Sunday, 3 June 2012


This 28,000 gross ton ship with a length of 708 ft x beam 94 feet, features one funnel, one mast, twin screw and with a service speed of 22 knots. On board there was accommodation for 668 first class passengers and 883 tourist class passengers. She carried a crew of around 600.

The Oronsay was built by Vickers Armstrong in Barrow and launched for the Orient Line in June 1950. This is actually the second Orient Line ship as the earlier Oronsay was built in 1948. The name Oronsay is taken from an island of the West Coast of Scotland.

Anyone who travelled between the UK and Hong Kong or Australia by ship may remember the names of the old P&O cruise ships. Names such as the Canberra, Orianna and Oronsay. This article deals with the SS Oronsay which was used extensively by ex pats travelling from Hong Kong to the UK and vice versa.

The Oronsay started her maiden voyage from London to Sydney in May 1951. In 1960 she became part of the P&0-Orient Line which became wholly owned by P&O in 1966. This ship was a regular caller in Hong Kong and used extensively by many civil servants travelling home to the UK with their families. The Oronsay had considerable storage space of around 370,000 cubic feet. Plenty of room for those aluminium cabin trunks that were popular on cruises.

The Oronsay was scrapped in Taiwan in 1975.

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