SS Oriana (1959)


SS Oriana (1959)

SS "Oriana" was the last of the Orient Steam Navigation Company ocean liners. She was built at Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire and launched on 3 November 1959. She sailed as an Orient Line ship until 1966 when that company was fully absorbed into the parent P&O group.

History

"Oriana's" maiden voyage was from Southampton to Sydney in December 1960. At 41,915 gross tonnes and a capacity of 2,000 passengers, she was the largest passenger liner to be in service on the UK to Australia and New Zealand route until the introduction of the 45,733 tonne SS "Canberra" in 1961. The "Canberra" could never match the "Oriana" for speed however, the latter having achieved 30.64 knots during her pre-hand over trials in 1960. "Oriana" held the "Golden Cockerel" trophy for the fastest ship in the P&O fleet until she retired in 1986, when it was handed over to the "Canberra". On "Canberra's" final cruise the "Golden Cockerel" was handed over to the new MV "Oriana" when both ships were anchored off Cannes and sent boats out to perform the handover.

From 1973 "Oriana" was converted to operate as a cruise ship and from 1981 until retirement in March 1986 was based in Sydney. After a layup of two months, the ship was sold and moved to Osaka to become a floating hotel. This venture was ultimately not very successful, and she was subsequently sold to Chinese interests in 1995. The ship again served as a floating hotel and tourist attraction in Shanghai until 2002, when she was moved to Dalian. In 2004 "Oriana" was damaged in a storm; repairs proved to be unfeasible and she was towed to a ship breakers yard and dismantled in 2005.

The name "Oriana" was inherited by another P&O Cruises ship in 1995, the MV "Oriana".

Trivia

Sting, the singer and composer once entertained passengers on board the "Oriana" as a member of the Ronnie Pearson Trio, together with Ronnie Pearson and Gerry Richardson.

The Australian TV drama series A Country Practice filmed a series of episodes on board the Oriana as part of a storyline in 1985.

ee also

Orient Steam Navigation Company

External links

* [http://www.ssmaritime.com/oriana.htm "Oriana" at SS Maritime]


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