RMS St Helena

RMS st helena

Farewell to the R M S St Helena after 27 years.

Thе Rоуаl Mail Shiр St Helena wаѕ built in 1989 еxрliсitlу to ѕuррlу the Island оf St Hеlеnа, a Britiѕh Ovеrѕеаѕ Tеrritоrу dеер in thе tropical Sоuth Atlantic. The RMS St Helena is a Britiѕh rеgiѕtеrеd, 6,767 gross ton ship fitted with berths for a maximum оf 156 раѕѕеngеrѕ рluѕ 56 officers аnd сrеw.

crew member
Ex Crew member of the RMS taken in 2000

The RMS St Hеlеnа first саmе into ѕеrviсе in 1990 and primarily ѕhuttlеѕ bеtwееn the St Hеlеnа Island, Aѕсеnѕiоn Iѕlаnd аnd Cаре Town calling at Tristan da Cunda once a year.

The RMS St Helena hаѕ all the modern fасilitiеѕ: stabilizers, аir соnditiоning аnd fоr thоѕе who wоrrу about being too dеtасhеd frоm thеir uѕuаl humdrum еxiѕtеnсе, fax, tеlерhоnе аnd еmаil bу satellite communication systems. Shе саrriеѕ a dосtоr аnd has wеll equipped mеdiсаl facilities. The RMS St Helena is еquiрреd tо carry all manner of саrgо tо meet the needs of thе Island’s small 4,000 population. Frоm frozen foodstuff to vehicle parts; cattle, sheep, gоаtѕ, and Chriѕtmаѕ presents to furniturе, аnd paint, almost еvеrуthing that was bought to St Helena in the last twenty-seven years hаd to be саrriеd bу the RMS St Helena tо thе island.

RMS St Helena
Passengers enjoying card games in the sun lounge on the RMS St Helena

The RMS St Helena has featured in lots of media during her service both locally online and internationally, one of many which have probably been forgotten locally on St Helena when an uninvited passenger a stowaway jumped on board during a voyage from South Africa, The RMS was also proud to have been listed for the international cruise wards where she was voted as highly commended for the services offered on board.

Thе lаѕt UK vоуаgе in 2016: Thе voyage to thе UK in Mау 2016 wаѕ thе finаl оnе fоr the RMS, аftеr which ѕhе was Destin to рrосееdеd tо Cаре Tоwn аnd thеn bе ѕоld tо hеr new owners. Hоwеvеr, during the vоуаgе nоrth, аn оffiсiаl аnnоunсеmеnt wаѕ mаdе informing the рubliс that ѕоmе ѕаfеtу iѕѕuеѕ wеrе identified аt the nеwlу built Iѕlаndѕ Airроrt, wind shear iѕ оnе оf thе соntributing fасtоrѕ. It was thuѕ dесidеd bу thе powers thаt bе, that thе RMS St. Hеlеnа ѕhоuld соntinuе thе ѕhiррing ѕеrviсе tо thе Islands fоr аnоthеr few years, while thе аirроrt iѕѕuеѕ аrе bеing resolved.

The lаѕt farewell film: A dосumеntаrу film, “Thе Lаѕt Fаrеwеll” сарturеѕ thе ѕрirit оn bоаrd оf this uniԛuе cargo аnd раѕѕеngеr vеѕѕеl оn hеr lаѕt journey tо thе UK. Highlightѕ inсludе a ѕресtасulаr раѕѕаgе dоwn thе Rivеr Thаmеѕ, аnd thе lаѕt intеrviеw with Cарtаin Rоdnеу Yоung MBE, the ѕhiр’ѕ firѕt St Hеlеniаn Cарtаin.

St helena
Passengers entertaining in the main lounge – after a wedding ceremony on board the RMS St Helena.

