SS Orion Archival Collection

SS Orion (1935) of the Orient Line.

SS Orion (1935) of the Orient Line. GGA Image ID # 1ec4d357f2

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Orion (1935) Orient Line (British)

Built by Vickers-Armstrongs, Ltd., Barrow, England. Tonnage: 23,456. Dimensions: 640' x 82' (665' o.l.). Twin- screw, 21 knots. Steam turbines. Single mast and one funnel. Commenced her first regular sailing from England to Australia in September 1935. World War II Service: Converted to troopship. Postwar Service: Resumed service in 1947. Passengers: 550 first and 700 tourist. Fate: Broken up for Scrap in Antwerp, 1963. Similar ship: Orcades. Note: When sailing on cruise voyages, she accommodated 600 passengers in a single class.


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Passenger Lists


Front Cover, Cabin Passenger List for the RMS Orion of the Orient Line, Departing 30 December 1947 from London (Tilbury) to Sydney.


1947-12-30 RMS Orion Passenger List

Cabin Passenger List for the RMS Orion of the Orient Line, Departing 30 December 1947 from London (Tilbury) to Sydney via Aden, Colombo, Port Said, Fremantle, and Melbourne, Commanded by Captain C. Fox, C.B.E.


Front Cover, First Saloon Passenger List for the RMS Orion of the Orient Line, Departing 7 February 1948 from Sydney to Southampton.


1948-02-07 RMS Orion Passenger List

First Saloon Passenger List for the RMS Orion of the Orient Line, Departing 7 February 1948 from Sydney to Southampton via Melbourne, Fremantle, Colombo, Aden, and Port Said, Commanded by Captain C. Fox, C.B.E. Notable Passengers: The Rt. Hon. The Viscount and Viscountess Nuffield, G.B.E., Rt. Hon. Lord and Lady Rotherwick, Col. The Rt. Hon, Sir Leslie Wilson, G.C.S.I., G.C.M.G., G.C.I.E., D.S.O. and Lady Wilson, Sir George Aylwen and Lady Aylwen, The Archbishop of Belbourne & Mrs. J. J. Booth, The Bishop of Riverina and Mrs. C. H. Murray, Rt. Rev. R. Thomas, Bishop of Willochra, Dr. W. H. Johnson, Bishop of Ballarat.


Front Cover, Orient Line SS Orion Tourist Class Passenger List - 8 October 1954.


1954-10-08 RMS Orion Passenger List

Tourist Class Passenger List from the RMS Orion of the Orient Line, Departing 8 October 1954 from Vancouver BC to Sydney via San Francisco, Honolulu, Suva (Fiji), and Auckland, Commanded by Captain A. E. Coles, R.D., R.N.R.


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Passage Contracts, Tickets, and Receipts


Orient Line First Class Passage Ticket for Passage on the SS Orion, Departing from Sydney for Tilbury Dated 7 February 1948.

SS Orion Passage Contract - 7 February 1948

First Class Ticket for Passage from Sydney to Southampton on the SS Orion of the Orient Line, voyage to being on or about the 7th of February 1948 for one adult who paid £115 for passage.


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Front Cover, The Fabulous Interiors of the Great Ocean Liners, 1984.


The Fabulous Interiors of the Great Ocean Liners - 1984

Some 200 superb photographs—in long shots and close-ups—capture exquisite interiors of world's great "floating palaces"—1890s to 1980s: Titanic, Île de France, Queen Elizabeth, United States, Europa, more. Informative captions provide key details.


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Other Ephemera


Badges of Rank for Officers and Staff in the Service of the Orient Line, 1947.

Badges of Rank for Officers and Staff in the Service of the Orient Line, 1947. RMS Orion Passenger List, 30 December 1947. GGA Image ID # 1ec4ccc8ce. Click to View Larger Image.


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Excerpts from Information for Passengers


The following notes will help to answer many of the questions that a passenger might wish to ask. All cash amounts are expressed in Sterling unless otherwise indicated.

Where To Make Enquiries And Complaints

Questions which your Steward cannot answer should be referred to the Purser's Office which is open at the times shown on the special information card placed in all cabins.

