FerriesPast and PresentRegie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT)Sealink

MV Koningin Elizabeth – Past and Present

IMO Number - 5192949

MV Najd II

ex Abha, Koningin Elizabeth

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 (@1974)
  • 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.

Koningin Elizabeth – Roy Thornton Collection

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

May 1957: Commenced service between Ostend – Dover.

Roy Thornton Collection

Koningin Elizabeth – Roy Thornton Collection (Postcards)

Koningin Elizabeth –

1968: English port became Folkestone.

Roy Thornton Collection   

Koningin Elizabeth – Roy Thornton Collection

© A G Jones © A G Jones  

Koningin Elizabeth – © A G Jones

© A G Jones © A G Jones  

Koningin Elizabeth – © A G Jones

© Ken Larwood © Ken Larwood  

Koningin Elizabeth – © 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

Koningin Elizabeth – Postcards

© Brian Fisher

Koningin Elizabeth – © Brian Fisher 


Koningin Elizabeth – © Urbain Ureel (Ostend 1974)

1975: Summer weekends and “specials” only.

October 12th 1977: Final day in service.

© Kevin Hoggett

Koningin Elizabeth – © 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 – Aquaba – 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  

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

Najd II – © 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, 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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