I am looking for someone who sailed the Oriana in the St-Lawrence river, Quebec, Canada in 1973 to answer some question.
Someone recently posted a picture he took in the '70s, from his backyard, of the Oriana passing Deschaillons-sur-St-Laurent, 27 NM west of Quebec city.
He mentioned the Queen Elizabeth might have sailed the Oriana toward Kingston, Ontario, because the Britannia was out for maintenance.
I would like to validate this fact.
I have read that David Gillmon did work on the Oriana between 1967 and 1984.
If you have any information or hints that could lead to someone who can answer, please email me at Richard.Nault@gmail.com
Levis, Quebec, Canada
Who posted that picture and where was it posted? I was on Oriana in 1973 for a lot of the time and my wife was on for longer. I do not recall Queen Elizabeth ever being on board.
The information I have is that Oriana made her first cruise to the St. Lawrence River and Montreal in July 1980.
This is the picture in question.
Nothing in my records or anywhere on this site or anywhere on the net, shows that it was there in 1973
The person who took the photo, from his backyard in Deschaillons-sur-St-Laurent, and posted it added that comment (in french, my translation):
"Queen Elizabeth II would have been on board en route to Kingston in the 1970s (her personal yacht, the Britannia, being under repair in England). It (the ship) would not have stopped in Quebec City on her way back. I photographed it when he passed the dock (of Deschaillons) on the way back."
Searching for the Queen visits in Canada in the '70s, there was only one time she went to Kingston, Ontario, in 1973.
I am from Levis, Quebec, Canada.
I'm just curious to know if Queen Elizabeth II did traveled aboard another ship than the Britannia during those years.
I was certainly on board in 1980 when the SS Oriana went up the St Lawrence all the way to Toronto. We called at Cornerbrook, Montreal, and Quebec as well, I was under the impression that she had never been further upriver than Montreal before. (And Queen Elizabeth II wasn't on board for that cruise, although that's not the question being asked!)
You have sown doubt I have correctly identified the ship in the picture...
Do you know of (very) similar ship to SS Oriana thaat would match the one in the picture?
Oriana was unmistakably unique.
unique, indeed. Beautiful.
I have searched for other similar ship for a better match: no success.
I have overlapped images of the Oriana on top of Deschaillons's picture, with transparency: it is the Oriana.
The year would then be 1980 for the closest to the year period mentioned by the owner of the picture "the 70s".
As for Queen Elisabeth II, no match that year.
BTW, how do you include picture in this blog?
If the photo you want to include is already on the web somewhere you just need to add the URL to the image html code. If it's not already on the web you need to have the ability and the knowledge to upload it to the web then proceed as above. Alternatively you can just email it to me and I'll add it for you.
Looking at the source code of your first reply in which you inserted the picture I was talking about, I see
Should I understand that you first found on Facebook the picture I was referring to, and then, you uploaded it as Oriana_1973.jpg on this site?
Gotcha: you are the admin of this site.
I'm still unsure of what you're trying to achieve, what exactly you want to find out and what its importance is?
I was curious to trace back the ship: done, it is the Oriana.
Then I was skeptic about the fact that Queen Elizabeth II would travel on another ship than her owns for the security and logistic implied.
At first, I didn't find many information until I found this site with a lot of pictures of seadogs/persons that worked/traveled on the Oriana.
So, I threw a line and ask a question.
And I'm amazed by the friendship and tight links between seadogs, not being familiar with this world.
Reading the comments, looking at the pictures, I have the feeling I have missed something in life...
Thank you for checking, Greg.
I will have to challenge the owner of the picture about the year.
Thank you for the comment, Andrew.
The more I learn about the Oriana, the greatest I think it must have been to live aboard!
I served onboard SS Oriana for a total of 9 years between 1975 and 1985. Prior to 1975 the ship had never been down the St Lawrence. However Oriana did complete two cruises down the St Lawrence in the late 70’s in successive years. If memory serves me correct that would have been 1978 and 1979. Queen Elizabeth the Second never boarded the SS Oriana during her life time in service. She did however name the MV Oriana of which I served 8 years onboard. She did board MV Oriana but only in Southampton during the naming ceremony in 1995. It is highly likely that the date of the picture being taken was 1978, ie, the three bing misinterpreted for an eight. I trust this will clear up any misconceptions.
Oriana was not in the St Lawrence River in 1973.
No where near, she was either in the Med, or out in Aussie.
The latest school of thought, from other sources, is that picture is one of her in Brisbane.
I will relay these infos to the owner/taker of the picture.
I guess "Oriana not being on the St-Lawrence" win 10-0 ! Lol
That picture is the Oriana on the St-Lawrence sailing back to the East, toward Quebec city and then the Atlantic.
The fellow who posted that picture took it himself from his backyard in Deschaillons-sur-St-Laurent, 27 NM west of Quebec city.
Another info: his neighbour, M. Duhamel, used to play anthems of the country flags on the large ships passing by, thru big speakers, while raising the flags to a mast. He had 75 cassettes (one per anthem) ready to play!
1. That is the Oriana
2. If it's the St. Lawrence River then it is 1980 at the earliest.
3. Queen Elizabeth never sailed on Oriana, or any other P&O ship that I know of.
4. Conduct further reseach, regarding the Queen, elsewhere.
Apart from the small Hebridean Princess which the Queen has used in the last few years, the only other cruise ship she has used was the Shaw Saville Gothic which was used as the Royal Yacht for the inaugural Commonwealth tour in 1954. After that HMY Britannia was available to her.
