Timeline
1957
 
23rd January 
Order placed with Harland & Wolff
23 September 
First keel plates laid (yard number 1621)
 
 
1958
 
17 March 
Ship's name announced as "Canberra"
 
1959
 
Construction continues
 
1960
 
16 March 
Launched by Dame Pattie Menzies
 
 
1961
 
29 April 
Leaves Belfast for first time for builder's trials
1 May 
Arrives in Southampton for dry docking
16 May 
Leaves Southampton for acceptance trials
18 May 
Achieved maximum speed of 29.7 knots on trials
19 May 
Officially handed over to P&O
2 June 
Leaves Southampton on maiden voyage
4 September 
Arrives back in Southampton after maiden voyage
1962
11 June 
First transit of Panama Canal (fee £11,500)
21 June 
First refit in Southampton
1 November 
Minor collision with a steel barge in Vancouver
1963
4 January 
Electrician causes fire in main switchboard - all power lost
5 January 
Arrives Grand Harbour Malta under own steam
7 January 
Aircraft start to fly passengers to onward destinations
14 January 
Leaves Malta under own steam for proper repairs in Belfast
21 January 
Arrives in Belfast for repairs to switchboard
11 May 
Leaves Belfast after repairs
24th May 
Leaves Southampton on first post-repair voyage
 
1965
1 March 
Tug line snaps in Sydney harbour causing ship to drift under Harbour Bridge, bending mast
 
1966
 
16 May 
Seaman's strike causes ship to be stranded in Southampton
2 July 
Strike over - ship sails on world cruise
 
1967
 
5 June  
Whilst approaching Port Said, Canberra is diverted around the Cape of Good Hope with the outbreak of the Six Day Way.
 
 
1972
 
27 September 
Damage suffered to a draught fan forcing a speed reduction
 
1973
24 January 
Leaves Southampton to be based out of New York
30 January 
Arrives New York to begin cruise season
31 January 
Leaves on first cruise ex New York, but bookings very low
27 February 
Ship is laid up in mouth of Cape Fear River, North Carolina
20 March 
Leaves anchorage to return to New York to complete season
1 June 
P&O announce ship to be withdrawn from service
12 July 
Ship runs aground while anchoring in Grenada
15 July 
Ship finally freed from Lloyd Shoal after four days being stranded
14 August 
(1) Ship runs aground in St Thomas due to high winds (2) P&O reverse decision to scrap ship
 
 
1974
 
Ship converted to one-class operation and capacity reduced to 1,737
 
 
1979
 
August 
Two 15-year old boys stow away & remain undetected for 12 days
 
 
1980
 
30 November 
Start of refit, during which time smaller propellers are to be fitted to reduce speed
 
 
1981
 
2 May 
Dock strike forces ship to disembark passengers by ferry at Portsmouth
 
 
1982
 
4 April 
Ship requisitioned by government to carry troops to Falklands
7 April 
Arrives in Southampton after world cruise, conversion to troopship begins
9 April 
Leaves Southampton with Paras & Marines on board
17 April 
Arrives Freetown to bunker and take on stores
20 April 
Anchors at Ascension Island awaiting orders
7 May 
Leaves Ascension Island for Falkland Islands
21 May 
Anchors in San Carlos Water to dismebark military forces
27 May 
Rendezvous with QE2 at South Georgia to take more troops back to Falklands
2 June 
Anchors in San Carlos Water again to disembark more troops
19 June 
Arrives Puerto Madryn, Argentina, to repatriate 4,167 POW's
25 June 
Leaves Falklands carrying 2,500 Royal Marines destined for home
11 July 
Arrives back Southampton after 94 days
11 September 
First cruise after refit following Falklands conflict
 
1986
 
May 
Ship assumes title "Cock of the Fleet" after retirement of Oriana - Canberra now fastest
 
1987
 
24 January 
Ship rescues family of five whose yacht has sunk off coast of Mexico
Dinner on board to celebrate 150th Anniversary of P&O and 5th Anniversary of service in Falklands
 
1994
 
20 March 
Five badly burned seaman taken on board and treated after explosion on their tanker
5 June 
Memorial service held on board for D-Day veterans to commemorate 50th Anniversary
7 December 
Ship loses power and drifts towards St Catherine's Point. Power regained 4 miles from shore
 
1996
 
25 June 
P&O announce Canberra will retire at the end of September 1997
 
1997
 
6 January 
Leaves Southampton on last world cruise
23 February 
Final call at Sydney
10 September 
Leaves Southampton on 'Farewell Cruise'
25 September 
In Cannes, "Cock of the Fleet" title passes on to Oriana
30 September 
Arrives in Southampton for last time
1 October 
De-Storing commences
10 October 
Leaves Southampton for breakers in Pakistan
31 October 
At 0940hrs, Canberra is run ashore at Gadani Beach, Pakistan to be broken up for scrap