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
RIBA125117Competition entry number 1, Cotton Exchange, King William Street, Blackburn, Lancashire: section on the line C-D

 
RIBA125118Revised shops layout of the housing development at New Ash Green, Kent

 
RIBA125119Model of housing block, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Croydon, London


RIBA125120Model of housing block, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Croydon, London

 
RIBA125121Model of housing block, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Croydon, London

 
RIBA125122Model of housing block, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Croydon, London


RIBA125123Model of housing block, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Croydon, London

 
RIBA125124Model of housing block, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Croydon, London

 
RIBA125125Model of housing block, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Croydon, London


RIBA125126Model of housing block, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Croydon, London

 
RIBA125127Model of housing block, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Croydon, London

 
RIBA125128Model of housing block, Lion Green Road, Coulsdon, Croydon, London


RIBA125129Drawings of the New College or Barry Buildings, Dulwich College, London: view of central block and chapel in a park setting

 
RIBA125130Drawings of the New College or Barry Buildings, Dulwich College, London: view of part of cloisters and secondary wings

 
RIBA125131Drawings of the New College or Barry Buildings, Dulwich College, London: view of tower from inner court


RIBA125132Drawings of the New College or Barry Buildings, Dulwich College, London: view of chapel gable

 
RIBA125133Drawings of the New College or Barry Buildings, Dulwich College, London: view of doorway

 
RIBA125134Drawings of the New College or Barry Buildings, Dulwich College, London: view of staircase from entrance hall


RIBA125135Drawings of the New College or Barry Buildings, Dulwich College, London: view of interior of library

 
RIBA125136Two sketches: half-elevation of a rusticated arch with Tuscan column and an elevation of two half-bays and a pier of a gallery facade

 
RIBA125137Design for the facade of the Galerie de la Reine (now Galerie de Diane) at the Chateau of Fontainebleau


RIBA125138Design for the dome and lantern of the central staircase pavilion of the corps-de-logis at the Chateau of Montceaux

 
RIBA125139Design for a square-headed door or gate, rusticated, with heavy voussoirs and a triangular pediment supported on consoles

 
RIBA125140Elevation of the west facade of the jeu-de-paume (real tennis court) at the Chateau of Fontainebleau


RIBA125141Section of the interior of the jeu-de-paume (real tennis court) looking towards the tripartite window of the south facade at the Chateau of Fontainebleau

 
RIBA125142Elevation of the south facade of the jeu-de-paume (real tennis court) at the Chateau of Fontainebleau

 
RIBA125143Elevation of a house of five bays, two storeys, attic and high-pitched roof


RIBA125144Elevation of a domed paviion with lantern

 
RIBA125145Plan and side elevation of a Greek-cross church with dome and double tetrastyle portico; at bottom right, part of a masonry detail

 
RIBA125146Elevation and section of two centralised churches with domes and in bottom left, part of another dome and lantern


RIBA125147Copy of an engraving of a tomb by Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau

 
RIBA125148Copy of an engraving of a tomb by Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau

 
RIBA125149Copy of an engraving of a tomb by Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau