Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2013 by Peter Knego
Peter Knego “Decks!” the DOULOS PHOS, continuing with the now 99-year-old ship’s lower deck areas and machinery spaces and a look at her future prospects.
All photos by and copyright Peter Knego unless otherwise noted.
Friday, November 16, 2012, ctd.
Lounge Deck begins with an open terrace that overlooks the bow, continuing aft under protective awnings on either side of a deck house buttress that protrudes from the superstructure.
From Lounge Deck, there is an optimal view of the historic strata of DOULOS’ regal superstructure.
Inside the deck house extension, a stairtower leading down to the dining room fronts a small vestibule with Nino Zoncada-designed railings.
Immediately aft of the stairs is what was originally FRANCA C’s shopping arcade, last utilized by the DOULOS as a staff lounge and recreation room.
The Lounge comes next, extending the full width of the ship. This space, with its elegant camber and sheer as well as its picture windows on either side was created by the legendary Nino Zoncada for FRANCA C in 1959. At one time furnished with chic, modern Cassina fittings and priceless artwork, it later served as a gathering place for guests visiting DOULOS on her long voyages.
Among DOULOS PHOS more modern, recently added trappings, there are still remnants of her Italian heritage.
The Lounge continues aft on either side of the funnel uptakes.
On the aft/starboard side of the Lounge is the former cocktail bar. On the port side is a long gallery leading to Reception.
On the starboard side, immediately aft of the Lounge, is the former Card Room.
The Reception is situated on the starboard side of a vestibule that adjoins the main stairtower, aft of the Lounge.
The interior portion of Lounge Deck follows with an inboard passageway leading to some of the ship’s larger cabins, many of which still have their Costa cabinetry and melamine paneling.
On either side of Lounge Deck aft of the Lounge and accessed via the Reception vestibule, there are sheltered promenades that lead all the way to the stern.
On the Lounge Deck fantail, a sheltered terrace was used during the DOULOS’ long career as a playground.
Promenade Deck starts at the ship’s graceful fo’c’sle.
From the fo’c’sle bulwarks, there is a gorgeous view of where the riveted hull plating from 1914 met the add-on clipper bow from 1947.
The dining room remains much the same as it has been since the FRANCA C’s 1959 Nino Zoncada transformation.
Even the red carpeting from the ship’s final Costa years remains in place.
On the port side, aft of the dining room, there is a smaller dining alcove next to the galley.
The galley is on the starboard side, aft of the Dining Room.
Another set of sheltered promenades follows aft on this level, just past the Dining Room.
The interior portion of Promenade Deck contains more accommodation. Near the steering gear room, there is a large laundry room. At the very stern, there is docking gear.
Upper Deck begins in the forepeak at the anchor/windlass area.
Immediately aft of the forepeak is the paint locker. Upper Deck continues with crew and passenger accommodation. For more examples of DOULOS PHOS’ cabins, see A Deck.
A Deck contains a varied amount of passenger accommodation forward and aft of the machinery spaces. Many of the ship’s fittings were removed when it looked as though she were going to the breakers but they have been returned and will eventually be restored. Bedding and soft fittings have also been gathered and stowed away in different parts of the ship.
One particularly interesting find in Cabin 111 was a small wooden table from Union-Castle Lines’ RMMV CAPETOWN CASTLE of 1936. How it got there will for now remain one of DOULOS PHOS’ many mysteries.
Like most vintage ships, DOULOS PHOS is fitted with accommodation of all shapes and size.
B Deck also contains a small section of passenger and crew accommodation as well as a few staff offices.
The ship’s eighteen cylinder Fiat Engines were installed in 1971 and produce 8100 break horsepower to drive her single screw at 15 knots.
While the main machinery is just over 40 years old, and the generators are barely 20, there are tools and valves that date from the DOULOS PHOS’ earlier incarnations.
The DOULOS PHOS’s propeller shaft dates from 1914 and measures an incredible 138 feet in length.
The DOULOS PHOS was spared scrapping at the eleventh hour and has been under the caring ownership of Eric Saw since 2010. Not only has Mr. Saw gone through extraordinary efforts to save this maritime gem, he has been taking excellent care of the old lady despite the climate and shipyard limitations. Now, the challenge remains in finding a permanent home for the ship to live out a long and prosperous afterlife as a floating museum and perhaps as a boutique hotel. Modifications will have to be made to upgrade the accommodation and to provide facilities that will appeal to the general public but in a way that will be respectful of her historic maritime heritage and architecture.
Thus far, there have been several proposals to bring the ship to a place where she can once again be of service. It would be great to find a berth for the ship but if she were to remain in the water, she would need to be periodically dry docked. Another consideration is bringing her ashore and building a facility around her so that her hull will be better preserved against the elements.
If she were brought ashore, DOULOS PHOS would be surrounded by a park area with a reflecting pool and other facilities.
Some consideration has been given to fitting a small amphitheater on the fo’c’sle. If this were to be done, it would be nice if it could be rendered without alteration to the original structure and fittings.
Under the awnings on forward Lounge Deck, an al fresco cafe adjoining a new facility in the former shopping arcade/staff lounge is another option under consideration.
On aft Sun Deck, which was last used as the DOULOS’ book fair, a new cafe terrace is being considered. It would also be nice, depending on where the ship is berthed, to see some of the original lido and perhaps even the FRANCA C’s pool (the basin is still intact) restored.
The engine spaces would be fitted out so that safe access can be provided for tours as part of a maritime museum.
For updates on the ship and for more information, please visit and like theDOULOS PHOS Facebook Page.
End of DOULOS PHOS Decked!
Much More to Come…
Very Special Thanks: Jonathan Boonzaier, Martin Cox, Reuben Goossens, Mike Masino, Eric Saw