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SS Orcades (1948)
Orcades leaving Southampton, Christmas Eve 1967

RMS Orcades

SS Orcades

Orient Steam Navigation Company (Orient Line) 1948-1966

Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P & O) 1966-1973
Port of registry: London,  United Kingdom
Route: UK-Australia-New Zealand
Builder: Vickers Armstrong Ltd, Barrow-in-Furness, England
Cost: £3,418,000
Yard number: 950
Launched: 14 Oct 1947
Completed: 14 Nov 1948
Maiden voyage: 14 Dec 1948
Out of service: 13 Oct 1972
Fate: Broken-up 1973, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
General characteristics
Tonnage: 28,399 (1959 refit)
Length: 216.1 m
Beam: 25.0 m
Draught: 9.4 m
Installed power: 6 x single reduction gear turbine engines
Propulsion: Twin screws
Speed: 24.7 knots (service speed)
Capacity: 1,635 passengers (1964 refit)
Notes: Originally painted yellow; white from 1964 refit

SS Orcades was an ocean liner serving primarily on the UK – Australia – New Zealand route. She started service as a British Royal Mail Steamer (RMS) carrying first and tourist class passengers. Orcades carried many migrants to Australia and New Zealand [1] and was later used as a cruise ship.

Built at the Barrow yard of Vickers-Armstrongs, Orcades (yard no. 950) had an identical hull and machinery to P&O's Himalaya (yard no. 951), though differing in superstructure and interior layout.

During the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne the Orcades served as an accommodation ship.[2]

The vessel underwent refits in 1959 and 1964. During the 1959 refit the ship obtained a 'stovepipe' fitting to her funnel. Under the 1964 refit Orcades became a single class vessel and her external primary colour scheme changed from yellow ['orient corn'] to white. In 1952 RMS Orcades was fitted with a 'top hat' funnel extension to clear smoke from the after decks.

The vessel's near sister ship's were the Oronsay (1951) and Orsova (1954)

Orcades is an ancient name[3] for the Orkney Islands.

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