Ocean Liners

Ocean Liners: Getting there is half the fun!

Images of four ocean liners from the RIBA Collections

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.

Feature by Jonathan Makepeace.

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.

108595 items
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RIBA116854Additions to King's School, Canterbury: the north elevation of Mitchinson House overlooking Mint Yard

 
RIBA116855Additions to King's School, Canterbury: the east facing gable of Mitchinson House


RIBA116856Additions to King's School, Canterbury: Luxmore House, seen from the network of existing walls

 
RIBA116857Additions to King's School, Canterbury: the end gable of Luxmore House with medieval walling in the foreground showing a blocked window

 
RIBA116858Additions to King's School, Canterbury: the entrance elevation of Mitchinson House with the house master's accommodation sited behind the flint wall on the left and Mint Yard Gate on the right


RIBA116859Additions to King's School, Canterbury: Mitchinson House on the left looking towards Mint Yard Gate

 
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RIBA116861Additions to King's School, Canterbury: the entrance to Luxmore House showing its juxtoposition with the medieval walling


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RIBA116863Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter

 
RIBA116864Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter


RIBA116865Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase

 
RIBA116866Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase

 
RIBA116867Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase and handrail


RIBA116868Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116869Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116870Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter


RIBA116871Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter

 
RIBA116872Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase

 
RIBA116873Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase


RIBA116874Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase and handrail

 
RIBA116875Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116876Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London


RIBA116877Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase

 
RIBA116878Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the staircase from the upper floor

 
RIBA116879Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter at upper level


RIBA116880Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar area at ground level

 
RIBA116881Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the bar counter on the ground floor

 
RIBA116882Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop


RIBA116883Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop

 
RIBA116884Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London

 
RIBA116885Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the passageway leading to the wine shop