Build: 1960 by Vickers-Armstrongs at Barrow-in-Furness in UK, nr. 1061
So normally I have an appreciation for older vessels, especially the old passenger liners that preceded today’s trends of atrocious cruise ships. Unfortunately though, that process of evolution had to start somewhere, and I think I may have found the culprit. Thus, this is truly both an appreciation and a bashing. The Oriana, though rather fugly, was still from an era that is no longer with us, and must be appreciated, even if in private, for being one of the classic ocean liners.
But, on with the bashing…
From a distance, she didn’t look to bad, and definitely had much better lines than today’s floating apartment buildings. However, as you got closer, the little things that ruined her became apparent.
Take, for example, the endless steps backwards that deceive you into thinking the bridge will be next, but every time it seems there’s just one more.
Then there’s the little matter of windows. It seems the shipyard had an excess of random windows from other projects lying around, and tried to use them up throughout the construction of Oriana; no two parts of her seem to use the same design.
Her funnels are kind of oddball too, with a separate design for each of them. Again, recycling excess material?
Then there’s the stern…
Out of nowhere the stern dissolves into a mishmash of balconies and more random windows.
To start off, she was painted a lovely yellow color, too. Luckily that was remedied eventually.
She was a persistent one, also. After retirement, she bacame a tourist attraction in Dalian, China until she sank in a storm in 2004. After a time partially submerged, she was raised, and quietly sailed off to the scrapyard, looking even worse than before. However, perhaps some cruise line executive somewhere vaguely smiled, no longer could people see how they had managed to take ugly, and make it uglier.
So, as sad as it is to see a classic liner sent to the scrappers, there have been much more tragic losses in recent history.