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With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Lecturer

Please Note: All ssmaritime and my other related ssmaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues to write article on classic liners and cruise ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure!

SS Oriana

Page Two

Building the Oriana


Part One: Launching SS Oriana


Updated July 9, 2014




Above and below: SS Oriana’s hull looking pristine in her corn colours. She is ready for launching


On November 3, 1959, Princess Alexandra officiated at her launching of the Orient Line, super liner SS Oriana. Countless of thousands attended the launch, including the proud men who worked so tirelessly on her.

 This telegraph style handle was used to launch Oriana


 “… Bless who sail in her”


‘Drag chains’ help Oriana down the slipway


Workers on the bow as Oriana enters the water


 Oriana’s superb stern finally meets the water at last


 All ships in the harbour welcomed Oriana to the water


She continues down and soon will be fully afloat


Here is a special photograph as we can see the drag chains beginning to

do their job in slowing her down the slipway!


 Tugs make ready to tow the unfinished Oriana to her fitting out berth 


 A magnificent sight as we see Oriana grand bow sitting so high out of the water, whilst she is under tow


 Two of her tugs taking her to the fit-out berth


Part Two: Fitting out the SS Oriana


Here she is  at her fit-out berth with work going on, even on this wet and dull day!


Finally her funnel is slowly lifted into place


Oriana’s bow emblem being designed


Interior decorators are seen testing the strength of chairs that were chosen


Matching up the colour scheme for the First Class restaurant


An exclusive ashtray that was designed for Oriana, which, obviously became a popular souvenir


Orient Line and Vickers Armstrong executives inspect the ships lounges


 She featured soft timber tones, with pastel colours and deep carpets, with rich colours

In addition there was a great deal of modern art spread around the ship as you will see below!



Above and below: Modern art, as used throughout the Oriana



 Tourist Class Stern Gallery

Above: Although the Tourist Class Stern Gallery was furnished in a simple style, it became one of the most popular lounges on the ship, especially when she later became a one-class ship. However, vibration was always a problem. The Photo above does this venue no justice at all, for it was a delightful room!

 Corking is one of the important tasks as her teak deck are finished


 Final touches to make Oriana ready for her sea trials


Go to Page Three – Sea trials and Oriana’s maiden voyage

SS Oriana - Main Index:

Part One - The building of a liner:

Page 1:   The building of SS Oriana

Page 2:   The launching and fitting out of SS Oriana

Page 3:   Sea trials and Oriana’s maiden voyage

Page 4:   Deck Plan, Rare Photographs and other Images

Part Two - The Ships History, Photo Pages & Stories:

Page 1:   History and Images of the Oriana 

Page 2:   Oriana Postcards issued in 1960

Page 3:   Oriana Photo Album - Page 1

Page 4:   Oriana Photo Album - Page 2

Page 5:   Oriana “Lady of the Sea by Neil Whitmore

Page 6:   The Paul Oliver Collection

Page6b:   Paul Oliver Story

Page 7:   Dalian - See the sad photographs of SS Oriana damaged during a storm

Page7b:   Oriana at Zhangiagang shipyard in China – Taken 29 July & 9 September 2005



This is recommended reading!

Orient Line – A Fleet History

Is available for £23.50 plus p&p from “Ships in Focus”




Also Visit our Features on the following Orient Lines/P&O Ships

Orient Lines: RMS OrcadesSS Oronsay - SS Oriana - RMS Orion

P&O: RMS StrathairdSS Iberia - SS Canberra


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Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story


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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by the author or from the author’s private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer/owner concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address may be found on only), in order that due credit may be given.

This notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!


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