LAST month the Orient liner Orcades started on her maiden voyage. According to an article in the Electrical Review of August 27, it is claimed that she is the first British ship on the Suez route to have a public sitting-room supplied with conditioned air. Conditioned air is supplied to the public rooms and to several of the cabins. It is not sufficient for comfort to have only ventilation and correct temperature ; the humidity must also be controlled within fairly narrow limits. In the tropics, the atmosphere is frequently uncomfortably damp. To reduce the temperature without extracting moisture from the air raises the relative humidity and may make the conditions more uncomfortable. When the climate is colder, air after warming sometimes becomes unpleasantly dry. Hence although air conditioning as it is managed at present is expensive, it may add greatly to the comfort and well-being of the passengers. The new vessel—an eight decker—has been built by Vickers Armstrong for cruises and for service on routes between England and Australia. Its gross tonnage is 23,445 and it will accommodate 463 first-class and 605 tourist passengers and a crew of 466. Steam is provided by six oil-fired Babcock and Wilcox boilers. Pipes conduct it to two sets of 1,715 revs, per min. Parsons turbines. These drive the propellers at 112 r.p.m. by means of mechanical gearing. Two systems of intercommunication telephones are installed. The Marconi International Communication Co. has installed an all-wave radio installation, including a direction finder, and an 'echometer' depth sounder, together with a broadcast system of loud speakers throughout the vessel. Time is given by means of 82 synchronous clocks. A portable sound picture equipment by the Western Electric Co. is one of the many forms of entertainment provided.