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
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:
MS Franca C (1952-1977) - MV Doulos (1977-2010)
(2010 - ) A land-locked
“A Ship Like no Other”
By Reuben Goossens
Brochures 1959 - 1969
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
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
Although Atlantic Cruise Line is still mentioned as general sales agents
Note: Although Atlantic Cruise Line is still mentioned as general sales agents
Costa Line is by now clearly marked as being the ships owners
menu as printed in the 1963/1964 brochure
Another menu as printed in the 1963/1964 brochure
1994 European summer brochure
is a 1964 hand poster for Mediterranean Cruises from
1964/1965 West Indies/South American brochure
1965/1966 West Indies/South American brochure
Caribbean brochure, this time sailing from
A page from the 1967/1968 brochure featuring the ships many facilities
1968 brochure above was released by National Airlines for Fly/Cruise &
Stay packages using
1968 Franca C cruise schedule
1969 West Indies/South American brochure – This was the final brochure before her 1970 refit
After the 1967/68 season with
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
photograph was taken by the author in 1999, however, whilst my time aboard
sailing along the coast of
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!
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
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
The end nears for a great luxury cruise ship, but history is about to be rewritten as she becomes the rather modest MV Doulos!
Next Chapter 5 - A New Role for a Grand Old Lady of the Sea - MV Doulos - 1979
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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.
Doulos - A Ship Like No Other” is owned, protected under the
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