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
RIBA125216Section through the funerary chapel of Diane de Poitiers at the Chateau d'Anet

 
RIBA125217Elevation of the funerary chapel of Diane de Poitiers at the Chateau d'Anet

 
RIBA125218Two half-elevations of doors


RIBA125219Two half-elevations of gates

 
RIBA125220Two half-elevations of gates

 
RIBA125221Two half-elevations of doors


RIBA125222Porta del Popolo, Rome: half-elevation and section

 
RIBA125223Half-elevation of a door (left); half-elevation of proposed main entrance to the Palazzo della Cancelleria, Rome (right)

 
RIBA125224Two half-elevations of doors


RIBA125225Two half-elevations of doors

 
RIBA125226Two half-elevations of doors

 
RIBA125227One half-elevation and one whole elevation of doors; the whole elevation has alternative designs to right and left


RIBA125228Contract drawings for alterations & additions to Sunnylands, Bath, for Dr. Strickland Kearney Kingston: plans

 
RIBA125229Contract drawings for alterations & additions to Sunnylands, Bath, for Dr. Strickland Kearney Kingston: plans of additions

 
RIBA125230Contract drawings for alterations & additions to Sunnylands, Bath, for Dr. Strickland Kearney Kingston: elevations showing additions


RIBA125231Church Missionary Society's High School, Lucknow: perspective with ground floor plan

 
RIBA125232Villa Cambiaso, via Montallegro, San Francesco d'Albaro, Genoa: south elevation

 
RIBA125233Palazzo Pallavicini (also, Palazzo Interiano Pallavicini), piazza Fontane Marose 2, Genoa: north elevation


RIBA125234Palazzo del sigr Augustino Palavicino in Strada Nuova (now Palazzo Cambiaso Pallavicini, via Giuseppe Garibaldi 1), Genoa: elevation

 
RIBA125235Palazzo del Sigr Niccolo Spinola (Palazzo Doria), via Garibaldi 6, Genoa: elevation of principal facade

 
RIBA125236Palazzo del Sigr Andrea Spinola (Palazzo Spinola Gambaro), via Garibaldi 2, Genoa: elevation


RIBA125237Palazzo degli signori Giacomo e Pantaleo Balbi (Palazzo Balbi Senarega), via Balbi 4, Genoa: elevation of principal facade

 
RIBA125238Palazzo del Signor Daniel Spinola (Palazzo Franzone), piazza Luccoli 23, Genoa: elevation

 
RIBA125239Palazzo del sigr Otavio Sauli (Palazzo del Melograno), piazza Campetto 2, Genoa: elevation of the principal facade


RIBA125240Palazzo del sigr Luigi Centurione (Palazzo Podesta), via Garibaldi 7, Genoa: elevation of principal facade

 
RIBA125241Palazzo del sigr Giacomo Saluzzo et del sigr Giovanni Battista Adorno (Palazzo Cattaneo Adorno), via Garibaldi 8 & 10, Genoa: elevation of the principal facade

 
RIBA125242Palazzo del sigr Henrico Salvago (Palazzo Campanella), via Garibaldi 12, Genoa: elevation of the principal facade


RIBA125243Palazzo del sigr Babilano Pallavicino (Palazzo Pallavicino), piazza Fossatello 2, Genoa: elevation of the principal facade

 
RIBA125244Palazzo del sigr Battista Centurione (Palazzo Gio Battista Centurione or Palazzo Centurione Cambiaso), piazza Fossatello 1, Genoa: elevation of the principal facade

 
RIBA125245Chiesa di S Ciro de gli Padri Teatini (Chiesa di San Siro), via San Siro, Genoa: elevation of facade


RIBA125246Chiesa dei Santi Ambrogio e Andrea (or Chiesa del Gesu), piazza Matteotti, Genoa: elevation

 
RIBA125247Chiesa dei Santi Ambrogio e Andrea (or Chiesa del Gesu), piazza Matteotti, Genoa: section through the nave showing the high altar

 
RIBA125248Half-elevation of door (left); three-quarter elevation of door (right)