Building the SS Oriana - Her Sea Trials, Her Fit-Out & Oriana’s Maiden Voyage!

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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!


Page Three

Building SS Oriana


Part One: First Sea Trials - November 13, 1960



Above and below:

Photographs of Oriana’s funnel were taken just prior to departing for her sea trails



 SS Oriana commences her first sea trials on November 13, 1960


 The two Captains, the Pilot (right) and Oriana’s Captain, Clifford Edgecombe having just departed


November 13, 1960 - SS Oriana has reached the sea for her trials


During this run the sea was rather choppy and they were unable to check her speed trails


From Promenade Deck the seas look bad, but it did prove the ships excellent capabilities!


Here we see the main machinery control console in the Engine Room prior dreparture


Orient Line and Vickers Armstrong executives inspect the Engine Room during Oriana’s trials


Heading back to port, and Captain Edgecombe is taking a few headings



Above & below: The Oriana seen on her trails on November 13




Part Two: Second Sea Trails Two - November 16, 1960


The Pilot and Captain Edgecombe are checking the trails schedule, ensuring they are getting it right


 Let us check her maximum speed – “Full Steam Ahead


SS Oriana reached an excellent maximum speed of 30.64 knots


 Radio Rooms keeps Orient Lines Head Office informed



Above & below: Two further photographs of SS Oriana during her November 16, Trails



Part Three: Vickers-Armstrong officially hands over the SS Oriana


Sir Austin Anderson signs the official handover documents



Part Four: Oriana’s Maiden Voyage


SS Oriana departed on her maiden voyage from Southampton to Sydney on December 3, 1960 returning to Southampton via New Zealand and the US. Oriana was without a doubt the fastest liner on the England to Australia service, for she was able to sail from Southampton to Sydney via the Suez Canal in only 21 days!

SS Oriana has completed her record making voyage to Sydney arriving on December 30, 1960

on her maiden voyage! She is seen berthed at the International Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay


SS Oriana seen arriving in Wellington New Zealand and the author was present at the arrival

A Special Moment in History Recorded by Robert Lloyd


Here is a superb painting of the SS Oriana sailing through the Suez Canal during her maiden voyage

By & Robert Lloyd - Thank you David Brooks UK for sending it


Go to - Deck Plan, Rare Photographs and other Images



SS Oriana - Main Index:


Designing & Building the Oriana - ONLY available to

Images from the naval architect & designer of the SS Oriana:

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

Page 5: Countless Specifications & Oriana Facts (NEW)



Oriana’s General History Pages:

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 & Colin Pursehouse Collection

Page 6b: Paul Oliver Story

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

Page 7b: Oriana at Zhangiagang shipyard in China - Taken 29 July & 9 September 2005, the demolition of a liner


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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Photographs on, & .net and associate sites are: 1. By the author. 2. From the author’s private collection. 3. Or as provided by Shipping Companies and their Publicity Companies as well as by private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors whenever possible.


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