I've just checked my Discharge Book and I can tie the date down a bit closer. It was my first trip as Third Engineer and for some reason P & O decided I needed to do one cruise on the Oriana before spending the next couple of years assigned to the Uganda.
I joined the Oriana on 14 August 1980 in Southampton, we visited Cornerbrook, Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, New York and Boston (I can't be certain about the order but I've got a feeling we did all the stops on the way up the St. Lawrence and simply steamed straight out after Toronto, but I might be wrong). We returned to Southampton on 7th September 1980, where I paid off, flew straight to Dublin and joined the Uganda the next day.
Given that the trans-Atlantic crossing is somewhere in the region of 5 days I think, we would have been up the St.Lawrence somewhere between 19th August and 2nd September, I think we went to New York and Boston after the St. Lawrence, so probably more likely to be mid to late August rather than September.
Other highlights of that particular voyage included stopping from full speed on the way across the pond to North America because the bridge had seen an iceberg at about 2:00am, which was a bit hairy as it was my first time in charge of the engine room watch!
And going under a bridge (the name of which I can no longer remember) that apparently is quite well known with not a lot of clearance. I remember the Deck Department spending all day checking and double checking the ship's draught while we were in port (and continually asking us in the engine room to trim the ship to get it more upright) and worrying about the state of the tide as apparently we had to go under this bridge at ecxactly low tide. I thought they were making a lot of fuss, until we reached the bridge. I wasn't on watch at the time and was sat in a deckchair on the top deck as we approached. I didn't think I was going to fit under the bridge, let alone the funnel and radio antennae! In hindsight, I don't think the Deckies made anywhere near enough fuss! As we went under the bridge I remember looking up and seeing that the roadway was an open mesh structure of some kind and I could see the under sides of the vehicles driving across the bridge
Steve I agree 100% with you on passenger enjoyment in the 70's on the Oriana. Had the pleasure twice once being 1973 to Aussie from Lauderdale and back to Lauderdale in 1975 from Aussie. Great times and I did have my story with pictures posted to this site as a passenger. The only mistake was not staying in touch with the friends I made at that time. This is why sites like this are important and the owner has my thanks. I am sure you or your wife did cross paths during those voyages.
The bridge you describe must be Quebec bridge.
It is a "mesh" bridge built in 1907.
It's clearance is rated at 151 ft.
The St-Lawrence rive, at Quebec, has tides that range normally from 12 to 17 feet and have been as high as 21 feet.
There is a second bridge just besides it built in 1970 with two very high white pillars.
If you go under one bridge then you go under the second bridge as they are 660 ft apart.
Thanks for the information Richard, sounds like the bridge! I know there was only a few feet clearance!
Thank you Chris for these infos.
If the Brittania is not available, would the Queen take an airplane to travel across the Atlantic?
Richard, the RY Britannia was decommissioned on 11 December 1997 and hasn't been replaced, so in answer to your question, yes the Queen does fly if she wishes to travel abroad
Just found an article about large ships sailing up to Montreal.
>>> Oriana sailed in 1980.
Nov, 19, 2013
The Port of Montreal last week announced that Hydro Quebec would raise two power lines above the St. Lawrence River, a move that will allow larger ships to reach Montreal.
Following a request by the Montreal Port Authority, Hydro Quebec will tighten power cables next year at Trois-Rivières and Boucherville, providing a clearance of 170 feet under the wires for vessels sailing to Montreal.
The power lines were lower in height than the Laviolette Bridge in Trois-Rivières, the lowest insurmountable obstacle on the St. Lawrence River for vessels sailing to Montreal. The bridge has just over 170 feet of clearance under its structure.
Cutting back on mast height is not something new, however. Back in April 1952, Canadian Pacific’s 30,030-ton Empress of Scotland, which had previously been the Transpacific liner Empress of Japan, sailing out of Vancouver, had her masts cut back by 44 feet in order to reach Montreal.
This had to be done in order to extend her own service beyond Quebec to so that all three Canadian Pacific’s North Atlantic liners turned at Montreal.
Even in Montreal, however, the air draught of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, at 162 feet, meant that P&O’s original 41,915-ton Oriana had to berth downstream from it when she made her one and only call to Montreal in 1980, and other ships might have to do the same, while Montreal’s cruise terminals are located above the bridge.
In 1989, after Princess Cruises entered the trade the original 46,087-ton Sky Princess became the largest passenger ship to call at Montreal. Since then, Princess ships have continued to get bigger and now usually turn at Quebec because they have been too tall to reach Montreal. In 1991, Crystal entered the trade and its 48,621-ton Crystal Harmony became the largest cruise ship to reach Montreal.
The largest ships to have reached Montreal so far are Aida Cruises 2,050-berth 69,203-ton AidaLuna, which visited in 2011, and her sister AidaBella, which called there this October. The largest container ship to call at Montreal so far is the 4860 TEU 50,963-ton MSC Carouge, a ship that also carries a few passengers, in 2011.
Interesting that the article says we had to berth downstream of the Jacques Cartier Bridge. We definitely went on up river to Toronto!
Like Lightning, I was also on Oriana for this cruise. My records show the itinerary as:
16 August 1980 Southampton Depart 2000
22 August 1980 Quebec Arrive 0800 Depart 1800
23 August 1980 Montreal Arrive 0600
24 August 1980 Montreal Depart 0800
26 August 1980 Cornerbrook Arrive 0800 Depart 1900
28 August 1980 Boston Arrive 0800
29 August 1980 Boston Depart 0830
30 August 1980 New York Arrive 0800
31 August 1980 New York Depart 2359
7 September 1980Southampton Arrive 0700
I have no note of the ship calling at Toronto this cruise.