MV Oriana (1995)

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Oriana in dock November 20, 2017 (37849009726).jpg
Oriana in 2017.
Name: Oriana
Namesake: SS Oriana (1959)
Operator: P&O Cruises
Port of registry:
Builder: Meyer Werft, Papenburg, Germany
Yard number: 636[1]
Laid down: 11 March 1993
Launched: 30 June 1994[1]
Acquired: 2 April 1995[1]
Maiden voyage: 9 April 1995[1]
In service: 9 April 1995[1]
Status: In service
General characteristics [1]
Type: Cruise ship
Length: 260.00 m (853.02 ft)
Beam: 32.20 m (105.64 ft)
Draught: 7.90 m (25.92 ft)
Decks: 10 (passenger accessible)[2]
Installed power:
  • 2 × MAN-B&W 9L58/64 & 2 x MAN-B&W 6L58/64
  • 47,750 kW (combined)
  • 26.2 knots (48.5 km/h; 30.2 mph) (sea trials)
  • 24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph) (service)
  • 1,822 (normal)
  • 1,928 (maximum)[2]
Crew: 794[2]

MV Oriana is a cruise ship and ocean liner of the P&O Cruises fleet. The ship was built by Meyer Werft at their shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. At over 69,000 GT, Oriana is the smallest of seven ships currently in service with P&O Cruises. She officially entered service with the company in April 1995 and was named by Queen Elizabeth II.[3] Oriana holds the Golden Cockerel as the fastest ship in the fleet, replacing SS Canberra. She is the oldest, and longest-serving, ship in the fleet.


When she was built in 1995, Oriana was the first new ship commissioned for P&O Cruises, and the first to be designed specifically for the British cruise market. She was also designed in the style of an ocean liner to facilitate long distance voyages and world cruises. She is the longest serving ship in the fleet, having been in continuous service with the company since she was launched.[4] She is the second ship to carry the name Oriana, and is named in tribute to the SS Oriana, which served for Orient Line and P&O from 1959 until 1986. After a lengthy campaign, P&O Cruises were permitted to allocate the new Oriana with the call sign 'GVSN', which is the same call sign as the former SS Oriana.[5]

From 1995 when she was built, until 2000, Oriana was owned by the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company. In 2000 P&O de-merged its cruise ship operations, with ownership of Oriana transferring to the new company, P&O Princess Cruises. In 2003 P&O Princess merged with Carnival Corporation. Despite these changes of ownership, Oriana has been operated by P&O Cruises throughout.

In 2006 she was re-registered to Bermuda so that weddings could be conducted on board, and as a result, her call sign was changed to ZCDU9. From 30 November 2011, following a refit, Oriana became a ship exclusively for adults.[6] Oriana and Arcadia are adult-only ships.


Oriana is 260 metres (853 ft) long, with a beam of just over 32 metres (105 ft), and a draught of 7.9 metres (26 ft), which varies up to 8.2 m depending on load. There is a 69,153 GT and a maximum passenger capacity of 1,928. Outside passenger deck space is 105,000 square feet (9,800 m2). Power is provided by four MAN B&W Diesels generating a total of 47,750 kW giving the ship a service speed of 24 knots (44 km/h).

Design and construction[edit]

P&O wanted the new Oriana to be built in the United Kingdom, but there were no longer British shipyards capable of completing such an order, so P&O Cruises looked overseas.

Two of the three main designers, Sweden’s Robert Tillberg and British designer John McNeece, spent a considerable amount of time on board SS Canberra investigating the needs of British passengers, so as to include as many of Canberra's features as possible into Oriana's design. Oriana's single funnel is designed to resemble Canberra's twin funnels. She has a single deck of balconies reserved for suites, mini suites and staterooms to cater for the growing desire for balconies on board.

John McNeece and his London-based team of designers were engaged by P&O to bring the British look to the high-revenue generating interiors of the ship, such as Anderson's, Lord's Tavern, the Knightsbridge Shops, the Emporium, Harlequins, the Casino, the Photo Gallery, the Pacific Lounge, and related public spaces, as well as on-board information graphics.

Service history[edit]

When she entered service Oriana was one of the largest cruise ships in the world, and the largest ship built in Germany since 1914. Since then tonnages have increased as economies of scale make larger ships more profitable to operate. Nowadays most new cruise ships have a GRT of around 100,000 tonnes. Annually undertaking world cruises with fleetmate Aurora, she normally operates cruises within the Mediterranean, the Canaries, Madeira and the Baltic seas.

In December 2006 the Oriana underwent a £12 million refit in Bremerhaven, Germany. Coinciding with the refit she was re-registered from Britain to Bermuda[7] so that weddings could be held at sea. Due to the success of the 'Arcadian Rhodes' restaurant on board the Arcadia, a new Oriana Rhodes restaurant was introduced, replacing The Curzon Room. Oriana Rhodes was designed by chef Gary Rhodes, and can accommodate 96 passengers. Other modifications included the extension of the popular Lord's Tavern bar, festooned with cricket memorabilia, and refurbishment of the children's play areas. All her cabins were restyled to include one of four new colour schemes, new curtains, carpets, beds, linen and duvets.

In 2011 during a refit at the Blohm and Voss shipyard Oriana had a 'ducktail' stern fitted and the children's play areas were converted to cabins. Oriana was classed as an adults only ship when she re entered service.

During cruises in four consecutive years to 2014 the ship suffered outbreaks of norovirus;[8] about 400 passengers were affected in 2012, earning the vessel the nickname of "the plague ship".[9] In 2014 passengers, angry at not being told of the earlier outbreaks, took legal action against P&O Cruises.

In June 2018, P&O Cruises announced that Oriana would be leaving the fleet in August 2019.[10]

In September 2018 the ship was advertised for sale at $130,000,000 (

Golden Cockerel[edit]

MV Oriana holds the Golden Cockerel trophy for the fastest ship in the P&O fleet. Previously held by her predecessor SS Oriana it passed to SS Canberra on retirement of the first Oriana in 1986. On Canberra's final cruise in 1997 the Golden Cockerel was handed over to the new Oriana when both ships were anchored off Cannes and sent boats out to perform the handover.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Micke Asklander. "M/S Oriana (1995)". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 2007-12-17.
  2. ^ a b c "Oriana ship". P&O Cruises official website. Archived from the original on 2007-08-16. Retrieved 2007-12-17.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Call sign SS Oriana[permanent dead link].
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
  7. ^ "Shipping News 2006". Maritime Matters. 2008-11-23. Archived from the original on 2007-12-13. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  8. ^ "Passengers take legal action after norovirus outbreak on P&O Oriana ship on Norwegian cruise (From Daily Echo)". Dailyecho. 22 Jun 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  9. ^ "P&O 'plague ship' passengers disembark in Southampton after norovirus outbreak - video". The Guardian. 14 December 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Oriana to leave P&O Cruises fleet in August 2019". Meyer Werft. 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.


  • Poole, Sharon; Sassoli-Walker, Andrew (2012). Oriana & Aurora: Taking UK Cruising into a New Millennium. Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK: Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781445604428.
  • Smith, Brian David (2012). Aurora & Oriana: P&O Cruises' Distinctive British Liners. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Lily Publications. ISBN 9781906608460.

External links[edit]