FerriesPast and PresentRegie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT)Sealink

MV Roi Leopold III – Past and Present

IMO Number: 5298808

MV Najd I

ex Najd, Roi Leopold III

© Ken Larwood

Roi Leopold III – © Ken Larwood

Steel twin screw motor vessel, built and engined by Cockerill’s of Hoboken (Yard no 777) 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) 14.23m (46.7 ft) (moulded)
  • Depth: 7.3m (24.11 ft) (moulded)
  • Draught: 4.45m (13 ft)(maximum)
  • Tonnage: 3,388 gross, 3,794 /1,513 net, 1,710/408 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: ORAL (@1974)
  • Registry: Ostend
  • IMO Number: 5298808
  • Sister Ships: Koningin Elizabeth, Reine Astrid I


“The first 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”

November 9th 1955: Launched

Courtesy of Karel Goutsmit

Roi Leopold III – Courtesy of Karel Goutsmit

Roy Thornton Collection

Roi Leopold III – Roy Thornton Collection (Postcards)(All)

June 22nd 1956: Delivered to Regie voor Maritiem Transport, Oostende, Belgium.

© A G Jones © A G Jones

© A G Jones © Fotoflite 

Roi Leopold III – © A G Jones (all as noted) © Fotoflite (as noted)

Roy Thornton Collection

Roi Leopold III – Roy Thornton Collection

July 1956: Commenced service between Ostend and Dover.

© Ken Larwood © Ken Larwood

Roi Leopold III – © Ken Larwood (both)

Courtesy of Karel Goutsmit

Roi Leopold III – 🆕 Courtesy of Karel Goutsmit (Dry Dock, 1967)

1968: English port became Folkestone.

Roi Leopold III –

1969 (High Season): Made one sailing between Ostend – Harwich.

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

1973: Belgian Sealink livery

© Tony Garner Courtesy of Jim Ashby 

Roi Leopold III – © Tony Garner (left) Courtesy of Jim Ashby (right)

1975: Summer weekends and “specials” only.

September 24th 1976: Laid up in reserve.

March 2nd 1978: Sold to Najd Marine Corp., Panama

March 10th 1978: Left for Piraeus to be rebuilt, Renamed NAJD.

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

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

1980: Registered to Najd Trading & Constructions Est., Saudi Arabia.

1986: Renamed NAJD I.

1987: Broken up in Pakistan.

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: Jim Ashby, Tony Garner, Karel Goutsmit, A G Jones, Ken Larwood and Arne Pyson for their assistance in compiling this feature.

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

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