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RMS St Helena funnel

The final farewell to the RMS St Helena

The details of the final voyage of the venerable RMS St Helena have been released.  Although everyone was aware the iconic ship would sail away from the island forever, having dutifully served St Helena for the past 27 years, there were still a few who didn’t believe the day would come.

Now islanders are beginning preparations for the final voyage send-off.  These include a cocktail party on board before the RMS departs on her last voyage from Cape Town on Wednesday, 24 January. The RMS will sail from ‘F Berth’ where the Cape Town Caledonian Pipe Band, dignitaries and others will be able to wave goodbye to the vessel. Director of St Helena Line, Mrs Kedell Worboys MBE, will present Captain Adam Williams with a 27ft ‘paying off’ pennant, to mark the 27 years’ service of the RMS St Helena, which will be flown from her mast as she sets sail.

RMS St Helena crew

The RMS arrives at St Helena on Tuesday, 6 February, when the on-island activities for her farewell begin. A service of thanksgiving will be held at St James’ Church for RMS crew – this will conclude with a procession to the sea front. A ‘memory wall’ will be placed in various locations throughout the week for members of the public to share their memories of the RMS.

The public are invited to attend an open day on-board on a specially created public holiday, 9 February. Guests will be able to visit The Bridge, from where they will get a birds-eye view of the cargo decks and open deck spaces. The lifeboats will also be open so visitors can see what they look like from the inside.

For the final farewell, the island will have a chance to say goodbye to the RMS crew on Saturday, 10 February, when all crew members will proceed from the Grand Parade in Jamestown, through the Arch, making their way along the sea front before returning to the ship.

RMS St Helena

The RMS will depart St Helena at 4pm on Saturday 10 February, a time that will be etched in St Helena’s history books. The 27ft paying off pennant will be walked from the sea front to the bottom steps where Kedell, with the assistance of a few school competition winners, will again present the pennant to Captain Williams. Members of the public will be allowed access to the bottom steps to witness this and to say a final farewell to the island’s last lifeline.

3 Responses

  • Jerry Evans

    Both my wife and myself (June and Jerry Evans) will be very sad to see the old RMS go as we were very privileged to be at the launching of her in Aberdeen and we have had some wonderful and unforgettable times on her with the always wonderful crew and Captains.
    Yours Sincerely
    June and Jerry

  • Unita van Vuuren

    Unita van Vuuren Cape Town 18 Feb 2018.

    I was privileged to experience a memorable journey from Cape Town to St Helena island and back on this wonderful vessel called RMS…
    Met wonderful crew members and still in communication with them as friends now. Beautiful moments when only the dolphins accompanied the RMS and Table Moutain becomes a speck and vast seas awaits… the soft purring engin was responsible for a good night sleep…. the best foods & 5star hospitality service… loved the bovril drinks so frequently served for seasick passengers… who can forget the Captains ball… all dressed-up to shimmer & shine!!!
    Now she won’t be no more but those beautiful memories will remain forever.
    Thank you Captain and crew and Saints of St Helena. This island will always be kept warm in my heart…love you deeply especially the people.

  • Katy Faulkner

    I can’t believe how quickly the time has passed! We travelled from St Helena back to Cardiff on her 2nd voyage as she had broken down for the outward bound trip and an old ferry was chartered to take us out there! The whole experience of travelling there and back in different vessels and our stay at Salt Spring was a fantastic one! We loved St Helena and her people.

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