The Society for lovers of
ships that carry people around their world



The Ocean Liner Society is a non-profit organisation.

Our members celebrate the passenger ship in its many forms. Whether your interest is the liners of yesteryear, the cruise ships of today or ferries, the society has something for all.

Members include employees of major shipping companies, authors and ship buffs, inveterate travellers and armchair sailors.

Members receive the superb quarterly magazine Sea Lines - 48 colour pages of detailed articles by noted maritime authors on ocean liners and cruises ships, plus all the latest passenger ship news.


Your membership includes

  • 4 issues of Sea Lines (worth the price alone!)

  • The opportunity to join the ship visits mailing list and join some visits (subject to the terms and conditions shown)

  • Discount on back issues of Sea Lines

  • The opportunity to join group cruises with other enthusiasts

Membership applications are accepted all year round. You can join online with PayPal (please use the button under the appropriate membership rate and include your postal address for the magazine mailing). Alternatively you can download the membership form to post to us with sterling cheque or with credit card details it can be scanned and returned. If renewing your membership by PayPal it is helpful to put your membership number in the 'Add message', option on the PayPal checkout window.

Email regarding membership:- oceanlinersociety.membership@gmail.com
Join us (or renew if you are an existing member) through PayPal: Membership costs are:
£20 for UK members

£24 for European members


£27 Worldwide members (outside Europe)

with magazine sent by airmail.

If you prefer, you can download a form, fill it out, post it with a sterling cheque or include your card details and post or scan / email it back to us.



When not affected by Corvid -19, most months, usually on the third Tuesday of the month, we host a talk or other presentation in the Foundry Room at the St Bride Foundation, Bride Lane (off Fleet Street / New Bridge Street) at 1900. This is a new location for 2020. See the panel below for how to find it. Annually we hold a Ship Show in Southampton and through the year we try to get ship visits and often hold a group cruise.



Foundry Room, St Bride Foundation, Bride Lane, London EC4Y 8E

Our 2020 talks will be in the fascinating 1890s building of the St Bride Foundation, built to educate and support the printing apprentices of Fleet Street. It is now a museum of printing and conference centre. The former swimming pool has been converted into a theatre, and we have secured use of the Foundry Room, which is the community room, in the basement. Museum entrances have entryphones.


When the theatre has a production running the Theatre Bar will be open and we can use it after our talks are over. The theatre entrance is the easiest to use after 18.30 but there is a main entrance and reception off St Bride’s Passage.


The nearest station is the Ludgate Hill exit of City Thameslink, but Blackfriars is only a short walk away as well.
Bus Routes nearby:
11, 15, 17, 26, 40, 63, 76 & 341.

Coronavirus update

As a society, we have to accept the public health situation regarding the COVID-19 virus and the lockdown which has curtailed our ability to host meetings. International travel bans have made it impossible for some of our intended speakers to reach us. We have canceled the talks programme until October. We hope to reschedule the canceled talks in our future programme. A result of COVID-19 is that we are looking at how we can stream talks so those in more distant locations may be able to benefit.  As a Society, we firmly believe that the London talks are a key informative, enjoyable and sociable part of what we offer, and we are committed to re-opening a talks programme as soon as it is viable to do so. At this time we hope this will be from the November meeting and we ask all members to keep an eye on this website, our Facebook page and the Autumn / Fall edition of Sea Lines for further details. 


We thank all our members for their understanding in this respect, and also pass on a special thanks to all those who are in our forthcoming speaker programme. We hope to re-start with a Members' Miscellany which is always popular and brings members together.



is our 48 page quarterly publication posted to members. Contact the editor: ols.sealines@gmail.com
Click the button to download the back catalogue and order form (pdf). Recent issues are highlighted below:

ISSUE 98 - SPRING 2020

This issue features the new Costa Smeralda with a report by Matthew Sudders followed by a report on the 2019 OLS society cruise on Phoenix Reisen's new acquisition, Amera which had a long career as HAL's Prinsendam. The historical article this issue is by noted author Anthony Cooke on the history of the Arosa Line.  There is a short article about Stena Estrid and the usual 'Through the Porthole' with the recent ship news and a trailer for the 2021 Society cruise on the CMV Columbus.

ISSUE 97 - WINTER 2020

The front shows the ss Australis and inside is the recollection of a 20 year old lad from Carnoustie in Scotland when he emigrated on his own on the ship that had been ss America. The new ships are the World Explorer class of expedition ship.  There are reports on a German River Cruise with Riviera on the Jane Austen, the new W B Yeats ferry, and a review of theWolfsonian Collection in Miami.


The front cover / lead article is about the new SAGA ship Spirit of Discovery, but the issue also includes a report from Clive Harvey of a visit to the preserved steamship Sandnes which is usually found in Stavanger. There is also a review of the new adventure ship Hondius and a fond farewell to P&O's Oriana.

ISSUE 95 - SUMMER 2019

This issue features on the cover and a key article the Club Med 2 - a floating version of the famous Club Med resorts.  The historical article is about the Greek Line's Arkadia which started life as Monarch of Bermuda and in between was the New Australia. The Costa Venezia is reviewed before she sailed off to eastern waters, and the Magic Carpet of the Celebrity Edge is explored with other features of this new ship.

ISSUE 94 - SPRING 2019

The front cover / lead article is about the new AIDAnova, this edition reminds readers of the revolutionary 31 knot Finnjet constructed in the mid 1970s with gas turbine engines. The historical article is about the Antilles and Flandre.