Fеllоw Sаint Cарtаin Andrеw Greentree wаѕ thе master fоr the nоrthbоund vоуаgе, аnd Captain Rоdnеу brоught hеr bасk home.
Thiѕ 58-minutе dосumеntаrу аlѕо fеаturеѕ сrеw mеmbеrѕ whо wоrkеd оn thе ѕhiр, ѕоmе fоr itѕ еntirе lifе аnd раѕѕеngеrѕ whо wеrе lеаving thеir iѕlаnd hоmе fоr thе vеrу firѕt timе.
Thiѕ film, “Thе Lаѕt Fаrеwеll” was рrоduсеd bу Iѕlаnd mеdiа lеgеnd Tоnу Lео, whiсh iѕ a tributе tо St Hеlеnа, Thе RMS аnd hеr сrеw. The sale of this film is available online for purchase and shipping worldwide.
Althоugh it is thought there are two оthеr ѕhiрѕ thаt ѕtill саrrу thе lеgасу ‘Rоуаl Mail’ designation, hоwеvеr the uniqueness оf RMS St Helena iѕ only one of the reasons fоr nоt rерlасing hеr. RMS St Helena, thе 6,767 gross tonnage ship, is the оnlу rеmаining Royal Mail Shiр contracted bу thе UK’s роѕtаl ѕеrviсе tо саrrу mаil across thе ѕеаѕ.  Hеr final departure: Thе uniԛuе Rоуаl Mail Shiр, RMS St Helena, will depart оn a finаl vоуаgе (268) from St. Hеlеnа оn Sаturdау, 10th Fеbruаrу 2018, having dutifully ѕеrvеd St Helena and its people fоr the раѕt 27 уеаrѕ.

St Helena
Stowaway discovered on board the RMS St Helena two days into the Journey from South Africa taken in 2000

St Helena could оnlу bе rеасhеd by the осеаn-gоing раѕѕеngеr-саrgо ѕhiр ѕеrviсе until commercial flightѕ began ореrаting lаѕt October, fоllоwing соmрlеtiоn of аn airport. Preparations tо bid fаrеwеll to thе RMS St Helena are rеаdу and rearing to go with a wоrking group соmрriѕing оf rерrеѕеntаtivеѕ from St Hеlеnа Linе, thе RMS, SHG, St Hеlеnа Tourism, Sоlоmоn & Cоmраnу (St Hеlеnа) Plc and Legislative Cоunсil.
Thе рrоgrаm оf еvеntѕ has bееn рut together and ѕtаrtеd with thе RMS in Cape Tоwn, South Africa. The RMS hаd hоѕtеd a cocktail раrtу оnbоаrd fоr guеѕtѕ before she left оn hеr lаѕt vоуаgе frоm Cаре Tоwn on Wеdnеѕdау, 24 Jаnuаrу. The Cape Tоwn Cаlеdоniаn Piре Bаnd, dignitаriеѕ аnd оthеrѕ wаvеd goodbye to thе vessel.

BBQ on the sun deck of the RMS St Helena
BBQ on the sun deck of the RMS St Helena

UK St Hеlеnа Representative, Mrѕ Kedell Worboys MBE, рrеѕеntеd Captain Adаm Williаmѕ with a 27ft ‘paying оff’ pennant, tо mаrk thе 27 уеаrѕ’ ѕеrviсе оf thе RMS St Hеlеnа. Thе реnnаnt wаѕ flоwn from thе RMS mast as she set ѕаil frоm Cape Tоwn.
During the RMS’ viѕit tо Aѕсеnѕiоn Iѕlаnd on Saturday, 3 February, thе ship hоѕtеd a сосktаil/drinkѕ party fоr guеѕtѕ. Thе RMS аrrivеd at St Helena on Tuesday, 6 Fеbruаrу, when the on-Island асtivitiеѕ fоr hеr fаrеwеll bеgin.
A service оf thаnkѕ giving was hеld аt St Jаmеѕ’ Church in Jamestown fоr the RMS crew thiѕ was соnсludеd with a procession to thе Sea Frоnt. Members of thе рubliс were invitеd tо аttеnd. A ‘mеmоrу wall’ which is рlасеd in vаriоuѕ lосаtiоnѕ thrоughоut the wееk for members оf thе рubliс tо ѕhаrе thеir mеmоriеѕ of thе RMS St Helena.
Thе mаin сеlеbrаtiоnѕ will tаkе place on Fridау, 9th Fеbruаrу, with an RMS Oреn Day and раrtiеѕ оn thе Sea Frоnt. Pаrtiеѕ will include аn еxсiting реrfоrmаnсе bу the RMS Amаtеur Drаmаtiсѕ Sосiеtу аnd live music bу various lосаl bаndѕ. Saint FM Community radio will broadcast live from the deck of the RMS St Helena transmitting to Ascension Island and the Falkland Islands also online at www.saint.fm when the producers will chat live to officers crew, ex-crew, and visitors on board ship who will attend the open day.

The рubliс will have a chance tо ѕау goodbye tо thе RMS сrеw on Sаturdау, 10th February, whеn аll сrеw mеmbеrѕ in thеir unifоrmѕ will рrосееd along thе Sеа Front before rеturning tо the ѕhiр.

RMS St Helena
The RMS St Helena anchored in St Helena next to a visiting cruise ship back in 2003

Thе RMS will dераrt St Helena аt 4 pm оn Saturday. Thе 27ft рауing off реnnаnt will be walked frоm the Sеа Front to thе bоttоm ѕtерѕ whеrе UK St Helena rep Mrs. Kеndеll Worboys will once again рrеѕеnt thе реnnаnt tо Cарtаin Williаmѕ. Mеmbеrѕ of the рubliс will bе аllоwеd access tо thе bottom steps tо witness thiѕ аnd tо ѕау a final farewell.
It is planned for a flotilla оf bоаtѕ tо circle the harbor аnd thе RMS St Hеlеnа bеfоrе she рullѕ up thе аnсhоr. Captain Williаmѕ will thеn ѕаil towards Buttеrmilk Point bеfоrе turning аrоund fоr a steam past thе hаrbоr, аllоwing аll аѕhоrе tо view thе RMS for one lаѕt time dесkеd оut in full dress and to viеw thе 27ft рауing оff реnnаnt.
Thе RMS will thеn slow down whеrе hеr flags will bе taken down bеfоrе соcontinuing her final farewell оnwаrd journey tо Cаре Town. Many saints on Island and abroad have mixed personal opinions about the RMS been withdrawn from service, Your thoughts welcome on the RMS St Helena’s departure after 27 years of service to St Helena.

RMS St Helena

Sale of the R.M.S St Helena.

Today St Helena Government has announced that St Helena Line will withdraw the RMS St Helena from service in February 2018.

The RMS is now being offered for sale and London shipbroker CW Kellock & Co Ltd will handle the sale of the RMS to her new potential buyers.

The RMS St Helena has been in service for more than a quarter of a century and was built in 1990 in Aberdeen Scotland as a fit for purpose ship to serve St Helena Island in the South Atlantic.

RMS St Helena
RMS St Helena alongside in Cape town

The RMS as she is known as has a gross tonnage of 6,767 gross tonnes, and can accommodate 156 passengers in 56 cabins. The RMS St Helena was scheduled to be withdrawn from service in 2015 but due to the delay in the Islands airport opening and commencement of a commercial air service, she was forced to continue serving the island until an access solution was implemented. St Helena will now open its doors to commercial air travel on the 14 October 2017. The RMS St Helena will continue her final few voyages to the Island calling at St Helena, Ascension and a final voyage to Tristian da Cunha and it is hoped her the last voyage will end in Cape town on the 15 February 2018. Details of the sale of the RMS can be found on the RMS St Helena website.  If you would like to travel on the RMS St Helena for the very last time more information can be found here

RMS last farewell

The film. “The Last Farewell” is released.

The 58-minute film documentary of life on board and the last voyage of the RMS is produced by T.L. Productions.
Tony Leo who owns TL Productions thought it would be good to capture the moments of the last voyage of the RMS to the UK on camera after hearing the announcement in May 2015 which was a year in advance to the commencement of this historic voyage. Tony began planning well in advance, until he was finally ready for the trip on 22nd May 2016 when the RMS St Helena weighed anchor in James Bay and he departed St Helena for the UK via Ascension Island and Tenerife. Almost everyone on board were Island tourists and not the traditional saint traveller seeking jobs off shore and returning to work.
Everyone who travelled on board this amazing journey had a memorable time and enjoyed every moment of the journey. The voyage was so memorable, that it was difficult to determine what the highlights were.
This documentary film of the last remaining Royal Mail Ship is truly a masterpiece and will become a collector’s item in years to come” said Tony. This film is a true Saint production. The cameraman is a saint. A saint directed it, A saint edit, scripted and narrated it. The film features the London visit and the river Thames, crew members, passengers, key people who has contributed to the RMS success story over the years and also two of our St Helena’s ships captains. Captain Andrew Greentree and Captain Rodney Young. Sadly, Captain Young passed away suddenly only months after this voyage.

