Video of 1950s sailing aboard RMS ORCADES – Tourist class pool area.
The RMS Orcades (later SS Orcades) was built by Vickers Armstrong Ltd in Barrow-in-Furness as Yard Number 950. She was launched on the 14th October 1947 and completed on the 14th November 1948. Orcades replaced her predecessor, Orcades II, which had sunk during the war when she was only five years old.
Orcades, the first ship built for Orient Lines after the war, shared her hull design with P&O Line’s Himalaya, but her superstructure was different with her having a new look with her bridge located amidships crowned with a tripod mast and a upright funnel sitting high directly aft of the mast. She was a contemporary of P&O’s Himalaya.
(Left: Orcades sailing from Sydney) As a two class ship, she provided accommodation for 773 First Class and 772 Tourist Class. Later, in 1964, she became a one class ship accommodating 1635 passengers. Her specifications are as follows. 28,164 GRT (tons), length 706ft (216m), width 60ft (27.6m), Draft 30ft 5in. With twin screws and steam geared turbines Orcades achieved 24.7 knots during her sea trials in November.