Visiting the Island
Ascension Island welcomes the opportunity to share some of the sights of our beautiful and unique island with visitors.
The RMS St Helena visits Ascension approximately once every three weeks on her voyage from Cape Town and St Helena. Find out more or make a booking on the RMS St Helena.
If you are intending to visit the island by yacht or private plane further guidance applies. See the links on the right hand side of this page for further information. Please note specifically that Ascension’s Wideawake Airfield is closed to all international commercial and privately owned aircrafts, except in emergency situations. For state aircraft or other exceptions please see our Information for Aviators.
A number of cruise ships visit Ascension each year. Please note that, due to security reasons, cruise ship visitors are issued with a landing permit only. This restricts independent access to Georgetown. Further exploration of the island is offered by guided tour only, organised through the Tourist Office (arrangements for tours are made in advance by the cruise ship company). We regret that independent car hire is not permitted. Embarkation (by means of steps at the pierhead in Georgetown) is dependent on favourable sea conditions. If the swell makes coming ashore too difficult, we can arrange for members of our Heritage Society and Conservation team to come aboard to share information about the island and offer souvenirs for sale, often while the ship circumnavigates the island. While nothing beats coming ashore, this is a great opportunity to get to see and learn more about Ascension, including the more difficult to access areas such as the Letterbox Peninsula. Further guidance for cruise ships and their passengers can be found here.
If you are interested in arranging a stop at Ascension for your vessel please contact our Assistant Harbourmaster.
If you wish to travel to Ascension for any purpose you must obtain a valid Entry Permit in advance and produce this to the Immigration Officer on arrival. Failure to do so is an offence under the Entry Control (Ascension) Ordinance and may result in a fine, and/or imprisonment. You may also be refused permission to land and be required to leave on the aircraft or vessel that you arrived on. It is also a condition of the Entry Permit that you have obtained adequate travel and medical insurance to cover your stay including the possibility of air evacuation. You should be prepared to show this to the Immigration Officer on arrival.
Applications for Entry Permits should be made well in advance, at least 14 days before your intended travel, except in case of genuine emergency. Late applications, without valid reason, may be refused.
Please see our Entry Permits page for entry permit application forms, fees and further guidance.