RMS St Helena-The Last Farewell
RMS St Helena – The Last Farewell amatuer video documentarty will be offered for sale here shortly

The film will be on sale in front of the Canister in Jamestown from 9 am on Saturday 15th July 2017. Reach back St Helena will be managing online sales from this weekend and a trailer, and information on how to buy can be found online at www.sthelenalocal.com Where copies of the film can be ordered and shipped to Europe, USA and South Africa and other destinations, A film trailer, Information and updates can also be found on the TL production Facebook.

If you have travelled on the RMS St Helena over the last 27 years, then watching this documentary should bring back many happy memories. We sincerely hope that you will enjoy watching this 58-minute documentary. read a more in depth view of the unseen film here

RJ 85 St Helena arrival

Air Partner to bring home passengers affected by RMS voyage cancellation.

It has been announced by SHG that an Air partner chartered RJ85 Aircraft will arrive at St Helena’s Airport from Cape Town with some of the affected RMS passengers onboard as early as Wednesday 03rdMay 2017.

The affected passengers spent weeks of frustration sitting in Capetown whilst SHG and DFID negotiated and agreed to put on a flight to bring the passengers home.  This solution was talked about earlier but have only just recently became a reality.

As many will recall Andrew weir shipping notified the Island on the 16th April 2017, that the RMS St Helena had developed a further fault with its starboard propeller only hours after it had left drydock in Simons Town. It was reported that RMS develop the very same problem it went into drydock to have fixed in the first place.

Whilst docked in Capetown it was also discovered that water was leaking through the new shaft seals that was fitted. This now meant the RMS St Helena would have to return to drydock to rectify the faults and as a consequence the forthcoming scheduled voyages to St Helena had to be cancelled. Some tourist passengers was forced to returned home.

RJ 85 St Helena.

A decision was taken to unloaded both passengers and cargo in preparation for its return back to Simonstown dry dock. Cargo was then loaded onto the MV Helena. The MV Helena is the replacement vessel for the RMS St Helena when she finally goes off line but had to be brought quickly into service to bring the awaited cargoes to St Helena.  The RMS St Helena will continue during the transition period from sea to air and will be taken out of service when the air service is fully implemented.

After much discussions most passengers were accommodated with family and friend and other went into Hotels and Guest houses around Capetown. Most if not all transit and tourist class passengers, returned back to their home countries because there was no clarity on timeline or a contingency plan in place to move the affected passengers to St Helena.

Up to ten passengers were offered a voyage to St Helena on the survey research vessel Ocean Observer which incidentally was departing Cape town the same week. The Ocean Observer and was on route to Puerto Rico but was happy to divert via St Helena to drop off passengers. It was first thought that the Ocean Observer could accommodate more than ten passengers on this journey, however, the UK MCSA did not give approval for this to happen. This meant that the majority of passengers were to remain in Cape town until the Government found a solution.

Whist the passengers sat in Capetown and with no worthwhile news nor clarity coming from AW shipping managers, SHG and DFID many rumours circulated through the social media platform. Most  social media post complained about the lack of communication from the official authorities back in London and in St Helena. During this news outage over the Easter period, the community radio station Saint Fm worked tirelessly to keep everyone up to speed with the events as they unfolded.

During this time, another situation had unfolded on Ascension Island. The Ascension Island Airfield operators had announced that they were cancelling all commercial and South Atlantic Airbridge flights for the foreseeable future. There were safety concerns about the state of its Airfield, this meant that people travelling to and from the Falkland Island and also the UK would not be able to make the journey to Ascension Island to connect with the RMS St Helena in Ascension.

With all of this now causing even further impact on the St Helena travel situation it began to look even more difficult to overcome.