ISSUE 93 - WINTER 2019

Featuring the Ponant Explorer Le Laperouse but also there are articles about a pair of Cote d'Azur ships, the Four Fred. Olsen ships in Cadiz on 10th September 2018 and ship news.


The main article is about MSC Meraviglia - a quantum leap for the company, but also an article about the 1939 ships that served the Panama Canal, memories of a trip to Rhodes in 1980 and we remember the departure from Southampton for the last time, ten years earlier of the much loved Queen Elizabeth 2.

ISSUE 91 - SUMMER 2018

This issue brings to our attention a most unusual ship provisioning remote settlements in the St Lawrence river estuary, the Bella Desaganes. Also the Symphony of the Seas is compared with her three earlier near sisters Oasis, Allure and Harmony. The historical article is about two Spanish sisters, the Cabo San Roque and the Cabo San Vicente. There is of course the feature on latest news of that quarter.

ISSUE 90 - SPRING 2018

Issue 90 contained an article about the last Orient line ship, the unusual and very fast ship for the Australia run,  ss Oriana. Also featured are articles on the new MSC Seaside and the Holland America ship Prinsendam.

Ship visits / Show / Cruises

When we can get on board a ship in port we promote a programme of ship visits. Most years we host a Ship Show in Southampton. When it is possible to get a group booking together a party will go to sea.



The Ocean Liner Society, until the COVID 19 crisis overtook us, operated a programme of ship visits for members.


Ship visits were arranged with the cooperation of the cruise lines and we aimed to secure visits in ports around UK. We cannot guarantee any ship visits but we strive to secure several each year. Given the pandemic and its effect on the cruise industry, we are at present unsure if and when visits will resume. Children are not permitted to attend our ship visits.

Ship visits, when arranged, are announced by email to all members who have registered their interest in the programme, to the Membership Secretary.


New members should fill out ship visit preferences (if they want visits) when joining. Existing members amending their preferences should do so through the membership email or using a fresh membership form (button in 'About Us', above) and sending in by post or emailing a scan to: oceanlinersociety.membership@gmail.com


Each announcement includes instructions on how to apply. Our ship visits are extremely popular and usually result in places being allocated by ballot, drawn shortly after the stated closing date for each visit. Some cruise lines charge a fee for a ship visit which will be in addition to our administration fee, (currently £5 per person). The ship visits co-ordinator can be contacted at olsshipvisits@gmail.com


Date: rescheduled to 15 May 2021 10.00 - 16.00

We have assumed the COVID 19 pandemic will be unattractive to exhibitors and visitors for a show in the autumn of 2020 so we have re-scheduled our visit to Southampton and will repeat the recent successful formula in the Masonic Hall in May 2021.


Sea Lines Magazine - Ship Visits - London Talks - Ship Show - Group Cruises

For some people there is a fascination with the glamour of the days when ships with tall raked smoke stacks were the only way to cross to the Americas. Museums and magazines have a small area devoted to this fascinating and absorbing aspect of shipping. How often does the student or browser enthralled by the passenger ship have to deal with naval vessels and coastal craft, barges and navigation instruments? This Society is for those who want to go straight to the heart of  passenger ship story - and that includes ferries.

Some people develop romantic interests in the mail services to far flung colonies, the regular services that linked countries and whole empires together. Some remember cargo liners that also carried passengers. Many members developed their interest in ships after working at sea or taking holidays on liners taking time off from voyages and doing summer cruises. Indeed, cruising and how it is changing is a key interest to hundreds of our members. The Society is for those interested in all passenger carrying vessels - from the age of sail right through to the present and what lies ahead.

The Ocean Liner Society is a focus for those primarily interested in ships that undertook line voyages, how they changed into cruising ships and the cruise ships that take us to sea in the 21st century. Based in Britain, the Society has links with learned and knowledgeable writers, researchers and has members all over the world. Whether you are fascinated by the Australian, New Zealand and Pacific services of P&O or Orient Line, Royal Mail Line services to South America, the German greyhounds, Canadian or European liners plying the St Lawrence, Portuguese ships serving Africa, the services to the Cape or the grand Italian liners and more .... the Society has something for you.

Whether you just want to get more out of your cruise holidays or have a passion for other aspects of shipping (such as the celebrities who sailed in them) or the lives of ordinary people touched by the experience of travelling or working on passenger ships, the Society can help you develop your interest.

The passenger ship is a developing and living thing. They have changed from an uncomfortable but necessary form of transportation to a highly developed leisure vehicle. We are in exciting times as new tonnage is now being delivered which once more outstrips the superlatives of the "golden age" some 80 years ago.

Please note: we do not employ seagoing staff and we regret we do not have the resources to undertake research into voyages and ship history for you.



To contact us, if you prefer paper, use the address below (the Windsor address is quicker - the other covers the event of recipients changing). If you prefer email for contacting us, use the most appropriate from the following options:

For inquiries about joining or renewal or refreshing ship visit preferences: oceanlinersociety.membership@gmail.com

For magazine comment or editorial matters: ols.sealines@gmail.com

For ship visit issues: olsshipvisits@gmail.com

To contact the Secretary or Southampton Ship Show inquiries: desri.omer@hotmail.co.uk

Our former @ocean-liner-society.com email addresses have ceased to work, so the above addresses are replacements. We apologise for the inconvenience caused;  if you have tried to contact us on the failed ones, please try again with the addresses above.

Ocean Liner Society, Mayes House, Vansittart Estate, Windsor, SL4 1SE.
or our forwarding service at: The Ocean Liner Society, 27 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3XX, United Kingdom

We also have a Facebook group (link below), but we hope you will join the Society for full benefits and Sea Lines.

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