SS Oronsay (1950)
- For other ships of the same name, see List of ships named Oronsay.
SS Oronsay and a refrigerated meat truck at Brisbane
|Owner:||1951–1966 Orient Steam Navigation Company. 1966–1975 Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company|
|Operator:||1951–1960, Orient Line. 1960–1966, P&O-Orient Lines. 1966–1975, P&O Line.|
|Port of registry:||London, UK|
|Route:||Tilbury-Sydney via Suez|
|Launched:||30 June 1950|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs A. Anderson|
|Maiden voyage:||16 May 1951|
|Out of service:||28 September 1975|
|General characteristics |
|Beam:||93 ft 6 in (28.50 m)|
|Draught:||31 ft (9.4 m)|
|Speed:||22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph)|
The liner was completed in 1951 at Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness, but was delivered several months behind schedule because of a serious fire that broke out in the fitting-out berth. The Oronsay operated the UK to Australasia service, via the Suez Canal. Her accommodation set new standards, in both first and tourist class, with decor by Brian O'Rourke. On 1 January 1954, Oronsay left Sydney on the first Orient Line transpacific voyage to Auckland, Suva, Honolulu, Victoria, Vancouver and San Francisco, returning via the same ports. In later years the transpacific sailings became a regular feature of the Orient/P&O services. In 1960 the Orient Line and P&O fleets were merged under the control of P&O-Orient Lines (Passenger Services) Ltd. Oronsay continued to operate under the Orient houseflag and retained her corn-coloured hull until 1964, when her hull was painted P&O white. In 1966, P&O having acquired the balance of the Orient shares (it had controlled Orient since 1919), Orient Line was wound up and Oronsay, along with her fleet mates, was transferred to the ownership of Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company and hoisted the P&O houseflag. Liner services were producing dwindling returns as jet airliner services between Europe and Australia expanded and Oronsay spent more and more time as a cruise ship, but, with declining passenger numbers, P&O could not sustain its large passenger fleet, withdrawals beginning in 1972. The large rises in the oil price in 1973/4 were the final straw and Oronsay was withdrawn from service, the penultimate example of the six post war 28,000 ton types (Arcadia sailed on until 1979). On 7 October 1975 she arrived at Kaohsiung to be broken up by the Nan Feng Steel Enterprise Co. 
In popular culture
Oronsay was one of the ships seen in the 1958 British comedy film The Captain's Table. Stock footage of all three post war Orient ships was used to depict the fictional SS Queen Adelaide and some scenes were shot on board at Tilbury Docks. Orient ships were also seen in stock footage in the 1962 British comedy film Carry On Cruising.
- Australian writer Leonora Polkinghorne died on board the Oronsay in May 1953, whilst en route to Denmark to attend the Women's World Congress.
- Tony Abbott, the 28th Prime Minister of Australia, aged two, emigrated to Australia with his family aboard the Oronsay in 1960.
- British historical novelist Eleanor Hibbert travelled on the Oronsay from United Kingdom to Sydney in 1970.
- Musician David Bowie travelled on the Oronsay from San Francisco to Yokohama in March/April 1973.
- Michael Ondaatje's 2011 novel The Cat's Table is a fictionalised account of the author's childhood voyage in 1954 from Ceylon to Britain on board the Oronsay.
- Diane Palmer (famed girls camp director and singer of 'Grandma's in the Cellar') immigrated to Australia from England with her family in 1959 at the age of 3. She later married Paul McSweeney and had 8 children before immigrating to the USA in 1992
- Lord George Brown the Labour politician was a passenger on a cruise to Las Palmas, Madeira, Bermuda, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in December 1968.
- Andy Gibb, younger brother of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb of he Bee Gees traveled with his parents between Australia and England early 1969. Possibly to attend the wedding of Maurice Gibb to Lulu. Oronsay was on a round the world cruise.
- "ORONSAY". shipspotting.com. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Goossens, Reuben. "SS Oronsay". ssmaritime.com. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Kludas, Great Passenger Ships of the World Vol.5
- Sinden, A Touch of the Memoirs
- "Death Of Mrs. L. E. Polkinghorne". The Advertiser (Adelaide). 95, (29, 510). South Australia. 13 May 1953. p. 2. Retrieved 23 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "British migrants – Selection documents for free or assisted passage (Commonwealth nominees)". National Archives of Australia. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
NAA citation "NAA: A1877, 07/09/1960 ORONSAY ABBOTT R H".
- "It Feels Like 'Coming Home': Mrs Eleanor Hibbert. English Author Would Like To Live Amongst Us". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 March 1970. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
Alec Michael Martignoles travelled from London Tilbury Docks to Melbourne Australia arriving in June 1955, aged 7 years with his parents and older brother, Alec became a member of the RAAF and served 23 years, and received many decorations.
|This article about a specific cruise ship is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|