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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105614 items
RIBA3926Design for the grotto, Oatlands Park, Surrey

 
RIBA3928Studios for Messrs. Sound City (Films) Ltd, Shepperton

 
RIBA3929Studios for Messrs. Sound City (Films) Ltd, Shepperton


RIBA3930Langham Hotel, Portland Place, London

 
RIBA3931Design for the Three per Cent Consols Office, Bank of England, Threadneedle Street, City of London

 
RIBA3932Design for a monument


RIBA3937Design for stained glass windows depicting Saint Michael and Virtue for an unidentified 18th century church

 
RIBA3938Design for windows for the 'Willow Cathedral'

 
RIBA3939Design for the English School (later Bedford Modern School), Bedford


RIBA3940Design for Crom Castle (or Crum Castle), County Fermanagh: perspective of the facade overlooking the terrace and lake

 
RIBA3941Design for Goodrich Court, Herefordshire: perspective

 
RIBA3942Design for a conservatory, Beckford House, Southampton


RIBA3943Frei Otto

 
RIBA3944West German Pavilion, Expo '67, Montreal, by night

 
RIBA3945Design for an organ case, Burton-upon-Trent


RIBA3948Drawings from a sketchbook showing the gatehouse of Cockermouth Castle, Cumbria, and part-plan of Norris Castle, East Cowes, Isle of White

 
RIBA3949Design for a cottage ornee

 
RIBA3950Design for the interior decoration of a house


RIBA3951Design for the Indian Bridge at Sezincote, Moreton-in-Marsh

 
RIBA3953Design for an octagonal cottage

 
RIBA3955Hungerford Market, London: perpective view of the galleries, showing a flower-seller


RIBA3957Design for the west elevation of a cathedral

 
RIBA3960Design for Rookwood Cemetery Railway Station, Sydney, Australia

 
RIBA3962Design for a country villa


RIBA3963Design for Stanley Hall, Shropshire

 
RIBA3965Design for a tower for Selfridge's department store, Oxford Street, London

 
RIBA3966Design for the saloon ceiling, Longleat House, Wiltshire, for the Marquis of Bath


RIBA3970Interior of an Egyptian temple

 
RIBA3972Designs for the redecoration of the chapel and addition of an adjoining monument room, Wynyard Park, County Durham, for the 6th Marquis of Londonderry: view of the chapel looking south-east

 
RIBA3973Design for Mason's Yard Electricity Generating Station, Duke Street, London for St. James & Pall Mall Electric Lighting Company


RIBA3974Persective of the chimney at Grove Road Power Station, Lodge Road, St John's Wood, London for the Central Electricity Supply Company

 
RIBA3975Blickling Hall, Norfolk: design for a fireplace in the library

 
RIBA3976View through an archway, Venice


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