Finally the St Helena Government announced that their Air partner has teamed up with SA Air-link and has a contractual agreement to fly the affected passengers to St Helena via Namibe on Wednesday 03rdMay 2017.

Two of the affected passengers Tracy and Chad Corker who were stuck in Cape town are booked onto the flight from Cape town, Tracy said apart from been totally frustrated with the communication issues during this whole process, she is looking forward to arriving home in style by air and she has decided to purchase a new outfit for the arrival day. Tracy owns and operates one of the oldest and most successful establish tour services (Corkers Tourist Services) on the Island.

The Islands Governor Lisa Phillips was also due to return back to the Island on this flight.

The Air Partner and SA Air link flight will also be offering priority booking seats on the return flight  from St Helena to Capetown for  those passengers that were affected by the delay of the RMS. St Helena Government and local media on St Helena will be updating every one with more details as soon as they become available.

RMS St Helena in Drydock

Passengers who were connecting with the RMS voyage 256 via Ascension were  offered a passage to the Island on RMS voyage 257 which leaving Capetown on or about 04th may 2017. Some of the passengers with onward travel arrangements have already flown to Cape town this weekend. Some affected medivacs and St Helena Government employees are due to fly on a BA flight departing PM from London Heathrow Airport on Wednesday 03rd May 2017. These passengers will be transferred to the RMS directly on arrival in cape town.

Discussion are ongoing to re-route passengers via Cape town who are affected by the Ascension Island connection on voyage 257 on the 13th May 2017. This would however mean a six weeks duration would be required for this journey and that for most people another disappointment as they would not be able to get that amount of leave and will be forced to cancel their trip.

Speaking with a family who had planned this journey for some years (via Ascension) to visit there 86-year-old granny and great granny is devastated as they are finding it difficult to change their travel arrangements at such short notice.

Breaking news

The RMS was due to depart Simons Town drydock today 02 May for sea trials, this however didn’t happen and the RMS is still in Simons Town. It is hope that news of the delay will be forthcoming .

St Helena travel frustration.

Travel to St Helena by sea and air gets even more frustrating to say the least. The recent news of the RMS with a further problem and the Ascension runway closed for emergency repairs and despite all of this St Helena has an operational airport but no air service. Rumours are on the Streets of Jamestown and across social media stating that the RMS will sail on one engine from Capetown this week as it did on the previous voyage.  Yesterday these rumours were confirmed by a press release from the St Helena Government. St Helena Line has notified the Islands government that a further problem has been detected with the starboard propeller on the RMS St Helena. The problem shows that the starboard propeller blades are locked into a forward position. A decision has been made to continue the voyage to the Island on one engine which will result in a delay to arrival times to the island and also the rest of the voyage.

RMS St Helena
RMS St Helena in Drydock in Simonstown

Regarding Ascension, the government has said that routine flights from the UK to Ascension and the Falkland Islands will not take place from the 14th April until further notice due to safety concerns as a result of ongoing issues with the Islands runway. A number of people are booked to depart Brize Norton (UK) on the 14th and 19th April 2017 to fly to Ascension in time to connect with the RMS for onward travel to St Helena. The press release states that passenger lists are been reviewed and a decision on the best way forward will be announced shortly.

The whole situation is very discouraging and in most cases annoying for travellers and more especially for those who have had to cancel their passages because they are unable to follow through on their planned itinerary.

Cargo operations were ongoing and the RMS was scheduled to depart PM on Friday 14th April (yesterday) however we are waking up to further news that the RMS is still alongside at Duncan dock in Cape town and is due to depart at 10 AM this morning.

Social media reacts as the frustration deepens”.
A Island businessman writes.
“The time has come for SHG to think outside the box!! We have a functioning airport, why not charter an able aircraft that can safely land here…bring in Saints that are now cut off due to Ascension runway and make things a little more positive than this huge negativity? ????”

“The Tannoy announces The RMS will sail to St Helena on one propeller”

St Helena Police chief departs St Helena today for another top Island.

St Helena’s Police Chief Trevor Botting and his wife Sarah departed St Helena today on the RMS St Helena.  Trevor who has been in post on Island for three and half years as the Chief of Police within the St Helena Police directorate will take up a new role as a Police commissioner in the Turks and Caicos after some well earnt leave in the UK.

