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Doulos history

MedinaBuilt in 1914 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company for the Mallory Steamship Company (USA), she was launched on 22nd August of the same year. Her sister ship, Neches, was also completed in 1914. However, this vessel had a brief life history as she sank after a collision along the coast of Devon, England in 1918. Medina had a speed of 14 knots and was described in the September 1914 International Marine Engineering magazine as one of the most modern and largest freight steamships operating on the Atlantic coast. Medina was commissioned into service along the west coast of America during the Second World War by the United States Coast Guard.

RomaIn 1948, Medina was acquired by the Panamanian company, Naviera San Miguel SA. The following year she was renamed Roma and converted into a passenger ship with cabins for 287 people and dormitories for another 694 people. As 1950 was the Roman Catholic Holy Year, the ship was used to transport pilgrims to Rome and afterwards carried emigrants to Australia. This second role did not last for long and the vessel was soon put up for sale.

Franca CIn 1952, she was sold to Giacomo fu Andrea (Linea Costa) and renamed Franca C. Her original steam engine was replaced by a double acting diesel engine. At first she sailed between Italy and Argentina, carrying first, tourist and third class passengers with a capacity for over 900 people. In 1959 Franca C was remodelled into a first class luxury liner. Her cruises were mainly around the Mediterranean ports with occasional trips into the Black Sea. She later pioneered the cruise ship trade out of Miami. During this time one important change occurred (in 1970) when the vessel received a new engine, a set of Fiat diesels.

The newly purchased Doulos in Genoa.Franca C was offered for sale in 1977. She was examined and on 4 November 1977, a contract of acquisition was signed and the ship was renamed Doulos. Before commencing her new role, some repairs were necessary. Alterations included the removal of the swimming pool and the construction of a covered book exhibition on the deck. The ship was taken to Bremen, Germany, to be fitted for her new service. On 3rd June 1978, she sailed from Bremen to initiate her new commission.


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