Monday, April 11, 2016

For Sale: An Iconic Passenger, Container and General Cargo Vessel

One of the Last Four Remaining RMS Ships to Move On
Shipping News Feature
ST HELENA – WORLDWIDE – For over a quarter of a century the remote UK Overseas Territory located 1200 miles off the West coast of Africa in the South Atlantic has been served by one of the last four ships in the world to carry the iconic Royal Mail Ship (RMS) prefix. Now the RMS St Helena is to be withdrawn from service and sold. Operated by St Helena Line Ltd (SHL) on behalf of the St Helena Government the Passenger Cargo Royal Mail Ship was built in the UK in 1990 specifically for the St Helena route and currently operates out of Cape Town calling at both St Helena and Ascension Island on a regular schedule.

London ship broker CW Kellock & Co Ltd is to handle her sale following the opening of the first airport on St Helena. Due to officially open on 21 May 2016, the new airport will handle the bulk of passenger movements to and from the Island. The ship is now embarked on the final part of her programme and in the coming weeks will call at Tristan da Cunha and then make a farewell voyage north to the UK where she will visit the Port of London and be moored alongside HMS Belfast off Tower Pier from 7 - 10 June 2016.

CW Kellock is part of the Eggar Forrester Group and it is hoped that a buyer can be found to continue to operate the vessel elsewhere in the world. At 6,767 gross tonnes, she can accommodate 156 passengers in 56 cabins, together with a cargo capacity of 3,750 m3 bale, and a container capacity of 92 TEU (of which 17 reefer). She is staffed by 56 officers and crew.

The RMS St Helena will have finished her duties and be ready for delivery to buyers in Cape Town during July/August 2016, and 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 26 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 range of different trading options and we are confident that she can continue to play an important operational role elsewhere in the world”.