SS Orontes

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SS Orontes.jpg
SS Orontes in Tilbury Docks, circa 1957, about to sail for Sydney on a single-class voyage with (mainly) migrant passengers on the Ten Pound Poms scheme.
Name: SS Orontes
Owner: Orient Line (P & O)
Port of registry: United Kingdom Tilbury, Essex, United Kingdom
  • England - Australia (1929-1940)
  • England - Australia (1948-1962)
Builder: Vickers Armstrong Ltd. at Barrow-in-Furness, England
Maiden voyage: June 1929
Refit: 1947-1948
  • Code Letters and radio callsign GBXM
  • ICS Golf.svgICS Bravo.svgICS X-ray.svgICS Mike.svg
Fate: Scrapped at Valencia, Spain in 1962
General characteristics
Type: Passenger
Tonnage: 20,097 grt
Length: 664 ft (202 m)
Beam: 75 ft 2 in (22.91 m)
Draft: 29 ft 8 in (9.04 m)
Installed power: 2 steam turbines, 20,000 shaft horsepower (15,000 kW)
Propulsion: 2 screws
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)
  • 1st: 500 passengers
  • 3rd: 1,112 passengers
  • Total: 1,612 passengers

The SS Orontes was a passenger ship owned by Orient Line.

The ship was built in 1929 by Vickers Armstrong LTD. at Barrow-in-Furness, England.

Its sister ships were Orama (II), Orford, Oronsay, and Otranto (II). Orontes was the last of the "Orama" Class and great effort was taken to make the public rooms of Orontes the best of this class.


The Orontes' maiden voyage was a Mediterranean Cruise in June 1929. From 1929 to 1940, it served on the England to Australia route. Famous passengers included the England cricket team on the way to the Bodyline tour in 1932.[1]

During World War II, the Orontes became a troopship, serving that role from 1940 to 1947.

At the end of WWII the Orontes was used to return Prisoners of War from Australian camps back to Europe. One such voyage departed Station Pier in January 1946. [2]

Known Voyages[edit]

Date & Place of Engagement Date & Place of Discharge Main Destination
17/09/1932 - Tilbury Unknown Australia
22/04/1940 - Southampton 30/06/1940 - Fremantle Australia
30/03/1945 - Liverpool 6/9/1945 - Tilbury Unknown
07/09/1945 - Tilbury 14/12/1945 - Tilbury Unknown
15/12/1945 - Tilbury 20/5/1946 - Tilbury Unknown
21/05/1946 - Tilbury 10/9/1946 - Tilbury Unknown

The ship was refitted as a single class passenger ship at Thorneycroft from 1947 to 1948 . It served on the England to Australia route from 1948 to 1962.[citation needed] In March 1958, Orontes was involved in a collision with SS Empire Baltic in the River Thames.[3] The Orontes was scrapped at Valencia, Spain in 1962.[citation needed]


  1. ^ McKinstry, Leo (2007-09-14), "When cynicism eclipsed chivalry in sport", Daily Telegraph, London 
  2. ^ Personal Diary of POW Prison Guard SGT Albert Edward Barnes, Garrison 17, January to June 1946.
  3. ^ ORONTES (1929) (PDF), P&O Line, retrieved 5 March 2009 
  • Geddes, FL (1948-06-24), "The Reconditioned "Orontes"", Shipbuilding and Shipping Record: 774  - article about the post-war refit
  • McCart, Neil (1987), Passenger Ships of the Orient Line, P. Stephens, ISBN 978-0-85059-891-9 

External links[edit]

  • Description in the Ships List [1]
  • Pictures and passenger list [2]