubtless due to introduces species. With a mouse eradication program planned for Gough, maybe one should be planned for Tristan too?
The staff we met were all friendly and knowledgeable.
Response: It is always important to heed the advice of the harbourmaster regarding weather and the swell when undertaking ship to shore transfers.
The Conservation Department and partner organisations are perpetually seeking ways to restore habitats for the benefit of our endemic wildlife.

British passenger on the cruise ship MV Silver Cloud, visiting March 2019

Landing by ship's boat, rated excellent. It couldn't have been better. It was lovely to be welcomed and also to be bade farewell.
Highlights: The friendliness and approachability of the islanders. It was all beautifully peaceful.
The reason a large number of people were on the Silver Cloud was to visit Tristan. It was wonderful that a flexible approach was taken so that we could land.

Argentinian yachtsman on the Endeavour, visiting February 2019

Highlights: Short and sweet. The efficiency and kindness of the people that received me was incredible. I left the island with my heart full of gratitude.
A buoy for yacht would be a great improvement!
I would like to spend more time visiting the isle and meeting with local people.
Response: It is debatable if a mooring buoy could survive Tristan's stronger weather and swells. Calshot Harbour is itself often damaged by winter storms.

Australian crew member of the yacht Pelagic Australis, visiting May 2017

Was always on my Bucket List!!!! I wish we could have stayed longer as I would have loved to hike up to the peak! I also wanted to purchase a Tristan 1 pound coin but sadly I ran out of money... Also wish I had flown the Tristan flag on Pelagic as we departed ... I forgot! It would have looked great in your photo! Everybody on the island was wonderful and helpful during our all too brief visit.
Response: Actually, we don't have a Tristan £1 coin, but there is a £5 coin, which, like our stamps, you can purchase online from the Post Office.
Similarly, if for whatever reason you were unable to buy something from the gift shop during your visit, you can always order items from the Online Store.

Swedish crew member of the motor yacht Cloudbreak, visiting February 2018

I thought it would be amazing to visit such a remote place and it suited our itinerary. Very excited when I made the decision to go.
Highlights: Just being there, walking around relaxing. Chatting with locals at post office/shop.

Brazilian crew member of the yacht Nina Pope, visiting January 2018

We were there for a day and it was very nice. After groceries, we had an amazing lunch and beers, took a hike on the field and on the beach. The weather was clear and colours were just incredible. Finished the day in the very charming Phillip Hall pub.
I wish we could have gone back to the boat a little later, so to have enjoyed the social environment the island has to offer. Our time there was really short to explorer more.
Our guide was really helpful all the time of our stay. Thank you for your attention to us while over there.

German passenger on the cruise ship MV Le Lyrial, visiting March 2018

I am finding it difficult to comment on the quality of the disembarkation process as I managed to get involved in an incident onboard Le Lyrial's Marina. The swell lifted our Zodiac above the Marina, then went down and another passenger and I went into the water when the Zodiac capsized. I was determined not to let this deter me from visiting Tristan da Cunha so after I had been rescued by the Le Lyrial crew I got changed and went on the last Zodiac to the island.
Both, my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed walking independently around the town. The highlight was talking to islanders who were very communicative and happy to talk to us once we approached them. I particularly remember talking to a young man who told us about handicrafts being available from the Cafe, my husband and I promptly went there and bought some souvenirs.
We appreciated being able to walk around and to get an impression what island life was like without being pestered by people trying to sell their services.
It sounds silly but we would have been happy to buy T-shirts or windcheaters with a Tristan Logo.
We did not go on a tour but would like to mention two people who left a lasting impression with us. One was the lady in charge of the Tristan House Museum. We actually met her in the street and she was happy to give us an insight into life on the island which was very informative and interesting. The other one was Connie Glass who gave a talk on our ship about Tristan da Cunha. It was captivating, if we had not already been determined to go to Tristan, Connie would have convinced us to go. Connie is a brilliant ambassador for the island, we have read the 'Rockhopper Copper' twice already. I am a senior lecturer at Cologne University of Applied Sciences and I recognize a good speaker when I see (or hear) one. Both, the lady from the Tristan House Museum (whose name I do not know) and Connie Glass do you proud!
I thought that our visit to Tristan da Cunha was the highlight of our 5-week holiday which took us through fascinating parts of South America all the way to Cape Town. With retirement looming large I can well imagine spending more time on the island.
Response: We were sorry to hear about your disembarkation mishap. However, we are glad that you were not harmed and that it did not put you off landing on Tristan. Expedition cruise ships are expert in handling disembarkation in the sort of sea conditions found around Tristan, but even so it is difficult to avoid all accidents.

