SS Orbita

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RMS Orbita.jpg
The SS Orbita
Name: SS Orbita
Owner: Pacific Steam Navigation Company
Operator: Cunard Line,
Royal Mail Steam Packet Company,
Pacific Steam Navigation Company
Port of registry: Liverpool, 22x20px United Kingdom
Route: North Atlantic service
Builder: Harland and Wolff yards in Belfast
Launched: 1915
Maiden voyage: 26 Sept. 1919
In service: 1915
Out of service: 1950
Identification: Official number 137467
Fate: Scrapped, 1950, in Newport.
General characteristics
Class and type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 15,486
Length: 167.7 m (550 ft)
Beam: 25.5 m (67 ft)
Propulsion: Triple screw[1]
Speed: 15 knotts
Capacity: 896 passengers

Orbita was an ocean liner built in 1913-14 by Harland & Wolff in Belfast for the Pacific Steam Navigation Company. Her sister ships were the SS Orduna and SS Orca.[2]

She provided transatlantic passenger transport, measured approximately 15,500 gross tons, and was 550.3 ft x 67.3 ft.


From 1921 to 1923 the Orbita was chartered to operate the Royal Mail's United Kingdom - New York service. In 1923 she was transferred to Royal Mail ownership, remaining with them for three years before reverting to the Pacific Steam Navigation Company.[3]

Between 1946 and 1950 the Orbita was used to transport immigrants to Australia and New Zealand.[4] The Orbita was a ship that is an important part of the history of multiracialism in the United Kingdom, arriving with the second group of immigrants from the West Indies (after the Empire Windrush). The passengers were part of the first large group of West Indian immigrants to the UK after the Second World War.[5]

War service

The Orbita entered service an auxiliary cruiser and troop ship during the First World War, delaying her maiden voyage, from Liverpool to Rio de Janeiro, until 1919.[6] In 1941, during the Second World War, she was requisitioned for use as a troop ship - continuing in that role until 1946.[7]


She was dismantled in October 1950 in Newport, South Wales.[8]


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