RMS St Helena offers new options to Walvis Bay
Feb 14, 2004
The Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Saint Helena will include calls at the Namibian port of Walvis Bay on a regular basis from September, it has been announced.
The revised ‘summer’ schedule will see the passenger/cargo ship operating 20-day round trips between Cape Town, Walvis Bay, St Helena Island and Ascension Island.
The new schedule is the first major tweaking of the sailing schedule in many years for RMS vessels calling at the remote South Atlantic islands and will provide Saint Helenians and others a quicker means of travelling between the African mainland, Europe and St Helena.
According to Andrew Weir, who operates the service on contract to the UK government, the new three weekly service via Walvis Bay will provide an opportunity to market a coastal cargo and passenger service.
St Helenians (or ‘Saints’ as they refer to themselves) will have the option of travelling by sea to Walvis Bay and flying from there to South Africa or elsewhere without spending additional time on the ship. One example would enable them to fly back to Walvis Bay after a week in Cape Town with time to rejoin the ship for the return to the island.
Other options include Namibians or South Africans taking a sea voyage to Cape Town or Walvis Bay for a holiday before flying home.
RMS St Helena is due in Walvis Bay on 18 February and Cape Town three days later as part of a trial voyage. The 6,500-gt ship, which was built in 1990 and is registered in the UK, carries up to 128 passengers and 2,000 tonnes of cargo.