A superbly built American built ship that sailed into History and she is still with us today!


SS Medina (1914-1948) was sold and renamed: SS Roma (1948-1952)

MS Franca C (1952-1977) - MV Doulos (1977-2010)

Doulos Phos (2010 - ) Located in Singapore

MV Doulos

“A Ship Like no Other”

From SS Medina built in 1914 to MV Doulos & still afloat in 2014



*Photographic credits are usually shown under each photo, or on the image, however if a photograph is marked

“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 someone I had been in contact with during the hard fought “Save the Doulos Campaign” a dear man Mr. Eric Saw of the Singaporean Saw Family, who owns a Singaporean Christian Group who already owns a vessel The Riverboat, who will use her as a hotel, a maritime museum, complete with restaurants, cafes, as well as a Christian facility on board the renamed Doulos Phos.

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

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 quite a story. In addition, there are countless photographs; a great number of these were taken by the author, who has spent considerable time on board this ship in April 1999 and July and August 2008 having sailed on her!

Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, author and Lecturer

Official Maritime Historian of the MV Doulos / Doulos Phos


Please Note: This work is owned, protected under the International copyright laws and the property of Reuben Goossens of ssmaritime.net. No part of this work including any of the images shown may be copied, or reproduced by any means and reproduced by any format, be it for private or commercial usage, without prior written permission from the author.


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Please name the ship you are writing about


Start by reading the “Introduction” – A Ship Like No Other


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

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 The “2008 to 2014 chapters”

The author joins the Doulos in Brisbane & follows her to her sale in March 2010 and onwards!

Part One Doulos arrives in Brisbane - July 31, 2008

Part Two Doulos in Brisbane - Aug 1 to 19

Part Three ex 1950 SS Roma Passengers visit the Doulos in Australia

- Aug 2008

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

Part Four Doulos at Sea - Page One – Sailing to Sydney

Part Five Doulos at Sea - Page Two - Sailing to Sydney

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

Part Seven Speaking with Doulos’ Crew and Staff – Crew Interviews

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

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

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

Part Eleven Ports of Call Genoa 1977 to Singapore 2009 - 2010

MV Doulos was officially decommissioned on December 31, 2009

She was sold on March 18, 2010 - Full details are on the next two pages …


Part Twelve MV Doulos Phos Campaign – Read about her final days!

Part Twelve (2) MV Doulos Campaign Page 2 – How the MV Doulos was really saved!

NEW Page Doulos Phos in Singapore – Renamed Doulos Phos, she will be permanently berthed in Singapore - read my NEWS updates and details as she is refitted and made ready for her future role in Singapore. You will also find a link to her new owners website that will show their other vessel, which is operated as a dinning venue as well as for meetings, etc. IF THERE IS any NEWS regarding the Doulos Phos - it will be on this page!

NEW Page Doulos Phos – Her Rebuilding DetailsThrough these artist impressions you will get an idea what the Doulos Phos will look like when completed!


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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 ssmaritime.net. 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.


ssMaritime.com & ssMaritime.net is owned and Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved