Oriana (I)
In the early hours of the 19th March 2011, my dad found a photo!  He had been looking for something in a drawer and it popped out.  It turned out to be the original Oriana so a rare find indeed.  This ship was ordered for Orient Lines and arrived a year before the more famous Canberra, her running mate on the Australia run for eventual parent company of P&O.  This 41,915grt liner set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton on the 3rd December 1960, arriving in Sydney on the 30th.  Orient Lines ships had a distictive corn livery, which sadly was removed after the merger of P&O and Orient Lines in 1965, all Orient Lines ships adopting P&O white livery.  From 1973 she became a cruise ship, her final journey from Southampton on the 12th November 1981 to begin a new career out of Sydney. After several years, her sailing career ended on the 27th March 1986 and flew the Orient Lines house flag for the final time before being laid up for two months as they tried to find a buyer.  Interest came from Daiwa House Sales in Japan to be a museum, hotel and conference centre with restaurants at Beppu Bay.  She was sold in 1995 to Hangzhou Jiebai Group Co Ltd to be government accommodation and a hotel, towed to Qinhuangdao where she remained until another sale in 1998 to Hangzhou West Lake International Tourism Culture Development Co Ltd and towed to Shanghai.  Yet another sale in 2000 after not making her owners enough money and she ended up in Dalian in 2002 where she remained until a storm hit in July 2004, causing a gash in her bow and leading to partial sinking.  The decision was made to send her to be broken up after more than a year of trying to repair her, the beginning of the end taking place on the 9th August 2005 at Zhangiagang.  She lasted longer than Canberra and had built up her own loyal following during her career at sea.  In fact, P&O asked for permission to give her call sign to the new Oriana, but sadly they replaced that in 2006 when they changed the registry to Hamilton.  The current Oriana has a few artworks onboard depicting her illustious predecessor.

The photo below was taken by my dad on Shore Road in Hythe as Oriana arrived into Southampton.  We're uncertain of the exact date but it's 1975, the same year he got Northern Star on cine film.  I have left it large to show as much detail from the Polaroid as possible.

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© Kevin Dempsey circa 1975 & Patricia Dempsey 2011
Not to be reproduced without permission