The Purser and his assistants are in charge of all the cabins, meals and service throughout the ship. If you are dissatisfied about anything that cannot at once be put right by a Steward you should refer the matter I# the Purser, or in serious cases to the Captain, so that it can be looked into at once and, if possible, put right. If the question cannot be dealt with on the spot, the ship's authorities will at any rate have the details of your criticism, so that they can report and discuss it with the Company's officials in London or Australia.


The Purser is not authorized to accept ordinary cheques. As the supply of money on board is limited, he can, in general, only accept travelers’ cheques and drafts under letters of credit in payment of accounts due to the ship. If he has sufficient money available, however, he may cash them for a reasonable amount.


Passengers are strongly recommended to entrust cash, jewelry, etc., to the Purser.
In return for a charge of 5 - per £100 value for the voyage to or from Egypt or 10/- per £100 value for a voyage to or from more distant ports, the Purser will issue a receipt and the Company will accept responsibility for safe custody.

Alternatively the Purser will accept a sealed package without making a charge and will issue a receipt, but in this case neither he nor the Company can accept any responsibility for the deposit.


The Surgeon will be in attendance in the Surgery at the hours stated on the information card and the ship's notice board, and is always available in emergency. He is authorized to charge 10 - Sterling per visit, which charge includes medicines. In ships where an X-Ray apparatus is carried the Surgeon is authorized to charge 2 gns. Sterling per X-Ray. A trained hospital nurse is available under the direction of the ship's Surgeon. Passengers are warned of the danger of contracting chills by sleeping in the direct draught of a blower or fan or by sitting under a fan when heated by playing games, etc.

If good health is to be maintained in hot weather the amount of salt normally taken must be increased substantially since a great deal of it is lost through perspiration. Unless this is replaced, it leads to tiredness, loss of appetite, sleeplessness headache and a general feeling of being run down. This can be avoided either by increasing the amount of table salt eaten with meals or by dissolving salt tablets in drinking water. These latter are not unpleasant in flavor and may be purchased from the Ship's shop.

When ashore at ports in hot climates passengers are advised to avoid Water or Milk that has not been boiled or sterilized, uncooked Vegetables, Salads, and soft Fruits unless the protective skin is peeled before eating.


Dining Saloon
Any modification of the times stated on the Seating Card given to passengers at the beginning of the voyage will be posted on the ship's notice board. This Seating Card offers to each passenger a reserved seat in the Dining Saloon. The Head Waiter will endeavor to meet the wishes of those who desire to change their seats at meals. There are no fixed seats for breakfast. A light breakfast, consisting of tea or coffee, rolls, butter, jam or marmalade, and fruit, can be served in cabins, from 8 to 9.30 am

Smoking is not allowed in the Dining Saloon. Passengers may arrange for visitors to the ship to have meals with them on board provided accommodation is available. All arrangements should be made with the Head Waiter.

Visitors to the ship will be charged as follows:

Sterling Australian
Light Breakfast v- 2/6
Breakfast 3/6 4/6
Luncheon 5/- 6/-
Tea V- 2/6
Dinner 7/6 9/6


In Orion there is a Restaurant in addition to the Main Dining Saloon, where a more elaborate menu is provided, and special dishes can be ordered for a moderate extra charge. Full details are given in the special Restaurant Leaflet.

Wine Service

In order to obtain the most efficient service of wine, passengers are invited to order their wines in advance at a previous meal.

Payments for drinks must be made in cash at all times except at meals, when they may be signed for. An account of these will be rendered weekly. For those who do not wish to carry loose cash, coupon books are on sale at the bars. Unexpended coupons are redeemable at the Purser s Office at the end of the voyage.

On the Australian Coast the prices of all Wines, Tobaccos, etc., (except those of Australian origin) are raised on account of the Australian Customs tariff.


Parents are invited to discuss their children's food requirements with the Chief Steward, who will do everything possible to meet their wishes. A Children’s Hostess and a Nursery Stewardess are carried who will organize games, etc., to keep children amused for several hours a day while the ship is at sea. They cannot, however, take responsibility for the care of individual children, nor is it part of their duty to take care of children continuously throughout the day, nor while their parents are ashore.

