MV Doulos (1977-2010) - MS Franca C (1952-1977) - SS Roma (1948-1952) - SS Medina (1914-1948)

Please Note: Firefox & Google Chrome not suitable - Use Internet Explorer or Google for this page to load perfectly!

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 


--M/S Franca C--


Brochures 1959 - 1969


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

From the author’s private collection

This page shows just a number of a host of Linea C/Costa Cruises brochures from the author’s private collection. In addition there is a Linea C coat hanger that was so kindly given to me by Mr. Sven Benseler from the Doulos. It is one of only a few that has been found onboard. I trust that you will enjoy viewing these brochures. In addition I have included one menu with it superb cover, and you will discover that menus on the modern cruise ship, although good, hardly measures up with the variety that was on offer on this superb luxury Italian cruise ship that goes back to 1959. Franca C was the very first fully dedicated all first class year round cruise ship in the world, as well as being the first ever cruise ship to be based in Ft Lauderdale to operate West Indies/Caribbean Cruises on a US to US basis. Franca C set the standard for all cruise companies in the future, and she remains with us to this day, which is a testament to a great ship. May she be spared from the breakers in 2010 and become a unique floating museum 1. to great American ship building, as she was built at Newport News Ship Yards, 2. In honour of Linea C and OM International Ships a Christian Charity organisation who has owned he since 1977, for both have cared and looked after this fine old dame of the sea with great care and much love, especially in her latter years!

Cover of a Dinner menu dated February 28, 1960


You did not see variety like this on many of the best cruise ships anymore


1960/1961 West Indies/South American brochure

As in each brochure, it includes the cruise back to Genoa – In 1961 there was a 21-night cruise, departing on May 8 


The 1961/1962 brochure


Inside the 1960/1961 brochure


This superb luncheon cover was kindly provided by Mark Towne


An English and Italian 1963 Mediterranean/European summer cruises brochure


Above & below: This general colour brochure with cabin plan was published in November 1963

It contains no itineraries 


The back cover of the November 1963 brochure - However, the funnel is obviously not Franca C’s

but a general publicity shot taken on one of Costa’s other ships




Above and Below: A colourful 1963/1964 Brochure

From the author’s private collection


Note: Although Atlantic Cruise Line is still mentioned as general sales agents

Costa Line is by now clearly marked as being the ships owners


Another menu as printed in the 1963/1964 brochure


1994 European summer brochure


 Above is a 1964 hand poster for Mediterranean Cruises from Venice


1964/1965 West Indies/South American brochure


1965/1966 West Indies/South American brochure


1967/1968 Caribbean brochure, this time sailing from San Juan


A page from the 1967/1968 brochure featuring the ships many facilities


The 1968 brochure above was released by National Airlines for Fly/Cruise & Stay packages using Franca C & the Jamaica Queen


 1968 Franca C cruise schedule


1969 West Indies/South American brochure – This was the final brochure before her 1970 refit

Note: After the 1967/68 season with San Juan departures she has returned to Miami as her homeport


The following brochures were released after her refit in 1970


A 1975 Costa Line Mediterranean Cruise brochure featuring their various ships including Franca C


 The 1977 Costa Line Brochure Mediterranean Cruise brochure featuring their various ships

This would be the last time Franca C would be included in any of their brochures!




A Few images from the 1960’s brochures


The Rapallo Restaurant and the mural on the far forward wall it remains to this day as can be seen below


This photograph was taken by the author in 1999, however, whilst my time aboard sailing along the coast of Australia

Be assured it is still there and I have taken new 2008 photographs. These can be seen on the “Doulos at Sea” pages

Photograph by & © copyright 1999 - Reuben Goossens


The Buffet with a mural that disappeared in 1970 and was 4replaced by a superb blue ceramic piece

See below …


This was photographed in 1999, but it has also gone except for one piece. Again see “Doulos at Sea”

Photograph by & © copyright 1999 - Reuben Goossens


A brochure view of the Portofino Bar


The stately Franca C funnel

At the 1970 refit the stove pipe atop would be removed and replaced with a much larger one


A view from a brochure of the ships hull and her name


Franca C this photo was taken from a 1975 brochure


 A fine view of the ships’ funnel, her lifeboats, and her aft decks. This photo hails from a 1975 brochure




An item of memorabilia from the Franca C


The coat hanger above and below is one of just a few found onboard the Doulos. My host Mr. Sven Benseler Manager of the ships media communications department was kind enough to give me this as a special gift and add it to my collection of memorabilia. I am so appreciative to him and I thank him for his thoughtfulness!



The last Franca C brochure ever to be produced!


Franca C is looking better than ever! Also we see her with the 1970 funnel extension

This is the cover of the March 1972 version

Above and below: The front & Back cover of the very last M/S Franca C brochure ever produced in February 1977. However, this same brochure was first published in March 1972 and in that edition she still showed her accommodations available on B Deck, which by the mid seventies were no longer available. The 1977 brochure B Deck was no longer showing. These brochures contained no itineraries as there were produced solely for promotional purposes. Images found in this production have been used on the Franca C pages.

At the conclusion of the 1977 summer Mediterranean cruise season MS Franca C was laid up and was sold in November to the German charity organisation OM Ships International. The cabin plan and contents can be seen on Cabin Plan Two 1970 - 1977, and Franca C the Cruise Ship page. Please note there is also an extensive brochure page covering her cruise history both in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

This is the back cover of the February 1977 version of the same (identical) brochure. The only difference is the missing B Deck

The end nears for a great luxury cruise ship, but history is about to be rewritten as she becomes the rather modest MV Doulos!

      Go to Franca C - Cabin Plan One - 1959 – 1970 & Cabin Plan Two 1970 – 1977

Or go to Franca C - Menus  and more of 1959

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


Return to the Author’s – MV Doulos “A Ship Like No Other” Main Index


Also visit our ENTER where the author has written on 700 Classic Ships & Liners!


Email the author

Please name the ship you are writing about


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



Visit our Main INDEX

Where you will discover more than 700 Classic Passenger & Passenger-Cargo Liners! &

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.