Maritime Index
Crossing the Channel - 1930s style
Prins Leopold
Relaxing on Deck
On the Car Deck
Journey's End
Prins Leopold
Oostende Mail Packet "Prins Leopold"
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Relaxing on deck

How different to the ships of today - note the wooden deck and the folding deck-chairs.   Passengers needed to be well wrapped up for the voyage, which lasted around 4 hours (see the blankets around their legs).

Some idea of the size of the vessel can be got by looking at the picture on the right.   She not only carried passengers and mail, but also a few motor cars, lifted by crane on to the deck.  You can see one on the right of the picture.


The pictures on this page are taken from an old photograph album that belonged to my paternal grandmother.  They date from the early 1930s when she travelled from Dover to Oostende (Ostend) in Belgium to visit my grandfather's grave at Ieper (Ypres).  From the postcard above and from the pictures taken on board ship, it seems fairly certain that she travelled on the Prins Leopold, a Belgian mail boat.
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On the Car Deck

A modern ferry would dwarf the Prins Leopold, but the journey time is little changed.

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Journey's End - Oostende
    The Prins Leopold was launched on 19th November 1929, the second of four new vessels built for the Belgian Marine Administration for the Ostend service.

It was always said in the family that my grandmother went to visit the grave around 1921, but if she sailed on the Prins Leopold it must have been after 1929.