Doulos Phos 2010 - located on the resort Island of Bintan in Indonesia - MV Doulos (1977-2010) - MS Franca C (1952-1977) - SS Roma (1948-1952) - SS Medina (1914-1948)

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A superbly built American built ship that sailed into History and she remains with us to this very day!

Please Note: All ssMaritime and my other related ssMaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues and I hope that the well over 680 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers ships I have written on will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts and continue a great deal of information and pleasure!

MV Doulos

“A Ship Like no Other”

From SS Medina built in 1914 to Franca C

& MV Doulos 2010



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“Photographer unknown” please read the Photo notes at the bottom of the page


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Important Notice: MV Doulos – “A Ship Like No Other” is an comprehensive historical account of an amazing ship by the ships official historian, but this is a 100% non-commercial and privately owned Website. It is not connected with any other organization and does not attempt to raise funds. In this work I make mention of past owners as well of her current owner, but the author has no direct connection with them. Although the previous owner, GBA/OM Shipping Mosbach Germany does use a great deal of the authors material in books, brochures and video being the ships historian and I have been kind enough to donate the material, but have never profited from the sale of any of these items. In addition the current owners have also been allowed to make use of material and images owned by the author, but again at a non commercial basis! Reuben Goossens.

This site deals with one of the most a remarkable vintage ships ever built, a ship that has had an enduring life that has not only seen her transformed from a humble freighter, to a humble refugee ship and then into a deluxe passenger cruise ship, that very soon be a century old. Named the SS Medina, she was built in 1914, just two years after the tragic events of the Titanic in Newport, USA. Having served America as a freighter and during two World Wars as a faithful and heroic trooper and Trans-Atlantic supply ship, she was sold in 1948 to become a humble migrant and Refugee ship SS Roma that made a famed single voyage to Australia filled with Eastern European refugees. She was again sold in 1953 to become an Italian liner based on the South American service, but the company realised that she was the perfect for them and to convert her into a luxury all first class cruise ship, and the MS Franca C when she was completed certainly set new and high standards that are still being copied by major cruise companies today! During her time with Costa she received a number of refits and conversions, but she also received two sets of FIAT diesel engines. Eventually the time came, as Costa was obtaining newer ships they sold her to a Christian organisation who refitted her to become a missionary ship and floating book fair and shop. She was renamed the MV Doulos and her aft book hold was laden full with thousands of books, both secular and Christian, onboard some 350 volunteers sailed on her and would taking the Gospel story to countries around the globe, which continued from 1978 through to December 2009. She was sold on March 18, 2010 to a Singaporean, Mr. Eric Saw who sadly had her dragged up on an Indonesian Island to serve as a Hotel, thus it is the end of the ship, and it is now jus a land locked hotel, with her interiors being destroyed and although her exteriors may look much the same, but her interiors have all gone!

This ship has been an extraordinary freighter, trooper, passenger ship, and she was been in active service *longer than any other motorised ocean-going ship in existence for as a ship she sailed the Americas, Trans-Atlantic and the world a full 95 years, but as an actual passenger ship she has covered the oceans of the world for an amazing 68 years.

This vintage ship has had a long and fascinating story and having been sold a number of times she has been spared countless times from the blow torches of the Indian ship breakers, instead she was radically rebuilt over the years, for this reason her history will be fully explored in this work!

*The World Guinness Book of Records officially states that the MV Doulos was indeed the “Worlds oldest active passenger ocean-going ship.”

I trust that you will enjoy the contents of – “MV Doulos - A Ship Like no Other because it is an amazing story. In addition, there are countless photographs; a great number of these were taken by the author, who has spent considerable time on board the Doulos whilst she was in Sydney in April 1999 and then in Brisbane in July and August 2008 when staying on her in Brisbane for the duration, 19 Days and the sailed down to Sydney, with further time on board whilst there! Although I did have an encounter with the ship back in Italy in 1971, but then she was the luxury cruise ship the beautiful MV Franca C with excellent cabins and superb lounges and an elegant restaurant offering some of the finest cuisine possible, far from what is served in the Doulos’ galley when she sailed. But it was at least wholesome! Enjoy the many great stories and memories of what is a small but a great ship in history of maritime development!

Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, author and Lecturer

Official Maritime Historian of the MV Doulos.

Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in 1960.

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Thereafter use this sites Main INDEX below or the links to the next page, located on each page



Main Index

PART ONE            Based on the Doulos’ visit to Sydney in 1999.

Introduction              A Ship Like No Other.

Chapter One            Part One - SS Medina - 1914 – 1940 – her history and World War I.

NEW Page               Part Two – SS Medina – 1940 – 1948 - World War II until sold.

Chapter Two            From Onions to Passengers - SS Roma - 1948 – 1953.

Chapter Three          A New Beginning - MS Franca C - the liner - 1953 – 1959.

Chapter Four            A New luxury Role - MS Franca C - the cruise ship - 1959, 1970 to 1977 (I became involved with her in 1971).

                               Brochures - MS Franca C - the cruise ship - brochures 1959 to 1977.

                               Menus  – Dating from Franca C very first cruises in Nov/Dec 1959.

                               Cabin Plan One - 1959 – 1970.

                               Cabin Plan Two - 1970 – 1977.

Chapter Five            A New Role for a Grand Old Lady of the Sea - MV Doulos - 1977 -2010.

Chapter Six              1993 Electrical Project - “Heart Transplant” in Cape Town.

Chapter Seven         SOLAS - Safety regulations.

Chapter Eight           Onboard Impressions - My visit to her in 1999.

Chapter Nine            Doulos’ Mission - The work of OM Ships International.

Chapter Ten             Doulos Goes High Tech - Satellite Dome/Dish fitted 2006.

Photo Pages            Photo Page One – Sydney 1999.

                               Photo Page Two – Sydney 1999.

PART TWO             Covering the Doulos from 2008 to Today - 2015/16.

                                The author joined the Doulos in Brisbane & follows her to her sale in March 2010 and into the future!


Chapter One            Doulos arrives in Brisbane - July 31, 2008.

Chapter Two            Doulos in Brisbane - Aug 1 to 19 Aug 2008.

Chapter Three          ex 1950 SS Roma Passengers visit the Doulos in Australia.

                               My voyage to Australia on the SS Roma in 1950 - by Paul Christmann.

Chapter Four            Doulos at Sea - Page One – Sailing to Sydney.

Chapter Five            Doulos at Sea - Page Two - Sailing to Sydney.

Chapter Six              Doulos’ Engine Room – Including: November 2007 dry-dock & propeller & shaft work.

Chapter Seven         Speaking with Doulos’ Crew and Staff – Crew Interviews.

Chapter Eight           Doulos in Sydney - Aug/Sept 2008 – Including Doulos’ 94th Birthday (22 August 2008).

Chapter Nine            Her Final Australian & Asian Ports - September 2009 to March 2010.

Chapter Ten             Doulos Deck Plan - These are current & up to date deck plans - NEW page.

Chapter Eleven        Ports of CallGenoa 1977 to Singapore 2009 – 2010.

                                MV Doulos was officially decommissioned on December 31, 2009.

                                She was sold on March 18, 2010 to Singaporean Interests.



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Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story


Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are: 1. By the author. 2. From the author’s private collection. 3. As provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are photographs provided to me without details provided regarding the photographer concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me, that due credit may be given.

Copyright: “MV Doulos - A Ship Like No Other” is owned, protected under the International © copyright laws and is the property of Reuben Goossens of No part of this work including any of the images shown may be copied or reproduced by any means or reproduced by any format whatsoever, be it for private or commercial usage, without prior written permission from the author. & is owned and © Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved