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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.



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 booked for all 2020 dates. See the panel below for how to find it. In the Autumn we hold a Ship Show in Southampton and through the year we have ship visits and often 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.

‘Trip along the Amazon’ and ‘From the Slums to the Seven Seas’

18  February 2020 - 19.00

Graeme recalls a fantastic cruise on Braemar on which he was a guest speaker, with three days in Manaus. The ferries, fighting against the current were magnificent, with their dazzling hammocks. The floating pontoons were very effective in coping with the rise and fall in the water level. Graeme will add on a story of a young boy from the Brazilian slums, who dropped tools and joined RCL before moving to Cunard Line and working on its marketing, reflecting on how the ocean liners spread wellbeing and wealth across the world.

Liners to the St Lawrence and the northeast USA - Trains and Boats and Plains


17 March 2020 - 19.00

Before airliners and containers all freight and passengers were carried by what we now regard as traditional ships. The multitude of ocean liner links between the old and new worlds included those between former colonial powers and their overseas interests. While the New York passenger service won the attention and glamour, British liner routes spanned the world’s oceans, mainly focussed on the Commonwealth. Noted historian and author Clive Harvey looks in this talk at the Canada services.

The Cruise Ship Photo Collection
of Rick Frendt


21 April 2020 - 19.00

Rick has spent the past 18 years capturing images of the great cruise ships of the world. His original quest was to photograph as many of these vessels as possible and to explore the idea of whether or not one person could, somehow, capture them all. While tracking down the ships, Rick’s journey has taken him throughout most of the world, usually by sea, as he has now taken over 450 cruises. He has also meticulously photographed the interior of these wonderful vessels and recently began to ponder yet another challenge: is it conceivable that someone could actually sail on every one of the world’s magnificent (and on occasion not so magnificent) cruise ships? Join him as he shares a few of his favorite photos and tells some of his stories, as he nears the finish line in the completion of at least one of his grand quests.



our 48 page quarterly publication posted to members
to contact the editor email ols.sealines@gmail.com
Recent issues are highlighted below:

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.


Most years we host a ship show and when it is possible to get a group booking a party will go to sea together.



Date TBC in November 2020 10.00 - 16.00

At the 2019 show, David Williams and Richard deKerbrech gave a talk based on the new, expanded edition of their classic book ‘Damned by Destiny’, and covered the abortive Q3 project among the ‘Ships That Never Were’.  Then, Dr. Bruce Peter, Professor of Design History at Glasgow School of Art gave a 75-minute masterclass talk about the building of  Queen Elizabeth 2 herself.

Below is the advert for the event you may have missed. Don't miss next year's show.


28 March 2020 - 12 nights

Those members thinking about joining a Fred.Olsen ship to experience the third gathering of the whole fleet in one port on 4 April 2020 might like to consider joining the Braemar’s 28 March sailing from Southampton (cruise number M2007). We have negotiated a special discount on this cruise (please quote reference GRP0254). OLS committee member Chris Mason will be a guest lecturer on the second part of this cruise, from Funchal to Southampton.


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 enquiries about joining or renewal: oceanlinersociety.membership@gmail.com

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

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

(Our former @ocean-liner-society.com e mail addresses have recently failed so the above addresses are temporary until we can restore them. We apologise for inconvenience caused;  if you have tried to contact us on those, please try again.

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.