For ORIANA's many fans the ship holds a special place as a truly elegant and authentic ship and
from the enthusiasts point of view who's interest is more in the ships design and purpose rather than emotional attachment ORIANA is still a ship which has a very few rivals.
Below is a description given of ORIANA in the 2004 published Cruise Britannia, a book looking at the growth of ships of the British Cruise market written by authors Roger Cartright and Clive Harvey.
" ORIANA (1995)
In 1972 P&O introduced their first purpose-built cruise ship, the 17,370grt SPIRIT OF LONDON.
The ship was designed for the US market as replacement for ARCADIA AND IBERIA.
In 1974 P&O acquired Princess cruises and SPIRIT OF LONDON was transferred to the Princess fleet as the SUN PRINCESS.
By 1991 it was clear that CANBERRA would not be suitable for service into the latter years of the decade and an order was placed for the first ever purpose-built cruise liner for the UK cruise market.
Whilst it was popularly believed that ORIANA was a straight replacement for CANBERRA, this was not the case and the two ships operated alongside each other until September 1997 when CANBERRA was withdrawn and replaced by ARCADIA (ex-STAR PRINCESS)
No British yard felt able to compete for the order and it was gained by the experienced cruise liner building yard of Meyer Werft in Germany.
Robert Tillberg who was responsible for much of the design work, spent a great deal of time on CANBERRA assessing the needs of the UK cruise passenger.
His design was elegant yet in many ways traditional, ORIANA’s single funnel is designed to have a resemblance to the twin funnels of CANBERRA and the positioning of the lifeboats also reflects the design of CANBERRA.
ORIANA is an extremely elegant ship and brought new standards of accommodation to the UK cruise market, including a whole deck of staterooms and suites .
So successful has ORIANA been in stimulating the market growth that by 2003 she was the smallest in the P&O fleet having gained a larger half-sister in the larger AURORA in 2000."
The above image was placed with the description although no place or date was included.
Copyright: The History Press 2004.