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.

108584 items
RIBA116896Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop

 
RIBA116897Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the passageway leading to the wine shop

 
RIBA116898Corney & Barrow restaurant, Moorgate, City of London: the wine shop


RIBA116899Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London

 
RIBA116900Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London

 
RIBA116901Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London: the entrance


RIBA116902Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London

 
RIBA116903Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London

 
RIBA116904Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London


RIBA116905Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London

 
RIBA116906Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London

 
RIBA116907Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London: the main entrance


RIBA116908Winchester House, Fetter Lane, City of London

 
RIBA116909Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey: the Grange Road elevation with a reflection of the building opposite

 
RIBA116910Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey


RIBA116911Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey

 
RIBA116912Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey: the elevation on Grange Road

 
RIBA116913Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey


RIBA116914Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey: detail of the cladding

 
RIBA116915Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey: the Grange Road elevation with a reflection of the building opposite

 
RIBA116916Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey


RIBA116917Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey

 
RIBA116918Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey: the elevation on Grange Road

 
RIBA116919Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey


RIBA116920Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey: detail of the cladding

 
RIBA116921Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey, seen from Samson's public house on the corner of Griggs Place and Grange Road

 
RIBA116922Building at the corner of Pages Walk and Grange Road, Bermondsey, seen from Samson's public house on the corner of Griggs Place and Grange Road


RIBA116923Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116924Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116925Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London


RIBA116926Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116927Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116928Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London