© Ken LarwoodMV Koningin Fabiola – Past and Present

MV Bosporus

ex Ephesus, Lydia, Olympia, Koningin Fabiola

Arne Pyson Collection

Arne Pyson Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built by J. Boel & Fils, Temse, (Yard No. 1391) in 1962, for the Belgian Marine Administration’s  Ostend service as a passenger and car ferry. Engined by Sulzer Bros. Ltd, Winterthur. 

Technical Data

  • Length on deck: 117.30m (384.8 ft) (overall)/10.62m (362.9 ft) (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of hull: 15.98m (52.4 ft) (extreme)
  • Depth: 10.06m (16.11ft) (moulded)
  • Draught: 3.82m (12.675ft) (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 3,057 gross/1,317 net, 1,603/411 deadweight
  • Engines: Two 12-cylinder Sulzer 12NH51 two-stroke single acting diesels
  • Power: 7,061 kW/9600 bhp
  • Speed: 20 knots
  • Capacity: 850 passengers, 160 cars.
  • Call Sign: ORAC (Koningin Fabiola) 9HHS2 (Lydia) J8LY2 (Bosporus)
  • IMO Number: 5192963
  • Registry: Oostende (1962 – 1985), Valletta (1985 – ), Saint Vincent and Grenadines


November 20th 1961: Launched. The first Dover – Ostend vessel to receive a bow-thrust unit.

Courtesy of Michael Woodland

Courtesy of Michael Woodland

Arne Pyson Collection  Arne Pyson Collection

Arne Pyson Collection  Arne Pyson Collection

Arne Pyson Collection (all)

June 1962: Delivered to Belgian Maritime Transport Authority, Oostende, Belgium.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (all)

June 10th 1962: Commenced service between Ostend – Dover.

© Brian Fisher  © A G Jones

© Brian Fisher (left) © A G Jones (right)

1970: Summer relief Harwich – Hook of Holland

November 1970: Belgian Marine joined the Sealink consortium. Trading as Sealink

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (all)

© Fotoflite  © Fotoflite

© Fotoflite  (both)

© Robert Bertel  © Peter Longhurst

© Robert Bertel (left) © Peter Longhurst (right)

November 1st 1971: Belgian Marine became the Belgian Maritime Transport Authority – Regie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT).

October 28th 1974: Suffered a serious engine-room fire whilst en route to Ostend. Repairs took six months.

© Kenneth Whyte

 © Kenneth Whyte

June 15th 1983: Final day in service, thereafter laid up in Ostend.

February 1985: Sold to Ionian Navigation Co. Ltd., Valletta, Malta. Renamed OLYMPIA.

© Fotoflite

© Fotoflite

1985: Chartered to Hellenic Mediterrean Lines. Renamed LYDIA.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (all)

1992: Operated between Ortona – Igoumenitsa.

December 1995: Sold to Illyria Ferries, Registered to Lefki Investments Corp., Kingstown, St. Vincent. Renamed EPHESUS.

December 1995: Operated between Brindisi and Valona.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

June 1996: Chartered to TOPAS Maritime Lines. Operated between Bari – Igoumenitsa – Cesme.

July 31st 1996: Arrested in Bari.

1996: Registered to Skylark Trading Ltd., Kingstown, St. Vincent. Renamed BERGAMA.

1996: Introduced by Stern Lines between Bari – Cesme.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

1997: Sold to Illyria Lines. Operated between Bari – Tirana.

June 14th 1997 – September 22nd 1997: Chartered to Stern Lines Shipping. Operated between Bari – Cesme.

1998: Chartered to Anatolia Ferries. Renamed BOSPORUS.

© Antonis Lazaris

© Antonis Lazaris

2000: Laid up in Cesme.

2004: Sold to Turkish breakers.

March 11th 2004: Arrived Aliaga, Turkey for scrapping.

© Selim San

© Selim San

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Robert Bertel, Tony Garner, Ken Larwood, Antonis Lazaris, Peter Longhurst, Arne Pyson, Selim San, Kenneth Whyte and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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