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Fiji Time: 3:34 AM on Thursday 18 September

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Floating bookshop comes a calling

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

THE world's oldest passenger ship and the largest floating book shop, MV Doulos, arrives at Lautoka's Queen's Wharf on Friday.

The 94-year-old cruise vessel, with its goal of "Bringing knowledge, help and hope" will spend a month in Lautoka and Suva.

The vessel is owned by German charitable organisation, Good Books for All.

It will open to the public, at a fee of $1 for adults and free for children under 16 years to view and buy the books it carries all over the globe.

The vessel was built in 1914, two years after the Titanic, and has changed from being a cargo hauler, into a cruiser, an immigrant ship and now a floating book shop.

Project coordinator, Stephane Kapitaniuk said since Good Books for All bought the vessel 30 years ago, it had visited more than 600 ports and been visited by more than 20 million people.

He said apart from selling one of the widest varieties of books, the 350-crew members usually carried out community-based projects and relief work in ports they visited.

Mr Kapitaniuk said while their visit in Fiji would not feature any community and relief work, there were other programs and activities such as sports being organised.

He said the Doulos Book Shop would be open to the public at Lautoka Wharf, from May 3 to May 13.

Opening hours are from 10am to 9pm, from Tuesdays to Saturdays and from 2pm to 9pm on Sundays and Mondays.

He said during the visit, there would be several events organised by the vessel's crew.

"We will be having three cafs, where the Lautoka public and the Doulos crew-members mix for an evening of music, drama and dances.

"These cafes are held onboard the Doulos on Saturday May 3, Tuesday, May 6 and May 10 for a fee of $4.

The Doulos International Night will be held on Friday May 18 at Tilak High School for a fee of $3 per person.


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