Next week will be a very rare chance to see the last of the government’s ocean-going Royal Mail Ships on a visit to London.

The Royal Mail Ship St Helena was built in 1989 specifically to supply the island of St Helena, a British Overseas Territory deep in the tropical South Atlantic.

The ship used to carry post and cargo to the remote island, but was decommissioned as a postal vessel just last year, as an airport was built on the island to replace it.

Like many of the Royal Mail Ships, she was also a passenger carrying vessel, and although sold off after it carried the final postal dispatch on behalf of the government, she is now UK owned again and thought to be converted into a private vessel.

She is due to arrive in London, and pass through Tower Bridge on Wed 30th Jan at 9:30am and leave on Fri 1st Feb at 10am.

She will be moored up next to HMS Belfast, although not open to the public to visit, you can see the ship from the riverside.

At time of writing, the ship is moored in Tilbury Docks.

Incidentally, the other ocean going RMS ship will never visit London, as it’s a bit too big — it’s the RMS Queen Mary 2, a massive cruise liner.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with:

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

  1. Andrew Gwilt says:

    Might actually go see it as I don’t live too far from Tilbury.

  2. Jennifer Turnbull says:

    I have sailed on this ship. She was very much a working ship that carried passengers to St Helena and not a cruise ship. I loved travelling on her.

    She was the last ship to be built in Aberdeen.

  3. Tim says:

    The Queen Mary is the world’s only ocean liner. Not a cruise ship.

  4. H says:

    This was originally sold to a maritime security firm to operate as a floating armoury in the Indian Ocean. This project didn’t last long and then it was subsequently sold to a company controlled by Formula E, the electric car racing series. The vessel will be converted in the UK over two years to provide HQ, transportation and accommodation for cars and crews for the forthcoming “Extreme E” series in remote locations around the globe. The launch is in London (on the ship) at the end of January hence the “St Helena” presence on the Thames. The new series is to be contested using shared electric chassis with silhouette SUV shells. Race locations include the North Pole, Amazon, Himalayas, TBA desert and remote island venues. No live broadcasting but to be filmed/edited Netflix-style…

  5. Keith Harrington says:

    On her final voyage from Tilbury in June 2016 my friend and our local Museum Curator Jonathan Catton was asked to fire his field Gun as she departed from the Tilbury Landing Stage as a couple of Tugs gave a massive water display.

  6. Geoffrey says:

    I was lucky enough to see RMS St Helena leave Cape Town on its final working voyage to St Helena just over a year ago. There was a Scots Pipe Band and a good crowd to send them off.
    Today Wednesday 30th @ 16.30 I have just checked shipping web site and RMS St Helena is in Pool of London beyond Tower Bridge. I will try and see her pass Southend Pier on Friday.

Home >> News >> London News