GBA Ships is celebrating 50 years of Service at Sea this year, 2021. Serving others with ocean-going ships began in 1970 with the purchase of the original LOGOS. Since then the ships (LOGOS, DOULOS, LOGOS II and LOGOS HOPE) have visited over 500 different ports in more than 150 countries and territories and welcomed over 45 million visitors on board. Their goal is to share knowledge, help and hope.
The pioneering vessel – LOGOS built in 1949 as the Danish cargo ship UMANAK was acquired by Educational Books Exhibits Ltd (EBE) in 1971. LOGOS meaning is THE WORD in Greek. Her volunteer crew left a shipyard in Rotterdam on 18th February 1971. They were bound for London, where the refitted ship was shown to supporters of the venture and loaded with literature for her maiden voyage to India.
In January 1988 she ran aground in severe weather conditions in Tierra del Fuego, hitting rocks in the Beagle Channel between Argentina and Chile. Though she could not be saved, not a single crewmember was lost, or even injured! During 17 years of service she sailed 231,250 nautical miles, visiting 257 ports in 103 different countries and territories.
In 1977 the second ship was purchased and renamed her DOULOS ( Another Greek world meaning BOND) from Costa Crociere where she was trading as FRANCA C built in 1914 of which she was also recognised in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest active ocean-going passenger ship.
The ship was sold in the first part of 2010, with handover of ownership taking place on 18th March. Over the 32 years she was in service with OM Ships, DOULOS welcomed over 22 million people on board during 601 ports of call in 108 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and many island nations. During that time, the vessel covered more than 360,000 nautical miles – equivalent to sailing around the world 16 times !!.
On 21st October 1988 Educational Book Exhibits Ltd (EBE) purchased the third ship originally the 600 passenger ferry ANTONIO LAZARO and renamed her as LOGOS II. Extensive renovations and upgrades were carried out to prepare the ship for future service and was operated on behalf of EBE by GBA Ships, a second private, non-profit, charitable organisation registered in Germany. She entered service in 1990.
During March 2004 the German Christian charitable organization GBA Ships e.V (Gute Bücher für Alle) or in English Language – Good Books for All purchased the 1973 built ferry NORRONA originally built as GUSTAV Vasa from Smyril Line, Faroe Islands and renamed her as LOGOS HOPE. In June 2005 she was seen in Malta before going to Croatian Shipyard for large scale renovations as per below images –
In February 2009 after large scale renovations in a Croatian shipyard and extensive outfitting work in Kiel, Germany, then Køge, Denmark, LOGOS HOPE was launched into service. She took over the work of LOGOS II which was retired from service in 2008. Over 10 million visitors came on board during two decades of service in more than 80 countries.
Images above are while she was leaving Grand Harbour, Malta back to 19th October, 2010.
The LOGOS HOPE follows in the line of the LOGOS, the wrecked hulk of which now sits on a rock shelf on the Chilean coast. LOGOS II which was retired in the fall of 2008 and which LOGOS HOPE was designed to replace, and DOULOS which was sold to a company in Singapore in 2009. and is now a hotel at the Indonesian Island Bintan under the name DOULOS PHOS.
Seelan Govender, GBA Ships’ CEO, says: “Through a book they may have purchased; through a conversation they may have had with a crewmember who comes
from a totally different part of the world; through asking questions like, ‘Why are they living on board and why do they give their life to something like this?’ it’sour desire that each visitor to the ship experiences something that causes them to evaluate who they are and where they’re going.”The anniversary is being marked with a series of events. Donors, former crewmembers and present-day staff will get together virtually to share their memories and look ahead to future plans. They will also connect with the current ship’s crew to hear how, despite the challenges of coronavirus LOGOS HOPE continues to serve communities in the Caribbean islands.
Facts about GBA Ships – Since 1970, we have:
• operated four different ships
• visited more than 150 countries and territories
• welcomed 49 million people on board
• donated hundreds of tonnes of books to communities and provided water filters, reading glasses, hygiene supplies and “The Shoe That Grows”
• shared the hope which motivates us and seen countless lives transformed around the world.
Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Thursday 1st July, 2021.