Courtesy of Ted InghamMv Queen of the Channel (II) – Past and Present

Mv Leto

ex Oia, Queen of the Channel (II)

Courtesy of Ted Ingham

Courtesy of Ted Ingham

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1949 by Wm Denny & Bros Ltd., Dumbarton (Yard No 1415) as a passenger ferry

Technical Data

  • Length: 82.94 m (overall) 78.64 m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 13.42 m
  • Depth: 3.51 m
  • Draught: 2.388 m
  • Tonnage: 1472 – 1594 gross/603 – 818 net/1080 deadweight
  • Engines: 2 x Oil SA 8-cylinder Sulzer diesels
  • Power: 2207 kW/3000 bhp
  • Speed: 18 knots
  • Capacity: 1,500 passengers
  • Call Sign: GFMR, SYUB
  • IMO Number: 528805
  • Official Number: 183023 (LR 1967 -68)
  • Port of Registry: London/United Kingdom, Piraeus/Greece


February 25th 1949: Launched.

May 25th 1949: Completed. Similar to ROYAL SOVEREIGN (IV), “although had a larger forward observation saloon.”.

May 1949: Delivered to General Steam Navigation Co, Ltd, London, England as the ‘Queen of the Channel‘. “Sailed from Ramsgate in her first season and took trips to the French coast (non landing) or the Kent coast calling at Dover then cruising to off Dungeness. She later took on the London to Clacton service from Tower Pier, calling at Southend en route.

© Ken Smith

© Ken Smith

Courtesy of Ted Ingham  Courtesy of Ted Ingham

Courtesy of Ted Ingham

Courtesy of Ted Ingham (all)

Roy Thornton Collection  

Roy Thornton Collection

1966 (end): Laid up at Rochester, on the River Medway, Kent (UK).

Courtesy of Ted Ingham

Courtesy of Ted Ingham.

© A G Jones

 © A G Jones

1968: Sold to Aghia Papanti Cia, Mar, S.A. Piraeus, Greece and renamed OIA. Registered Manager; Kriton Steamship Co., Ltd.

Courtesy of Chris Howell  Courtesy of Chris Howell

Courtesy of Chris Howell (both)

1976: Sold to George Kousouniades Shipping, Piraeus, Greece and renamed LETO.

August 1983: Arrived Leodias Kladias Ltd, Eleusis, Greece for scrapping.

March 29th 1984: Scrapping commenced.

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: Chris Howell, Ted Ingham, A G Jones and Ken Smith for their assistance in producing this feature.

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


  1. Did a day trip on the Queen in the early 60’s, first time ever on a ship, liked it so much I ended up working on the ferries from Dover/Folkestone for 17 years.

  2. I saw the vessel as Leto laid up in elausis Bay, Perama, Greece about 1979, she was tied up along with about another 6 vessels swinging in the Bay, a very sad sight. I was interested to see her as never did while she was based in the UK.

  3. For a period of just over three years, between 1960 – 1963, I worked within the confines of British Railways goods yard in Rochester and during the winter months, was able to view this magnificent vessel on an almost daily basis when it was moored in the inlet adjacent to the yard of Robert Adllards builders merchants. It was especially great to see her each Spring after she had been spruced up and prepared for the new seasons revenue earning services. I had always promised myself that I would one day get to experience life afloat on her but it never came to pass as I moved with my job to Littlehampton in June 1963.

    My sincere thanks to all those that have contributed the pictures that have enabled me to take a nostalgic look back into the past.

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