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Baton sets off on its last ever sea journey to St Helena

Queen's Baton Relay - Sea journey to St Helena

It’s travelled by traditional canoe in Kiribati and amphibious sea craft in New Zealand, and on Friday 14 February the Queen’s Baton Relay began its last ever sea journey to the tiny island of St Helena.

Historically, the Royal Mail Ship St Helena has been the only means of regular transportation the British island of St Helena has, ferrying passengers and cargo to and from Cape Town in South Africa.

A new airport, due to be opened in 2016, will replace this sea route through the Atlantic Ocean, marking a finish to the baton’s traditional journey to St Helena. What an end of an era!

As the baton begins its final five-day crossing from South Africa to one of the most remote islands in the world, here are five facts you might not know about the legendary RMS St Helena.

Five things you didn't know about the RMS St Helena

Just like the Queen’s Baton, the RMS St Helena is Scottish!

Built by Aberdeen shipbuilder Hall, Russell & Company and entering service in 1990, the RMS St Helena is currently operated by Glasgow-based shipping company Andrew Weir Shipping Ltd.

The Queen’s Baton isn’t RMS St Helena’s only royal connection.

HRH Princes Royal travelled on RMS St Helena when visiting the island in 2002.

Both of the RMS St Helena captains are from the island itself.

The officers write, choreograph and perform their own on-board cabaret for passengers!

The RMS St Helena has hosted some truly extraordinary cargo in its time.

The ship has carried everything from toilet rolls and bags of cement to crocodiles, a fire engine and of course – the Queen’s Baton.

St Helena is the 40th destination of the Queen’s Baton Relay.

The baton will travel onwards to Ascension Island and the Falklands, making its way through the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe before arriving at the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on 23 July 2014. It has already journeyed through Asia , Oceania , and Africa !

Check out the latest from the Queen's Baton Relay as it embarks on its momentous journey through the Commonwealth.

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