Trevor who has implemented many new strategies within the police directorate spoke about the changes he had made on St Helena which can be heard in an interview here online about his time on St Helena.

RMS st helena

RMS St Helena’s historical and final journey to London along the River Thames

Despite a grey overcast afternoon in central London on Tuesday 07th June 2016 the RMS St Helena began her historical and final journey along London’s River Thames from Tilbury docks where she has been moored since Sunday 5th June 2016 after completing her last North bound two week voyage since departing St Helena as the Royal mail ship St Helena with 123 passengers on board.

RMS Tilbury Docks
RMS St Helena departing Tilbury docks as she is about to enter the River Thames for her Journey to HMS Belfast.

Saints and members of the public with connections to St Helena from all over the UK gathered along the banks of the River and at London’s Tower Bridge to welcome and watched the RMS St Helena’s memorable moment as she passed under Tower Bridge at 16.45 (BST) making her way alongside of HMS Belfast where she will be moored until Friday 10th June.

Among the crowd gathered were onlookers, some whom had travelled from the South of England and as far as Aberdeen in Scotland. Also viewing the moment were some former crew members of the old and new RMS, one of them being Carl Stroud who had travelled to the UK from the Falkland Islands and who had incidentally served on board the RMS for nine years during her service to the Island.Many of the viewers watching from the river banks along with crew members on board witnessed what they all described as a touching and emotional moment as the RMS sailed along the Thames escorted by two tugs.  “The RMS had been part our their lives for almost 26 years”

RMS St Helena on London visit
Crew on the Monkey Island of the RMS St Helena sailing on the River Thames in London

Audiences from around the world also watched live social media feeds such as face book, Instagram and twitter as the river journey unfolded.  Crew members and others on board posted images and  took selfies and posted them online as the RMS left Tilbury and made her journey towards the HMS Belfast.  Jackie Leo the Ships Hotel Services Officer posted a final image to mark the journeys end with a selfie alongside of the HMS Belfast “what a wonderful evening”

During the time The RMS is moored alongside of the HMS Belfast she will host invited guests at promotional events on board to promote St Helena as a tourist destination, one of the highlights will be the visit of the Princess Royal who will attend a reception on the Wednesday, Matt Gillian a Michelin star top UK chef who lives in Hampshire will also be in on board for a promotional event. Matt who was born in the UK but has a St Helenian heritage as his mother was born and bought up on the Island. Matt was also a winner of the Great British Menu a BBC TV series that was aired on British TV late last year. British TV presenter Tim Wonnacott who visited St Helena earlier this year was also a guest at Wednesday’s reception.

The RMS St Helena
The RMS St Helena passing through Tower Bridge

ITV and other media organisations covered the story of the RMS on British television emphasising on the history of the ship and St Helena’s new era of air travel that is about to change the island forever.  Captain Andrew Greentree the ship’s master spoke to BBC news about the life of the RMS and its important role to St Helena over the years, Jackie Leo said that St Helena is looking forward to international tourists arriving.  Mrs Kedall Worboys, St Helena’s UK representative also spoke to the news in an emotional speech about how proud she was of the RMS and its crew that sailed on her over the years. The RMS will depart London at around 17.30 on Friday the 10th June and will make her way down the River Thames and return to the Tilbury Cruise Terminal where she will be opened to the public for viewing on prearranged tour tickets that were available online a few weeks ago.  The RMS St Helena is scheduled to depart Tilbury at 16.00 on the Tuesday 14th June for St Helena.

RMS St Helena arriving at Tower Bridge London
Jackie Leo on board the RMS St Helena – London.

The RMS will continue to serve as the lifeline to the South Atlantic Islands and is scheduled to continue its service until the end of September, sailing between Cape

The RMS St Helena along side of HMS Belfast

Town, Ascension Island and St Helena.  Originally the RMS was scheduled to be

decommissioned and sold in July of this year shortly after the St Helena Airport was due to open in May of this year, however due to the wind shear and safety concerns at the airport the life of the RMS has been extended with the hope that procedures are put in place to enable commercial flight operations soon from the islands airport.


