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Orient Steam Navigation Company Limited (Orient Line), 1879-1909
Image: Baggage Label - Orient Line, circa 1950s
Source: Museum Victoria
The Orient Steam and Navigation Company, commonly referred to as the Orient Line, was a British shipping company operating high-quality passenger liners between the United Kingdom and Australia and was a pioneer of recreational cruising. The company was formally established in 1878 and was jointly managed by Anderson, Anderson & Company and F Green & Company, two London based firms. The company partnered first with the Pacific Steam Navigation Company of Liverpool and then with the Royal Mail Company, sharing a contract for coordinated mail and passenger service with ships of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) fleet.
At the end of 1918, P&O acquired a controlling interest in the Orient Steam and Navigation Company. The following year, the two management firms merged into a private limited company, Anderson, Green & Company Ltd. In 1960, the balance of the Orient shares was acquired by P&O, and new companies were arranged using the P&O/Orient Lines name to run the combined services and mange the ships of the two companies. This arrangement lasted until 1966, at which time the Orient Line was completely absorbed into P&O. The Orient Steam Navigation Company continued to be used on paper as a company of registry for some of P&O?s bulk and gas carriers through the early 1980s. The company was discontinued in 1998.
When it was launched, the Orient was the largest steamship yet built for Australian migration trade. It offered unprecedented creature comforts, including a promenade deck, refrigeration and, later, electric lighting. The Orient originally carried an auxiliary sailing rig, but became completely steam powered in later years. On its maiden voyage between Adelaide via the Cape of Good Hope, the Orient set a new record, taking just under 38 days. Remaining in service on the Australian run for 30 years, the Orient was one of the longest-serving steamships of the era.
RMS Osterley was a quadruple-expansion steam engine passenger vessel built by the London & Glasgow Shipbuilding Co. in 1909. It was operated by the Orient Steam Navigation Co. Ltd on the United Kingdom to Australia service. This ship made 59 return voyages and was broken up in 1930. During the First World War the Osterley was used as a troopship by the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) as HMAT Osterley.
P&O Heritage n.d., ?Orient Steam Navigation Company? in Shipping Companies, accessed 23 May 2012,
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Passenger Ticket and Holder issued by the Orient Line to Geoffrey and Hazel Tirchett on 10 May 1954. The ticket is for third class passage from London to Melbourne on the Otranto leavin ...Images: 12
Embarkation Notice issued by the Orient Line in 1954. The booklet provides information about the RMS Otranto's voyage on 3 June 1954. It was used by Geoffrey and Hazel Tirchett when the ...Images: 2
Booklet titled 'Personal Export Scheme Parcels' issued by the Orient Line in 1954. The booklet provides information about parcels sent to passengers onboard the ship. It was used by Geo ...Images: 2
Booklet titled 'Preliminary Embarkation Instructions' issued by the Orient Line in 1954. The booklet provides general information about embarkation on Orient Line ships, but is not spec ...Images: 2
Single page notice titled 'Information Officer' issued by the Orient Line in 1954. The notice provides details for the Orient Line's information officer. It was used by Geoffrey and Haz ...Images: 1
Booklet titled 'List of Passengers and General Information' issued by the Orient Line in 1954. The booklet provides a list of crew, passengers and other general information about the vo ...Images: 4
Booklet titled 'Information for Passengers' issued by the Orient Line in 1954. The booklet provides general information about the voyage from England to Australia. It was used by Geoffr ...Images: 4
Booklet titled 'Port Information Port Said' issued by the Orient Line in 1954. The booklet provides information relating to the port of Port Said. It was used by Geoffrey and Hazel Tirc ...Images: 3
Booklet titled 'Port Information Naples' issued by the Orient Line in 1954. The booklet provides information relating to the port of Naples. It was used by Geoffrey and Hazel Tirchett w ...Images: 3
Booklet titled 'Melbourne' issued by the Orient Line in 1954. The booklet contains general information and a brief history of the port of Melbourne. It was used by Geoffrey and Hazel Ti ...Images: 2