Before You Go

Travelling on RMS St Helena is a very pleasant experience – that is our constant aim – but it is always useful to have information about the minor things that make the difference between a good voyage and an excellent one. Our reservations department is always available to give help and information to make that difference but here are just a few points which we hope you find useful.

Passports and Visas

It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure that passports are valid and that any necessary visas are obtained prior to departure.

Please note the current landing fee at St Helena is £17 for up to 183 days.

Travelling to Ascension Island

Owing to a change in the rules of entry into Ascension Island all passengers joining the RMS and leaving the vessel in Ascension must have an Ascension Island Entry Permit.

It is the responsibility of every passenger to ensure they have a valid entry permit. We regret to advise that without this document the passenger will not be allowed to join the RMS as the Ascension Island Government has advised that individuals without a permit will not be allowed to stay on Ascension.

If this document has not been obtained or it is not in the passengers possession at time of embarkation and as a consequence the passenger cannot join the RMS then that passenger will not be entitled to any fare refund.

Further information and blank entry permits can be obtained by visiting www.ascension-island.gov.ac.

Once filled in the permit will need to be validated by Ascension Island Government.

Passengers can contact Ascension Island Government direct for validation e-mail aig.admin@ascension.gov.ac or fax + 247 6152. Alternatively AW Ship Management Ltd or Solomon and Co. (St Helena) plc can obtain validation on your behalf for a £10 administration fee.

Download the Entry Permit Application form here.

Also it is essential for visitors to have medical insurance which includes medivac.

Vaccinations and Medicines

There are no mandatory vaccinations for regular sectors of the voyage but we recommend your tetanus immunisation is up to date.

Although the ship has good medical facilities, if you are on medication make quite sure you have an adequate supply of any prescribed drugs. It is also important that the Ship’s doctor should be made aware of any medical conditions that may affect the passenger’s health during the voyage.

Medical & Accident Insurance on St Helena.

The Government of St Helena require all persons visiting the island to have adequate medical insurance which covers the full duration of their stay on the island and includes coverage for overseas medical referral if required.  This requirement applies to all individuals who are not current residents of St Helena, regardless of their nationality or place of birth. You will need to show proof of your insurance to St Helena Immigration officials on your arrival at Jamestown.

Insurance

All passengers are responsible for ensuring that they have adequate travel, repatriation and cancellation insurance and may be asked to provide proof by agents or representatives of Andrew Weir Shipping. Passengers over the age of 70 are requested to provide Fit to Travel Certification from their doctor within the month of travelling.

Electricity/voltage

Electricity supply to all cabins is 220/240 volt AC, with standard UK 3-square-pin sockets suitable for appliances such as hairdryers and hot roll curlers. Sockets for electric shavers are fitted in all cabins.

Currency and cards

Currencies accepted on board are UK Pound Sterling, the St Helena Pound, USA Dollar and South African Rand. Travellers’ cheques, MasterCard and Visa are also accepted. Limited exchange facilities against the UK pound are available at a commission rate.

On St Helena only St Helenian currency and Sterling is accepted. There is a bank in Jamestown and currency can be exchanged and cash can be withdrawn from personal accounts using a PIN number. Personal cheques cannot be used and credit cards are not widely accepted. Travellers’ cheques can be exchanged at the Post Office in Jamestown.

Dress code

Dress during the day is informal. Swimwear is not suitable for the dining saloon or the lounges. For dinner and in the lounges during the evening it is recommended that a guide is taken from the Ship’s officers’ evening rig announced each day in the Ship’s newspaper:

Red Sea Rig – informal, open neck shirt for gentlemen – tie not required;

Sundown Rig – semi-formal, long sleeved shirt with tie – jacket not required;

Mess Dress – formal evening wear or lounge suit.

What’s included in the price

While all accommodation, meals and most activities on board are included free, a charge is made for bingo, laundry, medical facilities, some sporting activities, organised shore excursions, souvenirs from the shop on board and drinks.

Gratuities

Gratuities are not solicited on board. However, should passengers wish to reward certain crew for exceptional service at the end of the voyage, this is entirely at the passenger’s discretion. Guidance may be sought from the Purser.

Smoking policy

The vessel has a No Smoking policy throughout the accommodation block.  Smoking is only permitted on the open deck.

Communication and mobiles

There is very little mobile signal onboard and no mobile coverage in St Helena or Ascension Island. However broadband and WiFi are accessible on the islands. Passengers can also purchase a phone card from the ship’s Bureau to phone home.

Travel on the island

It is strongly recommended that you book a hire drive vehicle before you arrive.

Baggage policy

When passage is booked on the RMS St Helena, the passenger is granted a fixed baggage allowance.

Definition of Baggage

Baggage or luggage is defined as effects for personal use eg:- toiletries clothing etc. Everything else is to be considered as cargo which includes but is not limited to furniture, household electrical equipment (eg: TV’s, washing machines, refrigerators) car parts and building materials.

Items that are to be considered as cargo and any excess baggage over and above the below mentioned allowances will attract freight or small parcel payment in accordance with those tariffs prevailing at the time of travel.

Cabin Baggage

The cabin baggage allowance is a maximum of two suitcases, bags or packages weighing no more than 23 kilos each (this complies with current Health & Safety Manual Handling Regulations).

Cabin baggage is to have a completed yellow cabin baggage label attached. This label will be sent to you with your ticket by your booking agent.

Hold Baggage

In addition to the above stated cabin baggage allowance passengers are allowed to have up to 1 cubic metre of hold baggage. The baggage allowance for children will be in proportion to the value of the fare paid.

All hold baggage is to have a completed blue and white hold baggage label attached. This label will be sent to you with your ticket by your booking agent.

Dangerous Cargo

Items which can be construed as dangerous cargo are not acceptable as baggage items and will attract tariff freight rates as valid at time of embarkation.

The shipment of any of the following items classed as Dangerous Goods will require the submission of a fully completed Dangerous Goods declaration / application:

♦ Explosives
♦ Fireworks
♦ Compressed or Liquid Gases of any type
♦ Inflammable Items or Liquids
♦ Spontaneously Combustible Items or Substances which generate their own oxygen
♦ Poisons
♦ Infectious Materials such as untreated skins or hides
♦ Corrosives
♦ Radio Active Materials (with the exception of pacemakers)

The application forms for the carriage of the above items classed as Dangerous Goods are available on request to AWSL or their local agent and must be submitted to the local agent at the port of loading at least two weeks prior to shipment or embarkation of the passenger carrying such items. Loading of Dangerous Goods can only take place when the shipper / passenger is in receipt of an acceptance note and Dangerous Goods reference number which has been issued by AWSL or its Port Agent if a direct cargo booking request is made to them. These items will only be accepted for carriage on the condition that they may be stowed “On deck”, or within the vessels hold at the Chief Officers option.

Foodstuffs

Fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meat are not acceptable on any voyage except as full paying refrigerated cargo unless shipped as a Refrigerated Small Parcel and the appropriate fee paid.

Please note there are import restrictions at all ports and these regulations change from time to time therefore, please check with local agents before booking.

Biosecurity

There are strict controls on what you can bring in to St Helena, please click here to view our Guidelines for visitors to St Helena document.