RMS St. Helena

This item appears on page 77 of the April 2009 issue.

The last Royal Mail ship — which sails the South Atlantic between St. Helena, Ascension Island, Walvis Bay, Cape Town and Tenerife (and the UK twice a year) — will reach the end of its working life in 2010.

The UK Dept. for Int’l Development had announced plans in 2005 to build an airport on St. Helena, to open in 2010; however, due to government delays and the credit crunch, the project was placed on hold in November 2008. If construction started immediately, the airfield would not be completed until after the date the RMS St. Helena is to be decommissioned.

Until then, voyages of three to 34 days can be booked. A 9-day cruise with two nights at St. Helena costs £1,379-£2,589 (near $1,878-$3,527), including flight from the UK to Cape Town but not including airfare from Ascension to the UK (one-way apex fares from £658).

Contact RMS St. Helena (Andrew Weir Shipping, Ltd., Dexter House, 2 Royal Mint Ct., London, EC3N 4XX, U.K.; phone 020 7575 6480, fax 7575 6200, www.rms-st-helena.com).