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!

With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author

Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in 1960


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 675 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!


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

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

Doulos Phos (2010 - ) A land-locked Hotel at Bintan, Indonesia

MV Doulos

“A Ship Like no Other”

By Reuben Goossens 

--MV Doulos--

Chapter Seven

SOLAS 1995

Since the early 60’s, fire and safety regulations have become extremely strict. On a regular basis SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) is upgraded, and all ships have to comply in order to continue sailing. Considering that the ship is owned by a charity organisation, they have certainly maintained the Doulos to the point where she is one of the best kept ships afloat. Every corner of the ship is spotless, as can be seen in the photographs below of the boat deck.

SOLAS 2010: MV Doulos had been continually upgraded by OM and she remains in top condition and has all the latest safety and satellite technology! Today, the Doulos meets all the International SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) regulations and she will be able to sail around the world until the new 2010 SOLAS regulations come into effect with a full crew and complement of around 350 staff. However, after negotiations with RINa and MMA in Malta on 16 and 17 March 2009, it has been decided that this historic liner could possibly continue (subject to official approval in writing by RINa and MMA) sailing past that date and even up to her 100thjbrithday on August 22, 2014. However, this is subject to further inspections and approval.

Most shipping companies would love to see their newer ships in this kind of pristine condition

Photograph © Raoul Fiebig

As mentioned above, great effort has been taken by OM Ships to maintain the Doulos in top condition and she has been kept up to date with all safety standards. In 1995, a new project commenced to equip the Doulos with a sprinkler system. Some 900 nozzles and more than 5 kilometre of piping was installed. Smoke detectors had already been fitted. Wall panels were replaced with non-combustible materials, which sadly saw the loss of several murals, such as the blue mural in the aft stair well on boat deck.

The Bridge – Note that only the wheel has gone, and replaced by a handle

Photograph © Raoul Fiebig

The Bridge is the original SS Medina Bridge, which has never changed. When the Medina was first rebuilt as a passenger ship to become the Roma, the Bridge was lifted up one deck and happily it has retained its original character, yet the Bridge conforms to all modern safety regulations. The only change, as can be seen above, is the removal of the wheel, which was replaced by a lever.

The Bridge – Sydney 1999

Photograph by & © 1999 Reuben Goossens


Engine Room as seen in 1999

Photograph by & © 1999 Reuben Goossens

The engine room is constantly upgraded as described in the previous chapter. These Fiat diesels where installed by Costa Lines in 1970 and have given solid service throughout the years.

Below the propeller shaft can be seen. It is a place that few, except for those that work on Doulos will ever get to see.

Photograph by & © Raoul Fiebig

With all required work completed, Doulos meets the current SOLAS “Safety Of Life At Sea” requirements. Her owners, the crew and staff of the Doulos are confident that she will be able to remain in service for many years to come.

She has a remarkable record, having visited so many ports. Since 1978, the Doulos has been visited by more than 18 million people and she has visited over 90 countries.

In 1989 this fine ship visited Australia for the second time (her first visit being in 1950 as the Roma) calling at Devonport, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane and Townsville. Then from January 26 to August 17, 1999, the Doulos visited Australia again (being the ships fifth visit, including brief calls in 1991 and 1997) calling at Fremantle, Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Sydney, and Brisbane.

MV Doulos in Sydney Australia – 1999

Photograph by & © 1999 Reuben Goossens


Go to Chapter 8 - Onboard Impressions - My visit to the Doulos in 1999

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“Blue Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
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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 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.