Elder Dempster Line  

Builders : Vickers-Armstrong Ltd

Overall length 471ft 3/4 in
Breadth 66ft
Total passengers 321
Speed 16 knots

The Apapa was built in 1947/8 entering service in March 1948. She was sister ship to the Accra that had entered service in September 1947. She was the shorter of the two vessels being identical in other aspects. This was due to a shortage of steel during her building.

During the period I sailed on her on her route was:

Liverpool, Bathurst, Freetown, Tema, Lagos (Apapa).
Called at Takoradi (instead of Tema) and at Las Palmas on return voyages.

The public rooms and cabins were spacious and there was accommodation for first, second and third class passengers as well as deck passengers taken aboard along the coast.

There was a swimming pool, promenade deck, lounge, smoking room, card room, library, hair dressing salon, shop, bar, nursery for children and hospital unit. By 1961 she had been fully air-conditioned.

I traveled on the Apapa on several occasions and her voyages were of the highest standard.

He route took in Bathurst, which added another West African port of call. As one traveled along the coast deck passengers would come on board to travel to the next coast port. The front of the ship was a sea of colour with passengers, aboard for only a short time, talk, singing and even dancing. Each country had its own spectacular and unique national dress and the passengers would mingle on the decks, the glint of golden jewelry and the shimmer of silk making a picture that was Africa to remain in my mind for ever.


In harbour
As the Taipooshan

The Accra and the Apapa in Liverpool dock

Both the Apapa and the Accra were, unfortunately scrapped!

View a picture taken at the bar on the last voyage 1968

 Forgotten vessels - lost forever.


I went out on the Apapa from Liverpool to The Gambia to a medical research unit in September 1967, lasting there until 1973.

Just 24, starting a new life abroad, and I can still feel now the excitement of the Boat Train from London to Liverpool ,and then boarding the boat for the two and a half thousand mile trip. Grand conditions, despite her age, and good food and company.

The crew were a happy lot, and I was even allowed to spend several hours overall on the trip when they would disengage the autopilot with me being allowed to helm her - - but woe betide the times when I got careless/distracted and a squawk would come up to the bridge from the skipper who had probably seen the sun veer out of alignement with his cabin window!!!

The voyage went all too quickly, but I saw her again a few times before she went off the route, after which we 'lived' for the arrival of other ED boats with provisions and mail !.

Happy memories, Richard Bartholomew (then: MRC Unit, Fajara ,The Gambia; and now retired to Norfolk) r.bartholomew01@talktalk.net

My first voyage was on the MV Apapa to Ghana from Liverpool, we sailed June 2 1967 and a job with The African Manganese Co in Nsuta. As a Radio Ham I knew morse code and visited the Radio Operator, he allowed me to call Portishead Radio, how thrilled I was to hear them reply, It has stayed in my memory all these years. I just wonder if that Radio Operator may still be around.

Donald Radley, Pafos Cyprus

My father was an engineer aboard the Apapa and would love to hear from any one who remembers him. His name is Anthony Charles Williams (Tony). I will pass any mail we receive on to him. Unclewillya@aol.com

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