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.

108594 items
RIBA125689Seven drawings of entablatures

 
RIBA125690Drawings of five cornices and a profile

 
RIBA125691Two half-elevations of doorways with tables and pediments above


RIBA125692Two half-elevations of doorways

 
RIBA125693Design for the central doorway of an entrance screen with plan beneath and alternative designs to left and right

 
RIBA125694Design for a fountain, Royal Dairy, Frogmore, Windsor


RIBA125695Designs for alterations and additions to the existing house, Scarisbrick Hall, Lancashire: ground floor plan showing proposed alterations

 
RIBA125696Design for an unidentified classical pavilion

 
RIBA125697Design model for the Fitzwilliam Chapel, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge


RIBA125698Design model for the Fitzwilliam Chapel, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

 
RIBA125699Design model for the Fitzwilliam Chapel, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

 
RIBA125700Design model for the Fitzwilliam Chapel, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge


RIBA125701Design model for the Fitzwilliam Chapel, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

 
RIBA125702Design model for the Fitzwilliam Chapel, Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

 
RIBA125703Design model for Cardiff Bay Visitors' Centre, Cardiff


RIBA125704Design model for Cardiff Bay Visitors' Centre, Cardiff

 
RIBA125705Design model for Cardiff Bay Visitors' Centre, Cardiff

 
RIBA125706Design model for Cardiff Bay Visitors' Centre, Cardiff


RIBA125707Design model for Cardiff Bay Visitors' Centre, Cardiff

 
RIBA125708Sketch for a door knocker to be executed in bronze - already partly modelled

 
RIBA125709Cathedral in Halle: grille in the Baptistery Chapel


RIBA125710Design for an oak staircase for a hall: elevation, plan and section details

 
RIBA125711Design for a carved church screen: elevation with sections and details

 
RIBA125712Competition design for a new church, Heigham, Norwich: perspective


RIBA125713Design for a drinking fountain, Bridgetown, Barbados, for John Montefiore: elevation

 
RIBA125714Design for a tabernacle door, St Peter-in-Chains Roman Catholic Church, Prince's Street, Doncaster

 
RIBA125715Design for a chancel


RIBA125716Design for Glanfield Lawrence car showroom and garage, North Circular Road, Finchley, London: perspective

 
RIBA125717Survey drawings of Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, for the 6th Baron Vernon: ground floor plan

 
RIBA125718Survey drawings of Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, for the 6th Baron Vernon: mezzanine over ground floor plan


RIBA125719Survey drawings of Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, for the 6th Baron Vernon: bedroom floor plan

 
RIBA125720Survey drawings of Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, for the 6th Baron Vernon: mezzanine over first floor plan

 
RIBA125721Survey drawings of Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire, for the 6th Baron Vernon: elevation of the entrance front