MV Victoria (1959)

MV Victoria is a Lake Victoria ferry operated by the Marine Services Company Limited of Tanzania.[2] Until Kenyan independence from the United Kingdom in 1963 she was the Royal Mail Ship RMS Victoria.[4]

MV Victoria.jpg
MV Victoria anchored in Bukoba, Tanzania in 2012
Kenya Colony
Name: RMS Victoria
Port of registry: Kisumu
Route: around Lake Victoria
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders[1]
Yard number: 2165[1]
Launched: 1959 (Paisley);[1] 1960 (Kisumu)
Completed: 1961[1]
Kenya, Uganda
Name: MV Victoria
Port of registry: Kisumu
Fate: Transferred to Tanzania
Name: MV Victoria
Operator: Marine Services Company Limited
Port of registry: Mwanza
Acquired: 1977
Status: In service
General characteristics
Type: Ferry[1]
Tonnage: 1,599 GRT[2]
Length: 79.6 m (261 ft)[2]
Beam: 12.5 m (41 ft)[2]
Draught: 3.96 m (13.0 ft)[2]
Installed power: Diesel[1]
Propulsion: Twin screw[3]
  • originally 230 passengers & 200 tons of cargo;[3]
  • now 1,200 passengers & 200 tons of cargo[2]


Yarrow Shipbuilders at Scotstoun, Glasgow built Victoria in 1960.[5] She was then disassembled and exported to Mombasa in 1,500 crates[3] and reassembled at Kisumu[4] on Lake Victoria for the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation (EAR&H) in 1961. Assembling of the ship then known as "SS Victoria" was headed by the East African Railways and Harbours Corporation, Kenyan Chief Engineer - Mr. Christopher Hannington Jobita.[6] When the ship was commissioned Elizabeth II granted her the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) designation: the only EAR&H ship to receive this distinction.[4]

When commissioned in 1961, Victoria had capacity for 230 passengers and 200 tons of freight[3] and had refrigeration for perishable cargo.[7] She took over the EAR&H's circular service around the ports of Lake Victoria, halving the total journey time to two and a half days[3] which enabled her to serve all ports on the lake twice a week. EAR&H accordingly introduced new fares for passengers and rates for different classes of freight on her.[7]

In 1977 EAR&H was divided between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and Victoria was transferred to the new Tanzania Railways Corporation. In 1997 TRC's inland shipping division became a separate company, the Marine Services Company Ltd.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Cameron, Stuart; Strathdee, Paul. "Victoria". Clyde-built Database. Archived from the original on 19 December 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2011.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e f "MV. Victoria". Vessels. Marine Services Company Limited. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Kenya". Internet Archive. Internet Archive. 1961. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  4. ^ a b c McCrow, Malcolm. "Marine Services". East African Railways and Harbours. Malcolm McCrow. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
  5. ^ Brown, D.C. (1960). "Check Point". IMechE Proceedings. Institution of Mechanical Engineers. 50.
  6. ^ von Kienlin, Markus (17 December 2007). "RMS Victoria". Katalog. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Eisenbahngeschichte. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Gazette Notice No 3467; East Africa Railways & Harbours; Amendments to Tariff Book No 3". Kenya Gazette. LXIII. 18 July 1961. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Home". Marine Services Company Limited. Archived from the original on 10 September 2011. Retrieved 26 June 2011.