FerriesPast and PresentRegie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT)Sealink

MV 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)

September 19th 1969: First sailing to Harwich then returned to Ostend – Dover

1970: Summer relief Harwich – Hook of Holland

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

© Tony Garner

© 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).

© Michael Woodland

New” © Michael Woodland

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

© A Scimali

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (all)

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Igoumenitsa (25/07/1990)

© Bernd Crause

© Bernd Crause (July 1992)

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Igoumenitsa 23/07/1994)

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.

© Frank Heine  © Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Bari 27/09/1996)(both)

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.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine (Simplon Postcard)

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, Bernd Crause, Tony Garner, Frank Heine, Ken Larwood, Antonis Lazaris, Peter Longhurst, Arne Pyson, Selim San, Kenneth Whyte, Michael Woodland and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

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

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