Australian passenger on the cruise ship MV Silver Cloud, visiting March 2018

Very exciting. A lifelong ambition. Very relieved that we could land. A warm welcome from all. A wonderful visit to Nightingale with the help of the policeman and other conservationists from Tristan. Very informative and amiable.

English passenger on the cruise ship MV Silver Cloud, visiting March 2018

Taking all into account - it went well, so any dramatic improvements would cost a fortune and are not really necessary.
Given that we only had 4 hours, we managed to pack a lot in. I was very pleased to have seen and photographed a Painted Lady butterfly, which was smaller than the European ones and must be a local adaptation. The entire trip was great. Islanders very informative and approachable

Australian passenger on the cruise ship MV Le Lyrial, visiting March 2018

Being able to land was a highlight alone. I loved the story of the history and the isolation and the relaxed lifestyle. We walked back from the patches and the dramatic scenery was also a highlight. We would have liked more time but were happy with what we got.
Not having any of the correct currencies was a negative. We were not advised to bring British pounds or US dollars so were unable to spend any money while we were there. We would happily have spent some money. An Eftpos machine would have been good
Response: You should have received advice from your cruise company about the currencies accepted on Tristan. You can find our own advice on our Visitor Information page. Unfortunately, Tristan's small size means that we are unable to provide credit/debit card services.

Crew member of the research vessel RRS James Clark Ross, visiting March 2018

Landed by Tristan RIB, rated good, but could have done with clearer instructions from the coxswain when embarking onto RIB from JCR and when disembarking from RIB back to JCR.
The tourist centre with post office was fantastic. Fantastic place!
Response: Thank for the feedback. We always aim to improve the safety of ship to shore transfers.

British passenger on the cruise ship MS Seabourn Sojourn, visiting January 2018

A wonderful experience and I feel very lucky to have been able to experience having been there. Tea towels are fab. Everyone was lovely. Spent a lot of time talking to Kelly who is a great ambassador for the people of Tristan.

Danish passenger on the cruise ship MV Seabourn Sojourn, visiting January 2018

Everybody was most helpful and friendly, and particularly enjoyed the presentations made on board the ship as these provided a much better insight to island life.
The visit itself was the highlight of (and main reason for) the cruise, which started in Miami and ended in Cape Town. The fact that we got to spend two days on and around TDC was an added bonus

United States passenger on the cruise ship MS Seabourn Sojourn, visiting January 2018

It was one of the most amazing travel experiences I've ever had!!! I studied geography and have had Tristan on my list of exotic destinations to visit and was so excited to actually set foot on your beautiful and super friendly island, it truly was a dream come true for me and meeting many of the locals was such an awesome experience!!!!

British passenger on the cruise ship MS Seabourn Sojourn, visiting January 2018

A fabulous visit. The highlight was actually being able to get to you and land.... Thank you for arranging perfect weather for our second day! Thank you too for all the briefings about life on Tristan. We very much appreciated it all.

Swiss crew member of the yacht Nina Pope, visiting January 2019

It's a dream of each sailor to stop in Tristan da Cunha. We had a beautiful day on this small island between Rio and Cape Town. Tristan da Cunha is really natural place. We enjoyed! Dawn was the best guide we could have... really friendly! Thank you very much, thank you Dawn
Improvements: Pub opening hours.... we had to leave the harbour before 7pm.
Response: Your suggestion regarding the Albatross Bar's opening hours is duly noted.

