Posted: 14 December, 2009 by Fairlane in special, ugly
Tags: , , ,


IMO: 5264742

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.

  1. Steve Thomas says:

    Not sure where you got these details from, but the ORIANA was built by Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness, for the Orient Steam Navigation Company. Her yard number was 1061.

    OSNC ships begining with the 1930s built ORION had corn coloured hulls as suggested by the late maritime historian Laurence Dunn, I believe.

    When P&O absorbed OSNC, the ships started to wear white hulls.

    Orient line ships traded between the UK and Australia and, with little in the way of air conditioning, were designed to be as open as possible to encourage the circulation of fresh air and enable passengers to sit outside more. This feature is common in most passenger ships trading in the Far East at the time.

    Compare these to the trans-Atlantic liners, and you will note the enclosed appearance of the north Atlantic ships so passengers could keep warm and dry.


  2. Fairlane says:

    Hmm, I guess the question really is, where did xVAS get theirs…
    Thanks for the catch, I’ve got it updated now.

  3. Polaris says:

    The aft funnel was fake and requested by OSNC to provide a more balanced design. Epic fail

  4. Clive Harvey says:

    So, in your opinion Fairlane, the Oriana was the first ‘ugly’ passenger liner? How about Minnewaska and Minnetonka, or even l’Atlantique? And those are just for starters!

  5. Stephanie says:

    She’s beautiful

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