Wonderful historical youTube video of P&O Line’s S.S. HIMALAYA.

SS Himalaya was a passenger liner of 27,955 grt built for the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company by Vickers Armstrong’s Barrow Yard and delivered to them in 1949. She was initially employed solely on the Company’s service from the UK to Australia but was latterly also employed on crusing duties as well. She served the Company well until 1974 when she was sold for scrapping in Taiwan. This shot is taken from an early 1960s PLA Handbook and shows “Himalaya” sailing from Tilbury Landing Stage

In 1946 P&O Lines had ordered its first new passenger liner of the postwar period. The Himalaya finally emerged in 1949 and was a splendid ship and the fastest and largest ship P&O had ever owned until that time. She had a top speed of 25 knots.

The Himalaya was a contemporary of Orient Line’s Orcades and these ships marked a gradual coming together of the new liners of each company in the postwar era.

She was a record breaker and cut the UK to Bombay passage by 5 days and reduced the overall voyage to Australia from 38 days to just 28 days.

Indeed the six ships worked closely together on their Australian service with their sailing schedules organized so that sailings alternated between P&O and Orient. Thus they formed a Southern Dominions “Big Six” fleet.

In January 1958 P&O and Orient services to Australia were extended across the Pacific in a joint service marketed as Orient & Pacific Line.

The Himalaya inaugurated the operation and sailings continued from Sydney to Auckland, Suva, Honolulu, Vancouver and San Francisco. In 1974 the venerable Himalaya was finally retired from service.



About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…

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