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RMS Orion Homepage

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 RMS Orion photo courtesy of P&O

(Also known as SS Orion in her later years. RMS stood for Royal Mail Steamer)




RMS Orion was probably the most famous of the Australian immigrant ships. Originally built for the Orient Line and later owned by P&O, she was designed specifically for the immigration service and was the first British ocean liner to feature air conditioned public rooms. She was also the first ship owned by P&O, to feature the corn coloured livery.

Many of her design features would be incorporated into later ships, and as such was a test bed for these concepts. She was an architects ship in a different way to others, in that an architect was commissioned to design and carry out the entire decoration of the ship. Brian O'Rorke, a New Zealander, was that architect and his extensive use of chromium and Bakelite throughout, because of its resistance to the effects of sea air was a first. This style of decor was very original for the time and was copied extensively on later liners.

She commenced service for Orient Line in 1935 and was at the time their largest liner.

I was privileged to travel on Orion in 1959 from Tilbury Docks  London, to Brisbane  Australia, as a seven year old with my family. Though my memories of the ship are now fading I feel a part of her will always remain with me, as indeed for many others too. If you are looking for passenger lists for RMS Orion please do not e-mail me as I do not keep these records. I suggest you click here and visit this page from the National Archives of Australia. They are most helpful.

Steve Mulliss (Web Author)

Please take time to sign the guest book, you may know a fellow passenger or one of the crew who has already signed in. 

Neil Priseman recently offered his pictures and memories to the collection here

Click here

One of my guests, Brandy Thomas has written a book about a memorable voyage on Orion she undertook as a nurse in 1957. 

Click here for details.


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This site was first published on 20 August 2000 and last updated July 2003.




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