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.