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.

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RIBA126063Designs for the Cheltenham Estate, Edenham Street, North Kensington, London: site plan (phase II)

 
RIBA126064Designs for the Cheltenham Estate, Edenham Street, North Kensington, London: south, east and west elevations of block A (Trellick Tower) (phase I)


RIBA126066Designs for demolition, alterations and additions to Plas Newydd, Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, for the sixth Marquess of Anglesey: ground floor plan

 
RIBA126068Preliminary designs for the War Memorial, St John's Churchyard, High Street, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire: part-plan and elevation

 
RIBA126069Preliminary designs for the War Memorial, St John's Churchyard, High Street, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire: blueprint with coloured washes of part-plan and elevation


RIBA126070Preliminary designs for the War Memorial, St John's Churchyard, High Street, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire: blueprint partially coloured with washes of part-plan and elevation

 
RIBA126071Designs as executed for the War Memorial, St John's Churchyard, High Street, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire: half-plan

 
RIBA126072Designs as executed for the War Memorial, St John's Churchyard, High Street, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire: blueprint with coloured washes of elevation of memorial and mound and detail of pier


RIBA126073Designs as executed for the War Memorial, St John's Churchyard, High Street, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire: blueprint of elevation of memorial and mound and detail of pier

 
RIBA126074Measured drawing of St Saviour's Church (Southwark Cathedral), Southwark, London: transverse section through the nave

 
RIBA126077Five of the 'Seven Ages of Man' from the inlaid marble pavement of the Duomo, Siena


RIBA126078Down Hall, Hatfield Heath, Essex: text describing the house illustrated in the journal on a following page [see RIBA126080]

 
RIBA126079House at Datchet, Berkshire, for T. E. Howe, Esq.: plans, elevations, sections

 
RIBA126080Down Hall, Hatfield Heath, Essex: the garden front


RIBA126081A Thatcher Monument

 
RIBA126082Richad Meier

 
RIBA126083Erich Mendelsohn


RIBA126084Model of proposed hexagonal aircraft hanger structure in triangular form for the BOAC Maintenance Headquarters, London Airport, later developed as a design for an exhibition hall

 
RIBA126085Model of proposed hexagonal aircraft hanger structure in triangular form for the BOAC Maintenance Headquarters, London Airport, later developed as a design for an exhibition hall

 
RIBA126086Model of proposed hexagonal aircraft hanger structure in triangular form for the BOAC Maintenance Headquarters, London Airport, later developed as a design for an exhibition hall


RIBA126087Model of proposed hexagonal aircraft hanger structure in triangular form for the BOAC Maintenance Headquarters, London Airport, later developed as a design for an exhibition hall

 
RIBA126088Model of proposed hexagonal aircraft hanger structure in triangular form for the BOAC Maintenance Headquarters, London Airport, later developed as a design for an exhibition hall

 
RIBA126089Model of proposed hexagonal aircraft hanger structure in triangular form for the BOAC Maintenance Headquarters, London Airport, later developed as a design for an exhibition hall


RIBA126090Model of proposed hexagonal aircraft hanger structure in triangular form for the BOAC Maintenance Headquarters, London Airport, later developed as a design for an exhibition hall

 
RIBA126091Model of proposed hexagonal aircraft hanger structure in triangular form for the BOAC Maintenance Headquarters, London Airport, later developed as a design for an exhibition hall

 
RIBA126092Model of the central district of Lingang New City, Shanghai


RIBA126093Model of the central district of Lingang New City, Shanghai

 
RIBA126094Model of the central district of Lingang New City, Shanghai

 
RIBA126095Model of the central district of Lingang New City, Shanghai


RIBA126096Model of the central district of Lingang New City, Shanghai

 
RIBA126097Model of the central district of Lingang New City, Shanghai

 
RIBA126098Design for proposed alterations and additions to Minley Manor, Blackwater, Hampshire, for Bertram Wodehouse Currie: ground floor plan and plan of grounds