Ascension : Notice from the Administrator
Submitted by The Islander (Ascension Island Government) 09.08.2012 (Article Archived on 23.08.2012)
The following press release was issued by the Government of St Helena on Monday 6 August.
Notice from the Administrator
The following press release was issued by the Government of St Helena on Monday 6 August. Please note that details of the new RMS schedule can be obtained from the Shipping Office.
NEW RMS SCHEDULE IMPROVES ACCESS TO ST HELENA
The new schedule for the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) St Helena, 2012-15, is published today. Despite the current low demand in the cruise and general travel market, the new programme represents a remarkable vote of confidence in St Helena as a destination.
The schedule runs to April 2015, in order to provide certainty, detail, and the time needed for promotions and bookings. Careful consideration has been given to the many competing demands on the RMS and changing trends, aiming as far as possible to meet the needs of all interested parties. The new schedule has emerged after drawing on input from on-Island stakeholders, Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd, St Helena Line, Masters of the RMS and others.
The new schedule provides record numbers of opportunities to access St Helena, and:
· Sets a very long schedule (to April 2015) to give certainty for planning and promoting visits, and preparing businesses
· The number of Ascension calls is unchanged at 16-18 each year. In the current low-demand environment, this represents a very good deal for Ascension
· Achieves record numbers of visitor bed nights on St Helena, increasing by at least 15%
· The highest number of inbound calls from Cape Town, increasing by 23%-38% per annum over the next three years
· All RMS stays on St Helena will now be for 4 or 8 nights (apart from one 3-night stay), giving increased options on travel times and budgets
· The Tristan da Cunha call (Oct 2013) will provide the trip of a lifetime to both islands, for around 130+ visitors (who might otherwise not visit either island)
· New additional accommodation on the RMS to cater for increased numbers, particularly over Christmas/New Year (the ship has recently come out of dry dock, where additional berths were added)
The global cruise and long haul travel markets are currently very weak, but the new RMS Schedule offers additional marketing and promotion opportunities to benefit Saints and visitors alike.
Julian Morris, Chief Executive of Economic Development, said: ‘The RMS St Helena is a quality Saint-provided experience and St Helena is a remarkable destination, which combine into a uniquely attractive package. The new, extended schedule now gives all of us the chance to work together to maximise tourism opportunities.’
Longer-term options are now being examined (beyond 2015, when the RMS is due to be decommissioned), including the possible establishment of an airbridge between St Helena and Ascension Island.
The following is a list of calls RMS will make to Ascension Island in 2013:
Voyage 184 2 and 8 January
Voyage 185 28 January
Voyage 186 17 February
Voyage 187 9 March
Voyage 188 30 March
Voyage 189 19 April
Voyage 190 8 May
Voyage 191 28 May
Voyage 192 17 June
Voyage 194 2 August
Voyage 196 6 September
Voyage 198 14 October
Voyage 199 3 November
Voyage 201 15 and 20 December
6 August 2012