On the same day in 1974 when I saw the Pretoria Castle in Southampton harbour I saw an
old favourite in the distance and took this photo using a telephoto lens. She was built in 1960 for Orient Line and originally had a corn coloured hull. Here she is in the Suez Canal.
After the merger of P&O-Orient Lines she was painted with a white hull and I first saw her here in Aden in June 1965. We had just arrived out there for my father’s 2 year posting and when I saw the ships I couldn’t wait to go past Steamer Point every day to see what surprise was awaiting me
It didn’t matter that I couldn’t get her all the photo as I was so close. Some ship enthusiasts have been unkind about her profile but she was unique, fascinating and she had a huge fan base. I loved her.
As some of the P&O fleet were being withdrawn, she was converted to a one class cruise ship in 1974 and then she operated out of Sydney from 1981 to 1986. She was sold and went to Osaka in Japan to be a hotel, then a museum at Beppu until being sold to China in 1995. She became a hotel and tourist attraction in Shanghai until 2002 then was moved to Dalian. In 2004 Oriana was damaged in a typhoon and leaned over severely. She was beyond economic repair and was broken up in China in 2005 aged 45 – what a great innings.
I have great affection for the P&O-Orient Liners and will feature them all here in the new year.