Himalaya was built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers-Armstrongs and launched 5 October 1948. She had an identical hull and machinery to Orient Lines' Orcades (yard no. 950 to Himalaya's 951), though differing in superstructure and internal layout. She began her service on the Tilbury-Bombay-Australia route in 1949 following her departure from the shipbuilding yard in August. During her commission Himalaya underwent a number of improvements the first of which was, although controversial at the time, a funnel cowl to keep the liner's decks clear of debris without interference to the boilers. Following the sale of the Strath Class liners by P&OHimalaya (along with Orcades) was converted to allow the transportation of tourist class passengers only.
Himalaya arrived at Sydney on 30 October 1974 on her final commercial voyage. She was sold to Tong Cheng Steel Manufacturing Co. Ltd, and scrapped in Kaoshiung, Taiwan, in 1975.