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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author


Lloyd Triestino Line

M/V Africa – Europa

M/V Africa was the first of this pair to be built

Postcard from the author’s private collection

The Africa and Europa were unique and some of the most handsome small passenger liver built in the fifties and they were part of a series of seven almost identical ships built in the following order:

1.      M/V Australia, Oceania and Neptunia were all built in 1951 and operated the Australian service.

2.      M/V Africa and the Europa were built in 1952 and operated on the African service.

3.      M/V Asia and Victoria were built in 1953 and served on the Asian service.

Lloyd Triestino decided to build two more of the Australia series of ship to be used on the company's Express African service. Prior to the war this service was operated by the Duilio and the Giulio Cesare.

The Africa was built by Cant. Riuniti dell’ Adriactio Ship Yards, Monfalcone Yard # 1763, and was launched on January 24, 1951. She was completed and departed on her maiden voyage from Genoa to Cape Town in February 1952.

The Europa was built by the Ansaldo Ship Yards La Spezia, Yard #319, and was launched on October 21, 1951. She was completed and departed on her maiden voyage from Trieste to Cape Town in October 1952.

As built they were three class liners, but in 1960 they became two class ships, which we will deal with here. Each class had a series of attractive public rooms and each had their own swimming pool, which was unique on smaller liners of their time. First Class public rooms were located on Promenade Deck, with the Lido deck and Pool above. The Tourist Class main deck space was below on upper Deck, whilst all main public rooms were located aft on a Deck. Just forward of the Tourist Class lounges were the Tourist Class Dinning room, the Galley, and the First Class dinning Room located amidships. Each ship had one twin bedded First Class suite with its own sitting room and space for a third passenger. All twin and three berth First Class cabins had private facilities with a shower, whilst some of the single cabins had a bath. Tourist accommodations offered 2, 3 and 4 berth cabins some having a “semi-private shower. Both ships had 5 holds, the 5th being the Tourist Class swimming pool.


Africa - Europa

Tonnage: 11,427 GRT – 11,430 GRT

Length: 159.3m – 523ft

Width: 20.8m – 68.2ft

Engines: Sulzer Diesels from the builder – FIAT Diesels from the builder

Screws: Two – 16,800 BHP

Service speed: 19.5 knots

Maximum speed: 21.5 knots

Passengers: 148 First Class – 252 Cabin Class – 84 Tourist Class (1962 to 1960)

148 First Class – 298 Tourist Class (1960)

Crew: 215 (1960)

Ports of Call: Genoa/Trieste, Venice, Brindisi, Port Said, Aden, Mogadishu, (Mombasa), Dar-es-Salaam, Beira, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth East London, Durban – Return to Italy. Departures were based on 3-4 weekly intervals. In 1967 both ships sailed from Trieste to Cape Town with Mombassa added to the schedule.

In 1976, it became obvious that with air travel taking an effect on sea travel these ships were no longer viable thus Lloyd Triestino decided to take M/V Africa off the route, and she was laid up in Trieste on January 31. M/V Europa continued for another seven months, but was sold in September to Ahmed Mohamed Baaboud of Saudia Arabia. She was renamed M/V Blue Sea and was to be used as a pilgrim and accommodation ship. Sadly, just two months later, whilst at Jeddah she caught fire, gladly, all passengers disembarked safely, but, the ship sank at her anchorage during the night of November14, 1976.

M/V Africa remained laid up, but was renamed M/V Protea in December of 1976, and was broken up in 1980.

Photo Album

Photographs below are from a 1958 Lloyd Triestino brochure

and were kindly provided by

Except those marked otherwise


Part One

M/V Africa

First Class


Main Lounge & Smoking Room


Library & Writing Room 


Main Lobby 


Dinning Room 


Twin bedded cabin


Inside - 1958 brochure


Tourist Class 


Main Lounge & Bar


Card Room 


Library & Writing Room


Four berth cabin


M/V Africa, like her sisters were sleek and Yacht like looking ships

Postcard from the author’s private collection


Part Two


M/V Europa


M/V Europa

Postcard from the author’s private collection


First Class


Main Lounge


Verandah & Bar 


Tourist Class 


Main Lounge & Bar 


Dinning Room


Postcard with an Artist impression of the Europa

Postcard from the author’s private collection


 1958 brochure cover


 M/V Europa

Postcard from the author’s private collection




Other Lloyd Triestino Ships on ssMaritime:


MS Australia and Oceania & Neptunia


TN Galileo & Marconi & SS Toscana


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