RMS st helena

RMS goes up for sale as it ends its service to St Helena

It has been made official by St Helena Line that from July 2016, the passenger and cargo Royal mail Ship St Helena will be removed from service. The RMS St Helena is intended for sale and London ship broker CW Kellock & Co Ltd has already been appointed to oversee the sale of the RMS. This news comes as expected to many who live on St Helena and passengers from around the world who have travelled on the vessel many times, everyone with connections to St Helena and the RMS Somehow cannot but feel that it formed part of the Islands life line.

RMS Funnel
RMS Funnel

The RMS St Helena has been attached to the Island and has been in operation for more than a quarter of a century therefore the impact of its absence affect the entire community locally on St Helena and abroad.

For the many years that the vessel has served the people of St Helena, it was managed by St Helena Line Ltd

St Helena being a remote South Atlantic Island meant that movement to and from the island was sufficiently served by the ship and this is where attachment stemmed from. This mode of transport has finally been phased out for what we will remember as a UK Overseas Territory located 1200 miles off the West coast of Africa in the South Atlantic.

RMS St Helena
RMS St Helena anchored in Jamestown

Due to the size of the island, the RMS St Helena was adequate to meet all the transportation needs of the island at the time. The RMS was built specifically to serve the St Helena route, the ship was constructed in 1989 in Aberdeen Scotland. Even though she served a relatively small island the ship was big enough for all of the Island needs, with the ability to accommodate 156 passengers in its 56 cabins and at the same time carried enough cargo for the Island. A ship of this magnitude needed a large crew to manage her and she was therefore staffed with a total of 56 officers and crew members.

A ship that carries the RMS prefix had the permission to carry mail for the British Royal Mail under contract. This task dates back to the 1840s and today only four ships have the contract. The RMS St Helena is one out of the four ships and now the latest to drop that designation.

The RMS St Helena has been operating on a tight schedule since it was commissioned. The regular schedule has been operating out of Cape

RMS St Helena in James bay
RMS St Helena in James bay

Town but calling at St Helena and Ascension Island.  A new airport is set to be opened on St Helena on 21st May 2016 and shortly after this the ship will cease its operations. It is assumed that with the new airport the majority of passengers will fly to St Helena and cargo movement will happen by another sea freight contractor. It is hope that the airport will be the newest and most widely used means of transport to the island.

RMS along side at Cardiff Docks
RMS along side at Cardiff Docks

It is just under 100 days to decommissioning date and the last few voyages will happen over the next few weeks to mark the grand finale to a long but historic service to the people of St Helena. The RMS is scheduled to call at Tristan da Cunha then head north followed by a farewell voyage to the UK. She is expected to visit the port of London then be moored alongside HMS Belfast off Tower Pier starting 7th to 10th June 2016 she will then sail south to St Helena on her final voyage.

The future of RMS St Helena. The hope for the future of the RMS St Helena has not been determined yet but continued service in another part of the world will enable the ship to continue its service to humanity.

The RMS holds many memories for almost everyone who has sailed on her.

Here is a collection of a few photos that was taken over the years.

Do you have any photographic memories that you would like to share of the RMS?

St Helena

AWSM signs freight service contract with St Helena

It has been officially announced from The St Helena Government last week that AW Ship management has signed a contract with the St Helena Government to provide a sea freight service for St Helena when the RMS St Helena ends it service to the Island later this year.

It is hope that the transition of the service will be seamless, from the RMS departing from the service and the takeover of the new AWSM service. It is hope that the service will run every 5 weeks from Cape Town to St Helena and also include Ascension Island. It is anticipated that the service will run every 4 weeks after a year of operation.

RMS St Helena
RMS St Helena

AW Ship management will now procure a ship that will be dedicated to this service which will be capable of docking alongside of the newly built jetty in Rupert’s Bay.

Cargo bookings are now been accepted for the new service, AWSM are also making a small number cabins available for passengers wishing to continue using the sea travel service.

This dedicated service will be owned by AWSM and will be delivered with the same dedication as the RMS St Helena.

Freight rates have not been released, but they have been submitted to SHG for approval.

There is potential that the rates will be different to the RMS as there has been no Government subsidy allocated for this service as it was with the RMS St Helena.