SS Oriana Photographs laid uo in Sydney between March to May 1986, before heading to Japan

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With Reuben Goossens

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



Page Six

 “The Paul Oliver & Colin Pursehouse

SS Oriana Photo Collection”

All photographs of the SS Oriana on this page were provided to me by ex P&O crew member Paul Oliver. The first photograph shows the Oriana at Dubrovnik during a cruise, and it is certainly one of the finest photographs of this amazing ship I have seen, bar one when she was in the Suez Canal.

However all other photographs thereafter, including those that show the Oriana when P&O had laid her up at Pyrmont Wharf 21 in Sydney, were taken by Paul’s good friend, who was also an ex P&O crew member, Colin Pursehouse.

The Details:

SS Oriana returned to Sydney from her very last ever cruise on March 27 1986, sailing majestically through Sydney Heads, up the harbour and under Sydney Harbour Bridge, and she slowly docked at the Pyrmont Passenger Terminal. The ships master for the final cruise was Captain Philip Jackson. By this time the Oriana had sailed a good 3,430,900 nautical miles, and she achieved amazing speeds of 29.21 knots.

The next very next day, on March 28, the Oriana was moved to Pyrmont wharf 21, were she remained laid up until May 29, 1986. It was on that day she headed for Japan where she would become a floating hotel, museum and restaurant facility, which was never a success and she was in due course sold to Chinese interests, where she spent some time in Shanghai and then in Dalian, where a typhoon sadly damaged her so badly she had to be broken up in 2005.

These detailed photographs below prove that these two ex P&O crew members loved this magnificent liner greatly, for she was lovingly known as SS Oriana the “Queen of the Sea”!

One of the finest photographs of the SS Oriana seen at anchor in Dubrovnik

Photograph by & © by Paul Oliver


All photographs by & © by Colin Pursehouse


The great SS Oriana’s career with P&O had sadly come to an end


Enjoy the following close-up photographs of SS Oriana sadly laid up at Pyrmont wharf 21
































I wish to thank Paul Oliver for making these photographs available to ssMaritime. If you wish to contact him as an ex crew member you can email him at Also a very special thank you to Colin Pursehouse for what is a rather sad sight of a lonely looking ship, yet a poignant reminder of what a great ship the SS Oriana really was!

Reuben Goossens.

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)


PART TWO                                 

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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