For over 27 years it has been a memorable adventure for most tourist class passengers who have stepped on board the RMS St Helena and made a journey of a lifetime to our Island.
The RMS has been memorable for most who have travelled on her over the years, and over the next few months it will be no different if you are lucky enough to travel on this unique ship for the very last time.
Cruise international has once again recognised the RMS and St Helena for the second time running in two separate categories for both the ship and the unique St Helena destination that has been shortlisted with in the cruise and best adventure category for the cruise international awards 2017.
Cruise international is a UK independent cruise holiday planner and travel guide which offers information, advertising for the travel industry and the holiday enthusiast.
The magazine and website has a large subscription and attracts readers from around the world.
This might be the last time for the RMS to be featured and recognise on the large stage as she is due to go out of service in the coming months.
Everyone involved should be proud of this recognition and is encouraged to vote for what could be the last time the RMS is mentioned as an ultimate cruise experience to St Helena.
Voting closes on the 18th August 2017 and the voting link can be found here.
Remember to scroll down to the best adventure category and select RMS St Helena as an option.
Remember to scroll to the best destination under the cruise experience category and select St Helena from the drop down.
Incidentally in the next two weeks a 58-minute documentary “The last farewell” featuring the RMS St Helena will be released for sale. This documentary directed by Tony Leo and produced by TL Productions features life on board the RMS and it also features the last north bound Uk voyage to London. The film details are available here http://www.sthelenalocal.com/rms-st-helena-film-release-the-last-farewell-voyage/
After a few days of life in the spotlight of media and other high-profile visitors whilst moored on the River Thames the RMS St Helena will depart HMS Belfast and make her way towards the entrance of Tower Bridge and proceed along the River towards the London cruise terminal at Tilbury where tomorrow around 600 members of the public will enjoy a free tour of the ship that was pre-arranged prior to her arrival in the UK. The RMS is expected to depart at 17.30 and arrive at 17.45 BST today at Tower Bridge.
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As onlookers gathered along the River near London’s Tower Bridge this afternoon A typical Saint Helena atmosphere gathered a memento, “within a short period of time the passing of the RMS under the bridge was over in a flash” quoted one onlooker who had travelled all the way from Wiltshire to witness the RMS arriving and departing the River Thames. The clicking of camera shutters and tones of mobile phones capturing the moment could be heard in the afternoon breeze as the sound of the London Bridge opened for the last time to let the Royal Mail Ship St Helena passed below. Here are some of those moments captured that will probably never be witness ever again in history.
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.
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”
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.
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.
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
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.
Further to the release of ticket information that was posted yesterday. It has been confirmed that the visit to the RMS St Helena in London will be freeof charge and will not attract any cost. Please remember ticket applications will begin at 10 am on Monday and a maximum of 4 tickets per application will be accepted via the online booking form. Please have personal details and photo I’D ready when booking here www.intercruises.com/rmssthelena
After much demand for information about purchasing tickets to board the RMS St Helena during her visit to London next month, information has been released. Applications for tickets to visit the RMS at The Port of London cruise terminal in Tilbury on Saturday 11 June 2016 can be made via this website www.intercruises.com/rmssthelenafrom Monday 16 May 2016 at 10 am (uk time)
Each applicant can request up to the maximum of four tickets. Each applicant is required to complete the online application form on the website www.intercruises.com/rmssthelena The application form requires each applicant to provide the following.
Personal contact details.
Photo ID details.
Each person boarding the RMS must show their photo ID in order to comply with international port security regulations. Tickets will be offered in accurate time slots at 09.00hrs, 10.30hrs, 12noon, 13.30hrs, 15.00hrs and 16.30hrs. You will be required to arrive 30 minutes prior to your allocated time slot. The website will not show immediate confirmation of your ticket however applicants will be advised by no later than Wednesday 25th May 2016 if they have been successful to obtain a slot, On confirmation of ticket approval you will also be provided with more detailed information about the visit. Visitors who are using public transportation to get the location can use the nearest train station at Tilbury Town. Tilbury town has a direct link from Liverpool Street, A shuttle bus service will also be in operation between Tilbury Town station and the cruise terminal on that day. There has been no published information regarding cost, however we are seeking details on this and we will update this post if there are any costs for the visit. Please subscribe to our mailing list to get immediate updates direct to your inbox.
Over the last few weeks we have been focusing on updates on the RMS St Helena’s final movement and its service to St Helena. The announcement of the Airports delayed opening yesterday must had an impact on the RMS St Helena’s future and its role in the South
Atlantic, however the last journey to the UK continues as scheduled, The RMS St Helena is due to arrive at The port of Tilbury on the 5th June which lies on the north shore of the River Thames, 25 miles downstream from London Bridge. On arrival at the port of Tilbury The RMS will disembark passengers and cargo before she begins her journey up river on June 7th 2016 where she will be moored next to HMS Belfast at Queens walk in London. (For satnav users SE1 2JH) During the time The RMS is in London, various receptions will be hosted on board to promote St Helena as a tourist destination and also to promote investment opportunities.
The RMS will be opened to the public on June 11th 2016, this will take place at the cruise terminal and she will accommodate up to 500 visitors between 9am and 5pm, visitors will need to apply for a ticket to visit the RMS. Details on how to obtain tickets for the visit will be released shortly.
The RMS will depart the same evening to start loading cargo and she will return to the cruise terminal on Monday 13th June to prepare for a final farewell reception this will be followed by the loading of passengers and the RMS is expected to depart on Tuesday the 14th June 2016. The RMS St Helena which is 6,767 tonnes of steel was built in 1989 in Aberdeen. It was built to replace the original old RMS St Helena (Northland Prince) which was built in 1963. The RMS originally was estimated to cost £19.5 million to build with a capacity of a maximum of 128 passengers and 56 crew members. Currently the ship has a capacity of carrying 55 crew members, 156 passengers and up to 1,800 tons of cargo. This was after it was upgraded to meet the demand of the Saints and passengers who visit the Island. The upgrade which was done in 2012 included fitting an additional 24 cabin berths and a new gym. The ship has been the only bridge between St Helena Island and the World since it commenced its services in 1990. It was however launched by Prince Edward on 31st October 1989. The RMS St Helena has been of service to the Saints for almost 26 years. The RMS St Helena and Cunard’s Queen Mary are the only two Royal Mail Ships designated passenger vessels remaining worldwide. The ship has been the only means of getting supplies to St Helena. It has been responsible for ensuring that St Helena have access to household goods, food, cars, tools, automotive spare parts, paint, wind turbines and clothing. That’s not all as animals such as goats, sheep, and cattle all arrived to the Island aboard the ship.
The ship used to operate the UK to St Helena route. Recently it mainly operated from Cape Town to Ascension Island with occasional voyages to Tristan da Cunha. All passengers traveling aboard the RMS has highlighted that the crew were always friendly and the hospitality has been at a very high standard, some of the crew members have serve on board for the entire life span of the ship, and she has at present two St Helena born captain’s (Captain Rodney Young and Captain Andrew Greentree.
The opening of the airport which is scheduled to open soon will bring a sigh of relief to St Helena, due to the many random failures over the years, on one occasion the RMS had an engine failure, This meant that the passengers and cargo it was ferrying to St Helena were delayed in getting home, after a quick reaction from the ships operators and St Helena Line The MV Jason a much smaller replacement ship was chartered from Greece to complete the journey to the Island in time for Christmas. The inhabitants will miss the unique experience the ship had offered for the past 25 years across the South Atlantic which is coming to an end. The RMS St Helena will remain as one the most important things in the Islands history. Its fame will be as memorable on St Helena as that of Napoleon and Jonathan the tortoise.