Children are not allowed in the public rooms unless accompanied by an adult who will see that they do not disturb other passengers.

Deck Chairs

These are provided free.


The ship's laundry is capable of dealing with only a very limited amount of passengers' personal linen. The Bedroom Stewards can give particulars.

Electric Irons

Electric irons are provided free on application to the Cabin Steward and special facilities are provided for ironing. Owing to the danger of fire if irons of the wrong voltage are used, passengers must not use their own irons without first having them approved by the Chief Engineer; this is done through the Purser's Office. Approval must be obtained in the same way before any other electrical equipment is used.

A limited number of plug adaptors are available for use with electric razors. These may be obtained on application to the Cabin Steward.


A library is available, free of charge, and is open daily at the following times10—11:00 am, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Passengers are responsible for the safe return of books borrowed, and are liable to the following charges for lost books:- Novels 7/6, Other Books 10/-.

Wireless News

Copies of the Wireless Press messages received at sea are placed in the public rooms.

Hairdressing and Shop

The Hairdressing Saloon is provided with a staff of competent hairdressers. Ladies should make advance appointments.

In the shop every endeavor is made to supply the needs of passengers at reasonable prices and there is a large and varied stock suitable for presents or sports prizes. On the Australian Coast the prices of all articles (except those of Australian origin) are raised on account of the Australian Customs tariff.

Regulations On Board

The regulations on board are devised for the safety and comfort of passengers as a whole, and passengers are asked to assist in seeing them carried out. Passengers are asked to avoid causing any undue noise, particularly on “C” Promenade Deck and in all Passenger alleyways during the night and the early afternoon. If this can be done it means greatly increased comfort for everybody.

Gramophones, Wireless Sets, Etc.

Private gramophones and musical instruments including portable wireless sets must not at any time be played in cabin accommodation or public rooms, since this disturbs other passengers. They may only be played on portions of the deck described in notices displayed on board.


Delivery: On arrival at each port, letters and telegrams will be handed to passengers at the letter bureau. Wireless messages will be delivered direct to cabins. Passengers to whom parcels and registered letters are addressed are notified by the Purser.

Posting: Letters placed in the ship's letter box at sea are posted at the next port of call. The latest hour for posting will be stated on the letter box. Passengers should apply at the Letter Bureau for information regarding postal facilities.

Parcels and Registered letters cannot be accepted for posting on board.

Stamps: These can be obtained from the Letter Bureau.


Wireless messages for dispatch should be handed in at the Wireless Office on the boat deck, where full particulars of charges can be obtained. Messages cannot be dispatched while the ship is in port. Bentley's Code is available in the Purser's Office.


Baggage enquiries should be made at the Purser's Office. For the days and hours at which baggage marked “Wanted” is accessible, see information card. To avoid delays and damage from unnecessary handling, passengers are particularly requested to notify the baggage master of any packages which they will not need until the end of the voyage, and which can, therefore, be safely stowed where they will not be constantly disturbed.

Sports and Entertainments

Any Lady or Gentleman willing to assist with the Sports and Entertainments is requested to notify the Purser as soon as possible so that a Sports Committee may be formed.
Positions of the Sports and Entertainments Notice Boards will be found in the information card.


Full particulars of the program to be carried out at each port are posted on the ship's notice board at least 24 hours before arrival. An approximate arrival and departure time is given, but in their own interests passengers are advised always to read the final Sailing Notice before they leave the ship. These Sailing Notices are posted at all gangways and on the ship's notice board shortly after arrival in port and before passengers disembark. Ship's time must always be observed in port.

Extension of Journey

A passenger who wishes to continue his voyage beyond the port to which he has booked must notify the Purser as soon as possible before arrival and, if accommodation is available, pay the difference in fare to the Purser.

Time Tables, Etc.

The Purser has Railway and Airways Timetables and Telephone Directories for the information of passengers. Although every endeavor is made to provide up-to-date copies, the Company cannot accept responsibility for inaccuracies.

Source: RMS Orion Passenger List - 30 December 1947


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