SS Oriana (1960 to 2005) Her time In Dalian China

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With Reuben Goossens

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



Page Seven


Oriana in Dalian China


SS Oriana with her original buff & white livery seen in Sydney 

The Dalian Tourist Authority describes the Oriana as follows: The world’s only deluxe Liner-Theme Park and a Splendid Emperor’s Palace on the sea and a floating convivial resort.

Photographs of Oriana at Dalian were taken by Mr. Shane Spencer, who is from Milton Keynes who has spent 2.5 years in China teaching English. We thank Neil (Bob) Whitmore Oriana’s ex Maitre d'Hotel from 1976 to 86, who supplied these Photographs to us with the owners permission.

Oriana retains her classic exterior, but, I wish they had left the lifeboats white! 

The owners renovated Oriana July 2002, spending a fortune in transforming the interior of the Oriana into a deluxe Emperor’s Palace. She now takes pride of place in the resort city of Dalian.

Huang Ying of the Peoples Daily reported on the official, opening. The Oriana, touted as one of the four most famous luxury cruises of the contemporary world, was unveiled Thursday in the Chinese port of Dalian. With a total investment of RMB 300mn Yuan, the cruise liner is refitted to become a floating theme park, which includes a maritime museum and a 800 seat Banquet Hall & Showroom. Visitors enjoy performances from a variety of cultures.

Entry costs were until recently: US$ 11.50 daytime & US$ 5.80 in the evening. However, recently, admission fees have been dropped, allowing locals to board Oriana and enjoy visiting the ships, which was out of reach for many. Whilst onboard they have many options, eating at one of the snack bars and restaurants, enjoy a drink in a bar or head for the ever popular pastime, Karaoke, located in the original Tourist Class Stern Gallery. There are various tours of the ship, including a tour of the engine room. However, it is the popular Dinner Show in the 800 seat Banquet Hall, which is Oriana’s main revenue earner.

Oriana the Museum

 A special wharf and plaza has been created to house the SS Oriana


 Oriana’s Funnel continues to stand tall!

Note the red lettering (originally black)


 The view aft from the foc’sle towards the Bridge is thankfully unchanged


 The bridge remains completely original


The helm that served Oriana so well


Thankfully, the Bridge and its equipment has been left untouched!


The Control Panel located aft on Bridge

which monitored the ships fire systems and water tight doors


The P&O maritime museum features a variety of models, including Oriana

as well as other P&O & Princess Ships


A poor mock up of a First Class cabin

Oriana the Emperors Palace


A colourful Oriana by night


The Entrance Foyer looks more like a palace than the Oriana

The circular glass floor on the right looks down into the engine room

On the upper level of the atrium (above) is the maritime museum


A palatial corner of a lounge


 This sculpture was presented by the City of Dalian to honour the Oriana


 A model of Oriana on the table in a Private Function Venue

Oriana the Theme Park

Oriana offers many activities both by day and at night. On offer are elaborate restaurants as well as alfresco dinning venues and bars located throughout the ship. In addition, cultural shows from around the world are presented in the showroom and out on the aft deck during the day.

The photographs below show the wonderful Promenade deck with Bar, and other exteriors of Oriana and its the Theme Park area.

Promenade Deck features a multitude of P&O photographs and posters,

as well as photographs of the British Royal Family


This was the Tourist Class (Poop) Sports Deck, which was popular with sun worshippers
Note the original Deck Quoits Pitches


Queens Bar and Terrace located where the tourist class swimming pool used to be

The pool seen on the right has been partially closed in


 A Flamenco dance show, part of the International entertainment


Oriana’s famed ex Tourist Class Stern Gallery, which now also contains a Karaoke bar


During the summer Dalian is a popular resort city and thousands come to see the ship

The Storm


Seen on the 17th of July 2004, the day after the storm

On June 16, 2004, Dalian and the Oriana was struck by a vicious and most powerful typhoon in which the Oriana was badly damaged. Having been holed at her portside bow she took on a great deal of water whiich saw her lower decks flooded, and she began to list and soon she was was listing badly to port. Although valiant attempts were made to right the ship, her owners even considered restoring her back to her original glory, but possibly keeping her lower decks closed, but sadly the cost proved to be far too great. It was with great regret that her owners were forced to decide to sell her to Chinese ship breakers. Thus o May 13, 2005 a very sad looking Oriana departed Dalian and she was towed to “Wayou breakers yard at Zhangiagang, China where she was duly broken up.

13 May 2005 - SS Oriana departs Dalian under tow

Photograph by Xinhua Daily


The next page covers the sad End of the Great SS Oriana at the Breakers

Visit … Oriana at Zhangiagang ship breakers in China


All photographs of Oriana at Dalian were provided to ssMaritime by Neil (Bob) Whitmore ex Oriana’s Maitre d’Hotel from 1976 to 86. If you wish to contact him, Neil’s e-mail address is -


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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