Ocean Liners

Ocean Liners: Getting there is half the fun!

Prior to the arrival of the “jet age” and, in particular, the commercial success of the Boeing 707 “airliner” ocean liners were the dominant mode of transport between continents not only carrying passengers but freight and mail. Today only Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 (QM2) continues that line’s advertising slogan of “Getting there is half the fun!” Indeed the QM2 is now the sole ship in service as an ocean liner albeit not exclusively as she is also used as a cruise ship.

Ocean liners and cruise ships are actually different types of vessels. Ocean liners have regular ocean going routes and being built for the open oceans tend to be stronger, faster and sleeker. In comparison cruise ships tend to be much boxier being largely designed to cruise around the calmer sailing conditions of sheltered waters.

Only a handful of ocean liners now survive, including the SS Great Britain (1843), RMS Queen Mary (1934), SS United States (1951), SS Queen Elizabeth 2 or QE2 (1967) as well as a couple, MV Astoria (built as the Stockholm, 1946) and MS Marco Polo (1964), now plying their trade as cruise liners.

Illustrated here are a number of photographs and drawings of ocean liners from the RIBA Collections including several with interior designs by renowned architects including those for the RMS Queen Elizabeth by the designer of the RIBA headquarters, George Grey Wornum.

Readers may also be interested in the exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed and Style at V&A Dundee until 24 February 2019.

SS Normandie
Ocean Liners

SS Normandie

Click on the image above to go to the Normandie gallery.

RMS Orion & RMS Orcades II
Ocean Liners

Orion & Orcades II

Click on the image above to got to go to the Orion & Orcades gallery.

SS Oriana
Ocean Liners

SS Oriana

Click on the image above to go to the Oriana gallery.

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100574 items
RIBA10714Clothes lines, Glencaple, near Dumfries

 
RIBA372737 Bidston Road, Oxton, Birkenhead, Merseyside: the dining room

 
RIBA2518-9Alexander Fleming House, Elephant and Castle, Southwark, London


RIBA34554Alton East Estate, Roehampton, London: view of the staggered terrace of houses with twelve-storey point blocks in the background

 
RIBA59327Alton West Estate, Roehampton, London: Lynn Chadwick's sculpture 'The Watchers' with the point blocks beyond

 
RIBA4620Alton West Estate, Roehampton, London: the staggered line of old people's cottages


RIBA2478Battersea 'A' Power Station, London, by night

 
RIBA2902-26Berthold Lubetkin in top hat beside caryatid at the entrance to Highpoint Two, North Hill, Highgate, London

 
RIBA2561-10Black & White Milk Bar, Gray's Inn Road, London, at night


RIBA5151Breves Lalique Galleries, Bond Street, London

 
RIBA3722Christ Church, Spitalfields, London, seen from Brushfield Street

 
RIBA3643-71Decimus Burton


RIBA4081Design for a poster for the Central Liquor Control Board entitled 'Use and Beauty' to decorate a pub or canteen, possibly in the Carlisle area

 
RIBA21225Design for a proposed new front for the North Briton public house, 10 New North Road, Hoxton, London

 
RIBA4113Design for a wallpaper entitled 'The Callum'


RIBA20216Design for Bromley Hall School for children with physical disabilities, Bromley Hall Road, Tower Hamlets, London

 
RIBA29448Design for Calverley Grange (now Pembury Grange), Sandown Park, Pembury, Kent: elevation, for Neville Ward

 
RIBA4022Design for Frinton Park Estate, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex


RIBA36739Design for Gatwick Airport: ground floor plan of the terminal building known as 'The Beehive'

 
RIBA36537Design for the Brook Street Hill Garden Village, Brentwood, Essex, for Homesteads Ltd.: plan with perspective details showing examples of proposed houses

 
RIBA4033Design for the interior decoration of the Chapel of St Joseph, Oratory of St Philip Neri, Brompton Road, Kensington, London


RIBA3087-37Designs for Broadleys (now Windermere Motor Boat Club), Gillhead, near Cartmel Fell, Lake Windermere, Cumbria, for Arthur Currer Briggs: perspective of terrace front with inset floor plans

 
RIBA3309-51Dreamland, Margate, Kent

 
RIBA3440-58Eames House, 206 Chautauqua Way, Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles


RIBA5251Flats in Holford Square, Finsbury, London: view showing the triaxial plan form of the spiral staircase of Bevin Court

 
RIBA72715Laboratories for the Metropolitan Water Board at New River Head, Rosebery Avenue, London: the entrance hall and corridor

 
RIBA2785-21Norman Foster


RIBA2427-3Penguin Pool, London Zoo, Regent's Park, London: the elliptical pool and ramp

 
RIBA3519-62Philharmonie, Berlin

 
RIBA2706-17Skylon, Festival of Britain, South Bank, London


RIBA2825-22St Edward's, Brotherton, North Yorkshire, with Ferrybridge B Power Station behind

 
RIBA2995-31St Enoch Station, Glasgow: arched roof over the platforms

 
RIBA2923-27The Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, City of London: the Threadneedle Street and Prince's Street fronts


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