MV Doulos Phos

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
MV Doulos 2004 at Southampton.jpg
The Doulos at Southampton, England in 2004.
[1]United States[1]
Name: SS Medina[1]
Operator: Mallory Steamship Company[1]
Ordered: August 28, 1913[1]
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company[1]
Launched: August 22, 1914[1]
Commissioned: September 29, 1914[1]
Fate: Transferred to Cia Naviera San Miguel SA, 1948[1]
Name: SS Roma[1]
Operator: Cia Naviera San Miguel SA[1]
Acquired: 1948[1]
Fate: Transferred to Costa Lines, 1953[1]
Name: MS Franca C[1]
Operator: Costa Lines[1]
Port of registry: Genoa,  Italy[1]
Acquired: 1953[1]
Fate: Transferred to Gute Bücher für Alle, 1977[1]
Name: MV Doulos[1]
Operator: Gute Bücher für Alle[1]
Port of registry: Valletta,  Malta[1]
Acquired: 1977[1]
Fate: Transferred to BizNaz Resources International Pte Ltd, 2010[1]
Notes: Her name means "Servant" in Greek.
Name: MV Doulos Phos[1]
Operator: BizNaz Resources International Pte Ltd[1]
Port of registry: Valletta,  Malta[1]
Acquired: 2010[1]
Fate: To become Hotel Ship[1]
Notes: Her name means "Servant Light" in Greek.
General characteristics (1949 onwards)
  • 5,426 GRT (1914)
  • 6,549 GRT (1984)
  • 6,822 GRT (1960)
Length: 410 feet
Beam: 54 feet
Height: 54 feet
Draught: 18.2 feet
Speed: 13 knots
Capacity: 414
Crew: 350

The ship currently known as the MV Doulos Phos held the record of being the world's oldest active ocean-faring passenger ship until December 2009, having plied the world's oceans from the time of her building in 1914 until being retired from cruising service at the end of 2009. She is now owned by Mr. Eric Saw, Director and Chief Executive of BizNaz Resources International Pte Ltd in Singapore.[3] She was previously owned by the German charity Gute Bücher für Alle (English: Good Books for All), and was used as a floating bookshop. The ship has previously been known as the SS Medina, the SS Roma, the MV Franca C, and the MV Doulos. The Doulos ended her final cruise in late 2009 at Singapore, with the ship being handed over to her new owners on March 18, 2010.

Early history

The Medina was built in 1914 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company for the Mallory Steamship Company of the United States. She was a freighter serving the Atlantic; during World War II, she served with the United States Coast Guard.

SS Medina passing the Statue of Liberty on her maiden voyage

The Panamanian company Naviera San Miguel SA acquired the Medina in 1948; they renamed the ship the Roma, and converted her into a passenger ship with cabins for 287 people, and dormitories for an additional 694 people.

In 1952, Naviera San Miguel sold the Roma to Linea Costa, an Italian company. At this time the SS Roma, a steamship, was converted into a motor vessel and renamed the MV Franca C. She carried passengers between Italy and Argentina. In 1959, the Franca C was adapted into a cruise liner, principally cruising the Mediterranean.

History as MV Doulos

Franca C at sea.

In 1977, Gute Bücher für Alle acquired the Franca C, and renamed her the Doulos (Greek for 'servant'). The ship was transformed into a floating bookshop with an aim of "Bringing Knowledge, Help and Hope". Her first director was George Miley (1977–1978), followed by Dale Rhoton (1978–1981). Under Gute Bücher für Alle ownership, she was manned by a volunteer crew and made sea port visits worldwide, delivering aid and subsidized literature.

Terrorist attack

On August 11, 1991, during the final night of the MV Doulos' stop in the southern Philippine port of Zamboanga City, two of her foreign crewmembers were killed when a grenade thrown by members of the Abu Sayyaf Islamist terrorist group[4] exploded on stage during a performance by its Christian volunteers.[5] Four locals were killed[6] and 32 others were injured, including several crew members of the missionary ship.[5]


She made her last world tour in 2009 with a planned decommissioning in 2010 before the SOLAS regulations were to be introduced.

However, a survey conducted by the ship's classification society RINA found numerous significant problems and works with the ship's machinery, structure, and systems that would need to have been completed by December 31, 2009 for the ship's certificates to be reissued and the ship to continue sailing. Because the shipyard servicing the Doulos would not accept the ship for repairs until September 2010, and the cost of the work would be a total in excess of 10 million euros, and the limited ministry that the MV Doulos would have after the repairs, OM decided to end Doulos Ministry at the end of 2009, instead of 2010 as originally planned.[7]

On March 18, 2010, Doulos was handed over to her new owner, Mr. Eric Saw, Director and Chief Executive of BizNaz Resources International Pte Ltd in Singapore.[8] The new owners plan on preserving the historic ship. She will be renamed Doulos Phos, or Servant Light, in this process.[3] In September 2013, the ship was towed out of Singapore to Batam, Indonesia, to be refurbished before moving to the Island of Bintan to become part of a US$25 million hotel resort.

As of early 2015, it was stated that Doulos Phos was no longer to be a floating hotel ship, but rather that after leaving the shipyard she was to be removed from the water for use on land in a dry berth.[9]

Statistics (as MV Doulos)


Total visitors 21,461,212
Programme attendance 3,500,898
Books sold 1,513,446
Nautical miles sailed 358,121
Total ports visited 603
Countries and territories visited 104
Different ports visited 297

Port history while operating under GBA[11]

Preservation plans

Decks A and B will be used as the hotel part of Doulos Phos. Two restaurants capable of seating 250 people each will be located on the Promenade deck (where her dining room originally was) and the boat deck. Other future amenities include a deli, cafe, wine and juice bars, a bookshop, banquet hall, meeting rooms, a bible school and a maritime museum. An amphitheater seating up to 70 people has been proposed.[12]

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 "Doulos History". Retrieved 2014-10-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Remember Doulos". Retrieved 2015-05-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 [1][dead link]
  4. "Abu Sayyaf kidnappings, bombings and other attacks". GMA News. August 23, 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 Debbie Meroff. "In His Majesty's Service: A Salute to the MV Doulos". OM International. Retrieved 2010-03-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Eliza Griswold. "Waging Peace in the Philippines". Smithsonian. Retrieved 2010-03-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. [2][dead link]
  8. [3][dead link]
  9. "DOULOS PHOS TO BECOME HOTEL (p.5)" (PDF). The Porthole. New York, NY: World Ship Society, Port of New York. November 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Remember Doulos". Retrieved 2015-05-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Port history - Doulos". Retrieved 2015-05-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "SS Maritime - Save the Classic Liners Campaign - founded in 1995". Retrieved 2015-05-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

External links