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P&O-Orient Lines

The Last Ocean Liners

P&O-Orient Lines Following their 1960 merger, the combined P&O (Peninsular and Oriental) and Orient Lines had the largest fleet of ocean liners on earth. The Orient Line contributed three of the most modern looking liners of their day, the Orcades, Oronsay and Orsova. P&O followed the pre-war design of their popular Strath-class liners with few modifications, resulting in the Himalaya, Chusan and near-sisters Arcadia and Iberia.

Air travel had made its impact on the ocean liner, and so new ideas were needed to attract passengers to travel by sea. Accordingly, all of the ships were refurbished and refitted with complete air-conditioning. The distinctive corn-colored hulls of the Orient liners were painted tropical white to match the P&O ships. Entertainment became a major feature of the voyage.

P&O-Orient Lines Next, the two biggest British ships since the Cunard Queens were placed in service. Oriana was the fastest ship ever built for the Australia run, cutting the sailing time from England from four weeks to three. The slightly larger Canberra achieved nearly the same speed. With aft-mounted engines and nested lifeboats low in the superstructure, she was a trendsetter offering an unusual amount of prime space for passenger facilities. They were the largest ships yet built for a service other than the North Atlantic.

P&O-Orient Lines In 1961, to replace their older ships being retired, P&O-Orient Lines purchased two Belgian combination liners for the First class six-week run from Britain to Japan via Suez, naming them Cathay and Chitral.

The company consolidated their ocean liners into an all modern post-World War II fleet. They created the greatest passenger ship network and schedule ever seen.

P&O-Orient Lines Europe to Australia remained their basic trade, but variations and extensions placed P&O-Orient liners in the Far East, the Caribbean and Panama, the West Coast of North America (1954) and Florida (1963). Their extensive cruise operation covered almost anyplace else the liner services missed.

P&O-Orient Lines "You stretch out, relaxed, on a warm deck and suddenly, nothing on earth matters. You see the sun like you've never seen it before - dazzling across the smooth sapphire of the sea. And you discover how carefree life can be, surrounded by people who are actually eager to please you. You're in the world of P&O. And it's like nothing on earth!"

The Orient Line name was dropped completely by 1966 and in the early 1970s P&O ceased most of its line voyages, retired and scrapped most of the fleet and began to redeploy the remaining vessels permanently to cruising.

Go to P&O-Orient Lines Sailing Schedules
 


Orcades - 1948 - P&O-Orient Lines
Orcades P&O-Orient Lines
Built: 1948 by Vickers-Armstrongs, Barrow, England
Gross tons: 28164 Length: 709ft (216m) Speed: 22kn
Width: 90ft (27m) Depth: 30ft (9m) Power: 42500 shp
Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw
Passengers: 631 First 734 Tourist
End of service: Laid up 1972; scrapped 1973
 

Oronsay - 1951 - P&O-Orient Lines
Oronsay P&O-Orient Lines
Built: 1951 by Vickers-Armstrongs, Barrow, England
Gross tons: 27632 Length: 709ft (216m) Speed: 22kn
Width: 90ft (27m) Depth: 30ft (9m) Power: 42500 shp
Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw
Passengers: 614 First 804 Tourist
End of service: Scrapped 1975
 

Orsova - 1954 - P&O-Orient Lines
Orsova P&O-Orient Lines
Built: 1954 by Vickers-Armstrongs, Barrow, England
Gross tons: 28790 Length: 723ft (220m) Speed: 22kn
Width: 90ft (27m) Depth: 30ft (9m) Power: 42500 shp
Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw
Passengers: 694 First 809 Tourist
End of service: Scrapped 1974
 

Himalaya - 1949 - P&O-Orient Lines
Himalaya P&O-Orient Lines
Built: 1949 by Vickers-Armstrongs, Barrow, England
Gross tons: 27955 Length: 709ft (216m) Speed: 22kn
Width: 91ft (28m) Depth: 31ft (9m) Power: 42500 shp
Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw
Passengers: 758 First 401 Tourist
End of service: Scrapped 1974
 

Chusan - 1950 - P&O-Orient Lines
Chusan P&O-Orient Lines
Built: 1950 by Vickers-Armstrongs, Barrow, England
Gross tons: 24215 Length: 672ft (205m) Speed: 22kn
Width: 85ft (26m) Depth: 29ft (9m) Power: 42500 shp
Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw
Passengers: 475 First 551 Tourist
End of service: Scrapped 1973
 

Arcadia - 1954 - P&O-Orient Lines
Arcadia P&O-Orient Lines
Built: 1954 by John Brown & Co, Clydebank, Scotland
Gross tons: 29734 Length: 721ft (220m) Speed: 22kn
Width: 91ft (28m) Depth: 30ft (9m) Power: 42500 shp
Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw
Passengers: 647 First 735 Tourist
End of service: Scrapped 1979
 

Iberia - 1954 - P&O-Orient Lines
Iberia P&O-Orient Lines
Built: 1954 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast, N Ireland
Gross tons: 29614 Length: 719ft (219m) Speed: 22kn
Width: 91ft (28m) Depth: 30ft (9m) Power: 42500 shp
Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw
Passengers: 673 First 733 Tourist
End of service: Scrapped 1972
 

Oriana - 1960 - P&O-Orient Lines
Oriana P&O-Orient Lines
Built: 1960 by Vickers-Armstrongs, Barrow, England
Gross tons: 41923 Length: 804ft (245m) Speed: 27.5kn
Width: 97ft (30m) Depth: 31ft (9m) Power: 80000 shp
Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw
Passengers: 668 First 1496 Tourist
End of service: Cruising only from 1981; sold 1986
 

Canberra - 1961 - P&O-Orient Lines
Canberra P&O-Orient Lines
Built: 1961 by Harland & Wolff, Belfast, N Ireland
Gross tons: 45733 Length: 818ft (249m) Speed: 27kn
Width: 102ft (31m) Depth: 32ft (10m) Power: 88000 shp
Propulsion: Steam turbo electric twin screw
Passengers: 556 First 1716 Tourist
End of service: Cruising only from 1973; scrapped 1997
 

Cathay - 1957 - P&O-Orient Lines
Cathay P&O-Orient Lines
Built: 1957 by Cockerill, Hoboken, Belgium
Gross tons: 13809 Length: 558ft (170m) Speed: 16.5kn
Width: 70ft (21m) Depth: 28ft (9m) Power: 12500 shp
Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw
Passengers: 240 First
End of service: Sold 1970
 

Chitral - 1956 - P&O-Orient Lines
Chitral P&O-Orient Lines
Built: 1956 by Penhoet, St Nazaire, France
Gross tons: 13821 Length: 558ft (170m) Speed: 16.5kn
Width: 70ft (21m) Depth: 28ft (9m) Power: 12500 shp
Propulsion: Steam turbines twin screw
Passengers: 240 First
End of service: Sold 1970