Passenger Research Guides
P&O's ships steamed over thousands of
miles of ocean carrying a significant number
of people all around the globe
Between 1920 and 1960 the financial records of ships’ voyages do include details of ports of call as well as including data on cargo carried, stores commuted and so on.
For the period 1950s to the early 1960s, the P&O Archives includes some files of completed itineraries, i.e. printed forms showing where a voyage was expected to go and how it differed in reality. A continuation of this file is held by P&O Cruises in Southampton, although only relating to passenger voyages. P&O Cruises are now owned by Carnival UK and you are requested to contact them directly.
Although they would once have existed, very few reports of individual voyages survive. Although they were submitted, presumably the quantity of files involved will have led to wholesale disposal at one or more of the several reorganisations that took place in the 20th century.
Orient Line records in P&O Archives include some voyage reports covering 1940 to 1963 and copies of timetables between 1946 and 1949. Sample voyage files exist for British India Steam Navigation Company voyages ending or beginning in 1963, for Strick Line voyages in 1970 to 1971 and for New Zealand Shipping Company/Federal Steam voyages ending or beginning in 1965.
In addition, New Zealand Steam Company files also include extensive movement books, mostly organised on a timetable basis but some dealing with ships individually.
The P&O Archive is on permanent loan to the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK and their archive catalogue is available online. Should you wish to consult the archive in person, please contact the museum directly to make an appointment and order documents in advance.Royal Museums Greenwich National Maritime Museum Romney Road Greenwich, London SE10 9NF United Kingdom +44 (0)208 858 4422 – Switchboard +44 (0)208 312 6516 – Library http://www.rmg.co.uk