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 a sterling cheque or with credit card details it can be scanned and returned. When renewing your membership by PayPal we used to ask you to put your membership number in the 'Add message', option on the PayPal checkout window - we seem to have lost that facility in a recent upgrade, so until we can find another way, an email to membership (below) to say you have done it would be handy.

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.




All meetings commence at 7.00 pm and finish by 9.00 pm (UK time UTC in winter and BST in summer).

Talks now online by Zoom until we can resume in person.

Apply for a link  for Zoom meetings to:
heading it OLS and the date DD MMM  YY
(for example for 3/11/20:  OLS 03 NOV 20)

Unfortunately, it is not possible to recommence our London talks programme in November as previously advised. When our venue reopens and we judge it to be realistic to open again to a live audience we will do so.  
For now, though, we will present monthly talks solely by Zoom.  In order to attend you will have to send in an email request for a link to the talk, you want to attend (details below). Then, on the day and at the given time, click on that link on your computer and you will be admitted to the ‘room’. You will see and hear the talk and have a chance to ask questions.  You should install the Zoom software in advance if you do not already have it on your computer; you only need to do it once.  The software is free to download from https://zoom.us/freesignup/, or just click the link and the first time that you attend a meeting the software will download onto your device (computer, laptop, tablet, phone, and probably refrigerator!) automatically, but this can take several minutes so make sure you leave plenty of time before the meeting starts.

As we learn we might be able to experiment with the way in which we distribute the links and it might be possible in due course to automate the process from an entry point on the Society’s website. For now though, we ask members to email David Trevor-Jones at david.trevorjones@outlook.com requesting a link for each meeting that they wish to attend.  Please send a separate email for each request. Please send in requests in good time before the meetings, but be aware that you may not get a response until near the time of the meeting, so put in a ‘read request’ if you want to check that your request has been received.


Link emails will be sent out the night before or on the day of the meeting. Check your inbox at least an hour before the meeting starts. If the email has not arrived it might be in your junk folder. If it is not there please email David at the address above, but remember that in the ten minutes before the start he will be busy setting up the presentation. In the email, you will find an invitation to ‘Join Zoom Meeting’ with a very long html link, which you should click. Click any windows that pop up asking you to click them to confirm that you want to continue, and allow at least 5-10 minutes before 7 pm for the process to work through. You will find yourself waiting for the meeting host to start the meeting, and just before 7 pm that should happen automatically. With the link, there will also be a ‘Meeting ID’ and a ‘Passcode’. You should not need to use those but if the link does not work they provide an alternative way of getting into the meeting.

The talks will be Zoomcast live. They will be recorded but we do not know at present whether or how we will make them available after the event, so in these early days assume that to hear and see the talk you will have to ‘attend’ at 19:00hrs UK time on the appointed day. Meetings will be introduced by David Trevor-Jones and he will advise on practical matters before the presentation begins, including how to format your screen for the best results and how to ask questions.

The four talks announced here will all be Zoomcast only. We are working on the technology to continue to Zoomcast talks when we are able to return to St Bride’s and meet for real. Meanwhile, please forgive and forebear any clunkiness in these early presentations. We will all be on learning curves!

In the meantime, do keep an eye on the OLS website for updates - www.ocean-liner-society.com . It is possible that there could be programme changes and any announcements will be posted in the Talks section.

Zoom try-out and informal presentation
Curated by David Trevor-Jones
Tuesday 3rd November
A soft launch before the first scheduled guest talk, to test the processes for sending out links, handling the technology and to give members a preview what it will look like. Depending on numbers attending there might be a chance for a chat about what has been happening since we last met. This try-out will last no more than an hour, and will include a presentation of some sort, short of a full talk. Do, please, join by applying for a link as explained above. If you have never Zoomed, do give it a go.

In the eye of the storm
Captain Albert Schoonderbeek
Tuesday 17th November.
As one of Holland America Line’s Senior Masters, Captain Schoonderbeek had to respond day-to-day and even hour-to-hour as the COVID crisis engulfed his company’s fleet. He will talk about how HAL dealt with Covid 19, the history of the four ships that HAL sold, how the company got its crews home and more.  

An insider’s view of the cruise industry’s 2020
Mike Deegan
Tuesday 15th December.
Mike Deegan, Head of Fleet Operations at Noble Caledonia, has viewed the ongoing catastrophe in the cruise industry from a different viewpoint and will talk about it from the operator’s perspective.  He will mention the corporate casualties but also the successes and will look forward to the future for the industry.

Cruising and not cruising in 2020
Bill Mayes
Tuesday 19th January 2021 (note: incorrectly dated in Sea Lines as 21st)
Our chairman usually manages to fit in a good number of cruises and ferry crossings each year, but 2020 has been a bit different. What did he manage? We promise a few interesting trips, and maybe a trip or two from the 1990s to round off the evening.

50 years of ship photography
Luis Miguel Correia
Tuesday 16th February 2021
Luis Miguel Correia will join us from Lisbon where he has been photographing and commentating on the shipping scene for 50 years. Well-known as the biographer of mv Funchal and author of a great number of shipping books, he will present a maritime photographic and autobiographical overview of his deep interest in the ships of Lisbon and Portugal.



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 99 - SUMMER 2020

Before COVID 19 struck our intrepid new ship reporter Matthew Sudders got a short trip on the new Hurtigruten ship Fridtjof Nansen and we report on that taster voyage. Sea Cloud features on the cover as a private yacht and a report on her current life as a sailing cruise ship is the main feature. Clive Harvey then tells the story of the Conte Biancamano
& Conte Grande of Lloyd Sabaudo that were absorbed into Italia or Italian Line in 1932. The usual ship news is there and the hoped-for Society cruise in 2021 (now canceled).

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.

ISSUE 100 - Autumn/Fall 2020

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have published all our new ship reports but we have a wealth of material to expand our reviews of liners and other vessels from the past.  Our lead article in the 100th edition is a review of Cruise and Maritime Voyages, which ceased to trade during the pandemic but may arise like a Phoenix. The SS Legacy with US Coastal ships and Amerikanis have short articles but the key historical article is about the Polish ship SS Batory by Anthony Cooke. News of laid-up ships is in Through the Porthole. There is also news of our new venture to stream talks from November 2020.

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.  Our Visits organiser has noe stepped down, so if you have good organisational skills and like dealing with people this could be an ideal way to expand your horizons, so please consider taking on this important role. Please apply to: ols.sealines@gmail.com.

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 ( nhanding over and new) can be contacted at olsshipvisits@gmail.com


Date: rescheduled to 15 May 2021 10.00 - 16.00 (to be confirmed)

We 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 hope to repeat the recent successful formula in the Masonic Hall in May 2021 (pandemic precautions permitting).


Sea Lines Magazine - Ship Visits -  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. These are more reliable than the occasionally monitored chat facility on this site.

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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