FerriesPast and PresentRegie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT)Sealink

MV Koningin Elizabeth – Past and Present

IMO Number - 5192949

MV Najd II

ex Abha, Koningin Elizabeth

Arne Pyson Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built and engined by Cockerill’s of Hoboken (Yard no 779) in 1956 for the Belgian Marine Administration’s Ostend-Dover passenger service.

Technical Data

  • Length on Deck – 114m (374 ft)(overall) 108.56m (356.2 ft) (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of Hull – 15.9m (49.10 ft)(extreme) 14.2m (46.6 ft) (moulded)
  • Depth – 7.3m (24.11 ft) (moulded)
  • Draught – 4.45m (13 ft)(maximum)
  • Tonnage – 3,389 gross, 3,795 /1,510 net, 1,706/476 deadweight
  • Engines – Two 12-cylinder Cockerill/Sulzer two-stroke single acting diesels.
  • Power – 11190kW
  • Speed – 22 knots
  • Capacity – 1700 passengers, 30 cars (in holds)
  • Call Sign – ORAM 
  • ID/IMO Number – 5192949
  • Registry – Ostend/Belgium 🇧🇪, Limassol/Cyprus 🇨🇾, Jeddah/Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦
  • Sister Ships: Reine Astrid I (785), Roi Leopold III (777)


“The second of a trio of mailboats built for the 1958 World Fair in Brussels. Their design was based on KONING ALBERT but their Lascroux-funnels (all uptakes are combined into one rising to the top of the funnel and large air-intakes at the front lift fumes upwards to avoid fumes and soot descending down on the decks), gave the ships a more modern and lean appearance”


Courtesy of Frederik Janssens

October 29th 1956: Launched.

Roy Thornton Collection

May 1957: Delivered to Regie voor Maritiem Transport, Oostende, Belgium.

May 1957: Commenced service between Ostend – Dover.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (Postcards)


Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

1968: English port became Folkestone.

Roy Thornton Collection   

Roy Thornton Collection

© A G Jones © A G Jones  

© A G Jones

© A G Jones © A G Jones  

© A G Jones

© Ken Larwood © Ken Larwood  

© Ken Larwood

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

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

1973: Belgian Sealink livery

Roy Thornton Collection Roy Thornton Collection


© Brian Fisher

© Brian Fisher 


© Urbain Ureel (Ostend 1974)

1975: Summer weekends and “specials” only.

October 12th 1977: Final day in service.

© Kevin Hoggett

© Kevin Hoggett (Ostend, 1977)

December 1st 1977: Laid up in Ostend.

April 14th 1978: Sold to Abha Marine Corp, Limassol, Cyprus. Renamed ABHA.

1978: Rebuilt in Perama, Greece.

1978: Commenced service between Jeddah – Aqaba – Port Suez.

1979: Registered to Najd Shipping Co., Saudi Arabia.

1980: Sold to Najd Trading & Constructions Est, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Renamed NAJD II.

1981: Laid up in Eleusis Bay, Greece.

© Steffen Weirauch © Steffen Weirauch  

Roy Thornton Collection (© Steffen Weirauch) (With ATHENS EXPRESS (ex PRINSES JOSEPHINE CHARLOTTE) moored alongside)

© Urbain Ureel

© Urbain Ureel (Eleusis 1983)

1984: Broken up.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Brian Fisher, Fotoflite, Kevin Hoggett, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Arne Pyson and Urbain Ureel for their assistance in compiling this feature.

Special thanks go to Frederik Janssens

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

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