Australia 2004 "Bon Voyage" Advertising Posters for Ocean Liners

From Stamps of the World
Australia 2004 "Bon Voyage" Advertising Posters for Ocean Liners a.jpg
  • Issue Date: 1 June 2004
  • Designed by: Melinda Coombs
  • Printed by: SNP Sprint
  • Print Process: Lithography
  • Dimensions: 26mm x 37.5mm


The stamps and associated products in this Bon Voyage issue beautifully capture the mystique and allure of 20th century ocean liner travel to and from Australia. The designs draw on stylish artwork from original advertising posters to evoke the romance and excitement associated with ocean travel.

The four stamps in this issue give us a glimpse of tourist ships in the early to mid 20th century. Many fabulous posters were designed from the 1920s advertising the delights of ocean travel. During this period Australia was a destination for many, including migrants and more adventurous travellers from Europe. At the same time Australians were increasingly travelling abroad, particularly to the United Kingdom.


Sheet Stamps

  • Perforations: 14½ x 14
  • Format: sheets of 50 (two panes of 25)

50c Shaw Savill Lines Stamp

The Dominion Monarch was one of the Shaw Savill Lines’ principal ships. Built in the late 1930s, it remained in service until 1962. The poster was illustrated by W. McDowell (c.1939-40) and is from the collection of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) in Sydney.

50c Shaw Savill Lines

$1 Union Steam Ship Co. Stamp

The Awatea was launched in 1936 and plied the Tasman Sea between Australia and New Zealand for the Union Steam Ship Co.. At the outbreak of World War II it was drafted into war service as a troop carrier and was attacked and sunk in the Mediterranean Sea in 1942. The poster by Fowler is from the National Library of Australia (NLA) collection.

$1 Union Steam Ship Co.

$1.45 Orient Line Stamp

The Ormonde and Orsova, built for the Orient Line in 1917 and 1909 respectively, were both converted to ‘one class’ vessels in 1933. Orsova was broken up in 1936. The Ormonde was requisitioned as a troopship in 1939. It returned to commercial service in 1947 as an emigrant vessel to Australia until sold in 1952. The poster was illustrated by Walter Jardine and it is from the ANMM collection in Sydney.

$1.45 Orient Line

$2 Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line Stamp

The Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line, which was formed in 1933, operated five vessels known as ‘The Bays’ – Moreton Bay, Hobsons Bay, Jervis Bay, Largs Bay and Esperance Bay. The line ceased after the last of these ships was scrapped in 1957. The poster was illustrated by E.V. Kealey and is from the NLA collection.

$2 Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line

Self-adhesive Stamps

50c Booklet Stamp

  • Perforations: serpentine die cut 11½ x 11¼
  • Format: booklets of 10
50c Shaw Savill Lines

50c Sheetlet Stamp

  • Issue date: 22 February 2005
  • Perforations: serpentine die cut 11½ x 11¼ syncopated horizontally
  • Format: sheetlets of 10
50c Shaw Savill Lines


Self-adhesive booklet of 10 x 50c


  • Issued for Pacific Explorer 2005 World Stamp Expo, Sydney, Australia
  • Issue date: 22 February 2005
Self-adhesive sheetlet of 10 x 50c

First Day Cover

The first day of issue postmark was Port Melbourne VIC 3207. First day covers for the self-adhesive varieties were not officially produced.

First day cover - sheet stamps

Maximum Cards

50c Shaw Savill Lines maximum card
$1 Union Steam Ship Co. maximum card
$1.45 Orient Line maximum card
$2 Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line maximum card

Presentation Pack

Stamp pack front cover
Stamp pack back cover
Stamp pack