I have just published a Photo Gallery of the M/V "Doulos", the oldest active ocean-going passenger ship in the world:
World War I had just begun when the freighter "Medina" was launched at Newport News on August 14th, 1914. The ship was in service until 1948 and survived two World Wars. And when she was to be scrapped a Panamanian company purchased the then already "vintage" "Medina" and rebuilt her as the passenger ship "Roma". But the ship's owners went bankrupt a few years later and in 1952, Italian shipping company Costa acquired the ship and turned it into the deluxe "Franca C". And when - 25 years later - Costa decided to retire the ship it was once again not bought by the breakers but by "Gute Bücher für Alle e.V." ("Good books for all"), a Christian organization based in Germany. The ship was renamed "Doulos" (Greek for "Servant"). Since then, the former "Medina" has visited more than 500 ports, offering books, mainly for those who normally do not have access to them. The onboard book store has some 4.000 different titles (approx. 500,000 books can be stored on board in total), from Christian literature to novels and university textbooks. The crew aboard M/V "Doulos" is made up of volunteers who are not paid but who carry all expenses themselves.
Because of the various SOLAS regulations that have come to force over the years, little is left from the luxurious "Franca C" and even the engine room looks fairly modern due to the fact that today's propulsion system is the third in the ship's long career. Yet, the strong "Medina" hull has survived the decades. And when taking a close look at the ship's bow, one is still able to spot the 91-year-old name "Medina".
To me, the "Doulos" is one of the world's most fascinating ships!
In order to view the pictures, please click on the thumbnails. As always, while picture descriptions are in German, English descriptions will be displayed when pointing the mouse cursor at the full-sized pictures.