St Helena Line (SHL) has announced that it is to withdraw its passenger cargo Royal Mail ship St Helena (RMS) from service in February 2018 and has appointed London ship broker CW Kellock & Co Ltd to handle its sale.
Operated by SHL on behalf of St Helena Government (SHG), 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 1,200 miles off the west coast of Africa in the South Atlantic.
It was built in the UK in 1990 specifically for the St Helena route. At 6,767 gross tonnes, it can accommodate 156 passengers in 56 cabins, together with a cargo capacity of 3750 cbm bale, and 92 TEU (of which 17 reefer). It is staffed by 56 officers and crew.
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 ship currently operates out of Cape Town calling at both St Helena and Ascension Islands 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flights to St Helena on 14 October 2017 providing the main passenger access to the island, RMS St Helena will be withdrawn from service.
RMS St Helena is now embarked on its final programmed voyages and is expected to finish its last voyage in Cape Town on 15 February 2018.
SHL has appointed London ship brokers CW Kellock & Co Ltd (Part of the Eggar Forrester Group), to handle the sale.
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”.