From steamboat to hydrogen boat: Flandria turns 100 years old

The Antwerp shipping company Flandria is celebrating its hundredth anniversary. In the presence of Prime Minister Jan Jambon, the anniversary was celebrated Thursday at the Antwerp Maritime Academy (Hogere Zeevaartschool).

Flandria, founded by the Van Marcke family in 1922, has a legendary status far beyond Antwerp. Millions of tourists have admired the port and the city center from the old ships. And still tours depart near the MAS, although the fleet today has become a lot smaller compared to the glory years. ​

"In 2003 Flandria was sold to the Leysen family, still later to the maritime Brabo group," explains heir Jan Van Marcke. "Also Studio 100 was once the owner. Brabo sold many boats from Flandria, all over Belgium."

The history of Flandria is also something that former captain Marcel Annemans holds dear. "Hopefully Flandria will revive again," Annemans says. "It's disappointing that, partly due to political factors, a beautiful monument like Flandria was once lost."

The boats that used to run on steam will have to switch to hydrogen in the future. That should bring back the glory days of Flandria. Heir Jan Van Marcke, together with Rudi Hendrickx of the NRGY group, is making concrete plans for this. The dream is to build a large Flandria yacht on hydrogen, whether or not in cooperation with the current owner.




© BELGA PHOTO KRISTOF VAN ACCOM - Touristic Flandria boat passing the 'Badboot' during a press conference on the opening of 'Badboot', a swimming pool attached to a boat on the Scheldt (Schelde - Escaut) river, Tuesday 14 August 2012 in Antwerp.

Get updates in your mailbox

By clicking "Subscribe" I confirm I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy.


Belga News Agency delivers dependable, rapid and high-quality information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Belgium and abroad to all Belgian media. The information covers all sectors, from politics, economics and finance to social affairs, sports and culture, not to mention entertainment and lifestyle.

Every day, our journalists and press photographers produce hundreds of photos and news stories, dozens of online information items, plus audio and video bulletins, all in both national languages. Since the end of March 2022 English has been added as a language.

For public institutions, businesses and various organisations that need reliable information, Belga News Agency also offers a comprehensive range of corporate services to meet all their communication needs.


Arduinkaai 29 1000 Brussels