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Orient Line
Page 1: 1866-1899
This page is one of a series to postcards and photographs of the Orient Line, including ships manged by the Orient Line but owned by the Pacifica Steam and Royal Mail companies between 1878-1909. An alphabetical list of ships shown on this page is shown below. The Table beneath gives links to complete history pages on selected individual ships. Below the table is a Fleet List in chronological order.
The Orient Stean Navigation Company was formed by Anderson in 1877, to run services from London to Australia. Initial services used chartered tonnage and sailed via the Cape. At the time, the Pacific Steam Navigation Company (PSNC) found themselves in financial difficulties with their services to the west coast of South America. Many PSNC ships were laid up, and service speeds and departures were reduced. Two PSNC ships were sold to Royal Mail Lines, and four others were chartered (and later sold) to the Orient Line in 1878 for their new service to Australia. The Orient Line venture was so successful, that sailings were soon increased from monthly to fortnightly, and the extra ships required again came from the PSNC. PSNC entered into a joint venture with Orient Line, marketed as Orient-Pacific Line, although management remained with Orient Line. The best PSNC vessels at this time were all deployed on the Australian route. PSNC ships adopted an Or- prefix, in line with Orient practice. From 1881, alternate sailings used the Suez Canal route, and the Cape route was abandonned altogether in 1883.
By 1906, brighter prospects in their original trading area allowed PSNC to sell their Australian interests to Royal Mail, along with the four PSNC vessels used, and the Australian service became known as Orient-Royal Mail Line. The new partners did not get along, and Royal Mail pulled out of the partnership with Orient Line in 1909. In 1919, P&O acquired a controlling interest in the Orient Line, although Orient retained its managerial independence within the group. From 1938, services were extended beyond Australia to New Zealand. In post-war years, services were marketed as P&O-Orient Lines, and the Orient ships retained there distinctive corn-coloured hulls. In 1965, P&O acquired the whole Orient Line shareholding, the ships received white P&O hulls, and the Orient Line title was dropped.
Ships on This Page:-
Lusitania (Orient Line: 1871-1877 - 3,877gt)
Omrah (Orient Line: 1899-1918 - 8,130gt)
Ophir (Orient Line: 1891-1915 - 6,814gt)
Orient (Orient Line: 1879-1910 - 23,371gt)
Orizaba (PSNC: 1886-1906, Royal Mail: 1906-1909)
Ormuz (1) (Orient Line: 1886-1912 - 6,031gt)
Orotava (PSNC: 1890-1906, Royal Mail: 1906-1909)
Oroya (2) (PSNC: 1887-1906, Royal Mail: 1906-1909)
Oruba (1) (PSNC: 1889-1906, Royal Mail: 1906-1909)
Ortona (PSNC: 1899-1906, Royal Mail: 1906-1909)

Orient Line Pages:-
Orient Line - Page 1 - 1866-1899
Orient Line - Page 2 - 1900-1914
Orient Line - Page 3 - 1915-1939
Orient Line - Page 4 - 1940-1965
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Ocean Liner Postcards
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Orient Line Fleet List
Page 1: 1866-1899
(1871-1877 - 3,877gt)
Transferred from Pacific Steam Nav.Co in 1871. 1900 sold to Elder Dempster's Beaver Line

(1879-1910 - 5386gt)
Scrapped Italy in 1910.
Scan: Reto Raeth.

Ormuz (1)
(1886-1912 - 6,031gt)
Sold to Cie de Nav. Sud-Atlantique in 1912, renamed Divona.
Tuck's "Celebrated Liners" postcard of Ormuz.
Orizaba (PSNC/Royal Mail: 1886-1909)
Oroya (2) (PSNC/Royal Mail: 1887-1909)
Orizaba and Oroya (2) were designed by the PSNC for the joint Australian service with Orient Lines. As built, they were 6050 gross tons and 466 feet long, and passenger totals were:- 126-1st, 154-2nd and 412-3rd. Tonnage later increased to 6300 gt and funnels were lengthened in 1905. In 1895, Oroya (2) was stranded in the Bay of Naples. On 15th February 1905, Orizaba ran ashore on Garden Island, near Fremantle, and became a total loss. Surviving sister Oroya (2) passed to Royal Mail for Orient-Royal Mail service in 1906. They were built with four masts, but Royal Mail removed the the second and third from Oroya (2). She was scrapped in 1909.
Orient-Royal Mail postcard of Oroya (2) at Tilbury.
Kingsway postcard S2168 of Oroya (2) in Royal Mail service after 1909.
Orotava (PSNC/Royal Mail: 1890-1909)
Oruba (1) (PSNC/Royal Mail: 1889-1909)
Orotava and Oruba were designed by the PSNC as smaller versions of Orizaba with funnels placed closer together. They were built for the Valparaiso trade and re-allocated to the Australian run in in mid-1890. They were 5850 gross tons, 430 feet long and passenger totals were:- 126-1st, 120-2nd and 400-3rd. In 1896, Orotava capsized in Tilbury, but was raised for further service. She was used for Boer War trooping between 1899-1903. They passed to Royal Mail in 1906, and their second and third masts were removed. From 1909 they served on the West Indies route. Orotava became an armed merchant cruiser in WW1, and was scrapped afterwards in 1919. Oruba was taken over by the Admiralty for conversion as a dummy replica of the battleship Orion, and was later scuttled to form a breakwater in the Aegean.
Tuck's "Celebrated Liners" postcard of Orotava.
Advertising postcard of Oruba.
Official Orient-Royal Mail postcard of Oruba with two masts.

(1891-1915 - 6,814gt)
Became Armed Merchant Cruiser in 1915. In 1918 sold to Admiralty to become a hospital ship.
Official Orient-Royal Mail postcard of Ophir.
(PSNC/Royal Mail: 1899-1909)
Ortona was built by PSNC for the joint Orient-Pacific Australian run. She was 7950 gross tons and 500 feet long, carrying 130-1st, 162-2nd and 300-3rd class passengers. She passed to Royal Mail in 1906, and was used briefly on their West Indies route. In 1910 she was rebuilt as the cruise ship Arcadian (8950 gross tons, 320 First Class passengers). She was sunk by a submarine in 1917 whilst on trooping duty.
Tuck's "Celebrated Liners" postcard of Ortona in Orient-Pacific colours.

(1899-1918 - 8,130gt)
Torpedoed and sunk off Cape Spartivento in 1918, while trooping.
Tuck's "Celebrated Liners" postcard of Omrah in Orient-Pacific colours.
Official Orient-Royal Mail postcard of Omrah.
Official Orient-Royal Mail postcard of Omrah.
Orient Line Page 1 - Orient Line Page 2 - Orient Line Page 3 - Orient Line Page 4
P&O Liners Page 1 - P&O Liners Page 2 - P&O Liners Page 3 - P&O Liners Page 4
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