Exclusive Features of 50-Year-Old Ship That Docked in Mombasa

The Logos Hope ship arrives at the Port of Mombasa on Monday, August 21, 2023.
The Logos Hope ship arrives at the Port of Mombasa on Monday, August 21, 2023.

On the evening of Monday, the world's largest floating library, MV Logos Hope, docked at the port of Mombasa laden with books.

The ship, which has touched base at more than 140 ports in 81 countries, arrived to much fanfair at the Coast including dances and cheers from residents along the shore.

Unknown to Kenyans, the ship is older than more than three quarters of the country's citizens where the median age stands at 20 years and one month. 

Manufactured in Germany in 1973, the vessel, an off-white exterior colour behemoth with a navy blue strip at the bottom, boasts of a spacious dining area, café, bakery and book fair.

Inside the Book Fair section inside the ship
Inside the Book Fair section inside the ship.
The Logos Hope

Its lobby is a spacious room decked with seating benches and wooden floors while the dining area has leather seats, indoor plants, a juice maker and a buffet zone with staff on standby.

Its main attraction, which is the book fair, however, is stocked to the nines with the written word spanning several genres from children books to contemporary culture.

Its statistics indicate that the ship has received a total of 9,607,312 visitors who purchased over 10 million books. 609,172 boarded the ship to attend programmes offered on board.


The vessel, christened as the car ferry Gustav Vasa, was manufactured in 1973 at Rendsburg in northern Germany by Lion Ferry AB. The ship, which has made more than 200 trips worldwide, initially served the Malmö (Sweden) to Travemünde (Germany) route exclusively for a decade, before it was sold to other companies.

In April 1983, the ship was sold to the Faroese ferry company Smyril Line, and renamed Norröna. The ship was then put up for sale in 2004.

"After a further period of planning and fundraising, extensive renovations began in earnest in the Brodotrogir Shipyard in Trogir, Croatia in June 2005. A new deck was inserted into the double height vehicle deck to create space for what is now the Visitor Experience," read a description of the vessel on its website in part.

"An additional deck was added towards the aft to accommodate the school for children of families serving on board. A new galley was installed, and the bridge completely refurbished. Machinery in the engine room was overhauled. Accommodation sections and community spaces were rebuilt, and air-conditioning, sprinkler and electrical systems were renewed."

The Logos Hope was launched into service as a floating library in February 2009 after additional renovations in Croatia, Sweden and Denmark. It was then renamed to the Long Hope

Inside the dinning area aboard the Logos Hope ship
Inside the dinning area aboard the Logos Hope ship.
The Logos Hope