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Operator to Withdraw RMS St Helena from Unique South Atlantic Service Seeks Buyer for Passenger Cargoship

5th October 2017
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One of just four RMS ships in the world, RMS St. Helena is to be withdrawn early in 2018. The passenger cargoship made a historic once off visit to London (as above) last year when moored alongside HMS Belfast. The RMS also notably made a maiden call to Dublin and Cork during the mid-1990's. One of just four RMS ships in the world, RMS St. Helena is to be withdrawn early in 2018. The passenger cargoship made a historic once off visit to London (as above) last year when moored alongside HMS Belfast. The RMS also notably made a maiden call to Dublin and Cork during the mid-1990's. Photo: JEHAN ASHMORE

#RMSstHelena - Operators of one of just four of the world's surviving Royal Mail Ships, St Helena Line has announced today, that it is to withdraw the passenger cargoship RMS St Helena from service in February 2018. The ship has been appointed to London ship broker CW Kellock & Co Ltd who are to handle her sale.

As previously reported Afloat made a unique visit on board the RMS St. Helena in London last year, a historic once off visit to the ships homeport, having sailed from the south Atlantic Ocean island of St. Helena, one of the most remote places in the world. The ship was making a farewell visit to the UK and notably made a previous cruise-charter visit to Dublin during the 1990's.

Operated by St Helena Line Ltd (SHL) on behalf of the St Helena Government (SHG), the RMS has been part of the Island’s history for over quarter of a century and provided the sole regular means of access to the Island, a remote UK Overseas Territory located 1200 miles off the West coast of Africa in the South Atlantic.

She was built in the UK in 1990 specifically for the St Helena route. At 6,767 gross tonnes, she can accommodate 156 passengers in 56 cabins, together with a cargo capacity of 3750 cbm bale, and 92 teu (of which 17 reefer). She is staffed by 56 officers and crew.

The RMS St Helena is one of only four ships left in the world which has the right to carry the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) prefix. The RMS currently operates out of Cape Town calling at both St Helena and Ascension Island on a regular schedule.

With the start of scheduled passenger flights to St Helena on 14 October 2017 providing the main passenger access to the Island, the RMS St Helena will be withdrawn from service.

The RMS St Helena is now embarked on her final programmed voyages and in the coming weeks will make a farewell call to Tristan da Cunha and then a final voyage to both St Helena and Ascension Island. She is expected to finish her last voyage in Cape Town on 15 February 2018.

SHL has appointed the highly experienced London ship brokers CW Kellock & Co Ltd (Part of the Eggar Forrester Group), to handle the sale and it is hoped that a buyer can be found to continue to trade the vessel elsewhere in the world.

Commenting on the sale process and her withdrawal from service, SHL’s Chairman, Matt Young, said: “The RMS St Helena has played a vital role in sustaining St Helena’s population and, for the past 27 years has been the sole means of regular access to the Island.

“Her combined passenger accommodation and cargo design makes her well suited to a number of different trading options and we are confident that she can continue to play an important role elsewhere in the world.”

 

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