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 

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Maritime Lecturer  


--MV Franca C--

The Cruise Ship

Franca C - 1959 Menus


A postcard of the Franca C from 1960


The Rapallo Restaurant


The menus covers that appear on this page were provided by a Mrs Grisel Hawkins and I am most grateful to her. It is obvious that Costa Lines created superb art for the covers for both the Lunch and Dinner menus. You will note that all Luncheon menus are in landscape, and the Dinner menus in portrait format. Although I do have the interiors, sadly I need to work on them and I hope to place then online in due course.

 The very first “Atlantic Cruise Line” (Costa) Franca C 1959 -60 Caribbean cruise brochure

From the author’s private collection

As you can see I have the actual brochure for this particular inaugural Franca C cruise season, as she was the very first ship to be based in Miami for five months. This was a first, and this innovation would grow to the point that today Miami is the world’s largest cruise centre, but it was all due to this small luxury cruise ship that started the trend in 1959!

Just for interest there is one menu dated November 25, 1959, which happened to be on cruise 2 whilst Franca C was in Port au Prince. Yet the other two are from December 3 and 4 and are from cruise 3 whilst the ship was in Fort de France and Bridgetown respectively. Thus, it is assumed that the original passenger purchased two consecutive cruises as these menus originally came from a single source.

Diner menu whilst the ship was in Port au Prince 


Lunch menu whilst in Fort de France 


Lunch menu whilst in Bridgetown


Dinner menu whilst in Bridgetown


Meals were enjoyed in the Rapallo Restaurant

From the author’s private collection 


MS Franca C seen in her very early days cruising fully decked out

Photo provided by a Mr. C. R. Pelletier 

Go to Franca C - Brochures – 1959 to 1977

Also - Cabin Plan One - 1959 – 1970 & Cabin Plan Two – 1970 – 1977

Next Chapter 5 - A New Role for a Grand Old Lady of the Sea - MV Doulos – 1979


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“Blue Water Liners sailing to the distant shores.
I watched them come, I watched them go and I watched them die.”



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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.