This is an old version of http://sainthelenaisland.info from June 2010, which is for curiosity purposes only.
To see the up-to-date version of this page go to http://sainthelenaisland.info/rms.htm.

 

The RMS St. Helena

The last operating Royal Mail Ship

Skip to:  Why 'RMS'  About our RMS

The RMS St. Helena, seen here in James Bay

Why 'RMS'

So why is our ship the 'RMS' St. Helena?  Why not just the 'St. Helena'?

RMS stands for Royal Mail Ship, and shows that she is a seagoing vessel that carries mail under contract by Royal Mail.  The designation dates back to 1840 - also the year in which the Penny Black stamp was introduced.  Famous ships carrying the designation RMS have included

Having the designation "RMS" was valued by ship owners because it was seen as a mark of quality by customers - the mail had to be on time.

About our RMS

The RMS St. Helena is the last ship to carry the designation which actually carries mail (the Queen Mary 2 has the designation but is a cruise ship and does not provide a scheduled mail delivery service).   She

  • was built for the purpose in Aberdeen by Hall, Russell and Company and entered service in 1990.  She was scheduled for retirement in or around 2012, the proposed opening date of the St. Helena Airport; however this project is now ‘paused’ so it is assumed that the RMS St. Helena will be refurbished or replaced.

  • is said to be the last ocean going passenger ship built in a British shipyard.

  • is British registered, 6,767 gross tonnes and has berths for a maximum of 128 passengers plus 56 officers and crew.

The RMS maintains many of the traditions of the ocean liner era, including the captain’s cocktail party in the main lounge, the traditional crossing the line ceremony and a cricket match on deck between passengers and crew.

For more information on the RMS St. Helena, or to book a passage, please see her website at www.rms-st-helena.com.  For more about the history of Royal Mail Ships see the Royal Mail Ship page on Wikipedia.

James Bay from the top of Shy Road, with the RMS in harbour

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This is an old version of http://sainthelenaisland.info from June 2010, which is for curiosity purposes only.
To see the up-to-date version of this page go to http://sainthelenaisland.info/rms.htm.