ROYAL Mail Ship (RMS) St Helena arrived on the Thames yesterday as part of her farewell tour.
The passenger and cargo ship has been the only means of accessing the remote island of St Helena in the South Atlantic but the opening of a new airport is forcing her retirement after 26 years of service.
The 105 metre long vessel is the last working Royal Mail Ship in the world and was built in 1989 specifically to supply the island which is 1200 miles off the west coast of Africa.
RMS St Helena sailed up the Thames yesterday and entered Tilbury Docks where she remains until Tuesday afternoon. She will then go up the river and sail through Tower Bridge at 1645.
The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, will attend a reception on board the ship on Wednesday and St Helena heads back down the river to Tilbury on Friday afternoon.
The last working Royal Mail Ship coming up the Thames
RMS St Helena passes cruise ship Crystal Symphony at Tilbury
RMS St Helena in Tilbury docks