British passenger on the cruise ship MS Seabourn Sojourn, visiting January 2018

Superb. What a wonderful community and atmosphere. How you coped with a virtual doubling of your community was excellent. We would have liked more time on the island. We really appreciated the talks about the island, its community and how it all worked given by your members during our circumnavigation of Inaccessible and Nightingale Island on the following day. Thank you very much for your hospitality.
Improvements: A map of the settlement and Potato Patches. You had lots of signposts but a map or plan would have made it easier to get around.
Response: Maps are available from the Post Office and Tourism Centre.

United States passengers on the cruise ship MS Seabourn Sojourn, visiting January 2018

When my wife and I planned our 38 day cruise from Miami to Cape Town, we knew nothing about Tristan which was an amazing surprise and by far the best of many ports we stopped at along the way. Captain Hamish's extreme interest and passion to make the visit made our visit to your home and beautiful island even more memorable. Just a fluke that Tristan was part of the Seabourn Sojourn's itinarary. We really didn't think we would be able to go ashore on such a small island in the middle of the South Atlantic.
The Sojourn's crew worked extremely hard to get all of its passengers who wanted to visit possible.
Highlights: Just coming ashore and witnessing first hand what the Tristan people have accomplished by working as a community team. Additionally I enjoyed hearing the Chef's version of bartering for Lobsters on Tristan. Both the fresh fish and fresh Lobsters the Chef was able to acquire for the benefit of the Sojourn passengers was well worth his efforts and the bounty he used as trade. A great story. We should have spent more time there
Being able to meet some of the Tristan people who boarded the ship was a bonus. Ironically, The Seabourn Sojourn after setting sail for South Africa from Tristan turned around and cruised back to Tristan to seek repair parts to repair the Sojourns IT system. Total return took almost 3 hours to return but whatever the ship obtained helped get the ships system repaired and operating. What a surprise save for such a small island with less than 275 inhabitants. Amazing!!!
Improvements: Taxi service
Response: Taxis can be provided when cruise ships land passengers on Tristan, but only if the ship has asked in advance for them to be made available. This question is asked when Tourism arranges the visit's programme with cruise company.

British passenger on the cruise ship MS Seabourn Sojourn, visiting January 2018

We loved our day. We were made to feel most welcome. Everyone we met was friendly and helpful. I hope Seabourn repeat the visit. I'll be there!

British passengers on the cruise ship MS Seabourn Sojourn, visiting January 2018

I remember the eruption in 1961 and it has always been a place I wanted to go to. The web site is very informative.
Highlights: We were very lucky that the conditions were favourable. Fantastic. Just to get there was a boyhood dream. To play golf and chat to local people is a day I will cherish forever. We loved playing golf and are now lifelong members.
All the people I met were so helpful and pleased to see us. Just keep doing what you are doing.
Perhaps we will return one day. When I return I would love to trek to the top of the crater and see the heart shaped lake. Also I would love to go ashore at both the other islands. We just had limited time.

New Zealand passenger on the cruise ship MS Seabourn Sojourn, visiting January 2018

Despite being well travelled, I would rate this as an experience not to be missed. We were very privileged to have visited your tiny island and to socialise with you guys. Please keep your island the way it is, a magic unspoiled little paradise away from the worries of the World. Very helpful and welcoming.

French passenger on the RMS St Helena, visiting January 2018

Weather was very nice, that allowed me to walk in the settlement and hike to the patches. The views from the ship and ashore were exceptional. I would have loved to have more time on the island. My initial plan was to spend at least one night ashore but it was not possible due to the sea conditions.
I didn't have a local island guide during my visit, but I have found all the islanders I met very friendly.
Unfulfilled wish: Crayfish! When I learned that there was some crayfish sandwiches on sale, it was too late.
As it was known in advance that the passengers will not spend more than one night on the island, we had to pay 50% of 2 nights as cancellation fee. I would have appreciated to only pay 50% of one night. Anyway I have enjoyed my (too short) visit and would love to come back if I have the opportunity one day.
Response: We're sorry to hear you missed the crayfish sandwiches.
Unfortunately, we no longer offer overnight stays for cruise passengers, for various reasons, including concerns about cancellation fees. The issue for Tristan was that islanders made lots of preparations, including food, so if visitors did not land it could be a big loss. Many of our hosts are pensioners. 50% was therefore charged for the total planned stay to ensure the individuals got something to cover their costs.