P and O New Oriana Page

For my 63rd Birthday in October my son, Edward, secretly arranged for me to visit a P&O Liner at Southampton. He contacted the company informing them that I was a former employee in Melbourne and was there any possibility of my being able to go aboard for a visit, as a sort of birthday present. The Director of P&O Cruises asked for details of who I had worked with in Melbourne, when and how long etc.

The Company agreed to his request and gave Edward the choice of two ships to choose from, Oriana or Arcadia. This meant that he had to tell me about his plan and I decided on Oriana. As a bonus the Captain had suggested that we have lunch on board.

On 24th October Edward and I drove down to Southampton, me wearing my P&O blazer and tie, and duly went aboard where we received VIP treatment. We were shown around the ship by an Entertainments Officer, after which we went into the Peninsular Restaurant for lunch. At the end of lunch about ten stewards came up to me bearing a Birthday cake which was duly presented, and then sang Happy Birthday’.

Not only was it a great day but it meant a lot to me to be back on board a big ship again, albeit only for a short while, it was also very pleasing to know that, although 40 years since I left P&O, they could still treat me as one of their own.

I am extremely grateful to the Company, and Edward did an excellent job and I am also very grateful to him for it. Edward, of course, had never seen a ship of such size, so he was somewhat awestruck.

The following three pages contain views of Oriana’s interior as photographed by me at Southampton.

Michael Byard Collection

Tiffany style glass dome
The magnificent Tiffany style glass dome
at the top of the Atrium

Ian Cutting birthday cake in peninsular Restaurent
Cutting my Birthday Cake in the
Peninsular Restaurant

Edward in the Peninsular Restaurant
Edward in the Peninsular Restaurant

List of P and O Australian Staff who subscribed to Oriana watercolour

The photograph on the left shows a framed list of P and O Australian Staff who contributed to the watercolour painting of the original Oriana at Circular Quay. Among the names are some with whom I worked when I was employed by the then Owners Managing Agents, Macdonald, Hamilton and Company in the Melbourne Office. 1954 to 1962.

This framed list is attached to the outside wall of the Purser's Office (now referred to as Reception) for public viewing.

Watercolour painting of original Oriana at Circular Quay, Sydney Watercolour painting of the original Oriana shown alongside at Circular Quay. This painting is also attached to the outside wall of the Purser's Office for public viewing.
Oriana Bow view
Approaching berth 107
Rising Sun Crest of P and O
Rising Sun Crest of P and O
Oriana alongside berth 107
Oriana alongside berth 107
Promenade Deck with Lifeboats above
Promenade Deck with Lifeboats above
Companionway to upper decks
Companionway to upper decks
Tiered decks on Starboard Side
Tiered decks
Forward Observation Lounge
Forward Observation Lounge
View through Observation windows
Forward Observation Lounge
Stern Bar
Stern Bar
Garden Court
Garden Court on F Deck, the Reception
area near Pursers Office
Pursers Office in Reception Area
In traditional language this is
The Pursers Office
Water Pool at bottom of Atrium
Water Pool at bottom of the Atrium opposite in the Reception area
The Atrium from Reception
The Atrium from Reception showing Queens Court and Royal Court
View down Atrium from Tiffany Court
The Atrium from Tiffany Court

In describing these photographs I have used mainly traditional terms, being a traditionalist in most things especially ships!

P and O Straths page
P and O Iberia
P and O Himalaya