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
RIBA116929Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116930Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116931Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London


RIBA116932Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116933Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116934Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London


RIBA116935Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116936Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116937Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London


RIBA116938Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116939Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116940Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London


RIBA116941Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116942Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116943Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London


RIBA116944Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116945Anthony Hill exhibition, Hayward Gallery, South Bank Arts Centre, London

 
RIBA116946Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead


RIBA116947Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead

 
RIBA116948Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead: the glazed link bridge to the older buildiing

 
RIBA116949Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead: the glazed link bridge


RIBA116950Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead

 
RIBA116951Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead: the glazed link bridge

 
RIBA116952Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead: the open plan offices


RIBA116953Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead: the central atrium

 
RIBA116954Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead: a meeting room

 
RIBA116955Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead: the staircaes looking towards the porthole window


RIBA116956Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead

 
RIBA116957Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead

 
RIBA116958Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead


RIBA116959Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead

 
RIBA116960Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead

 
RIBA116961Extension to Dacorum Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead