We carried out a set of experiments on the direct-contact condensation of atmospheric steam for subcooled water flowing co-currently and counter-currently in a circular pipe. The condensation heat transfer coefficient was evaluated both for co-current and counter-current steam-water flow cases in a horizontal circular pipe. In the current experiment the dependency of the liquid Nusselt number on the gas Reynolds number is higher in the counter-current than in the co-current experimental data. The dependency of the liquid Nusselt number on the steam Reynolds number is stronger in the rectangular channel than in the circular pipe. The overall heat transfer characteristics are better in the co-current flow than in the counter-current flow with the same injection flow rates of the steam and the water. The present co-current experimental data were used to assess four existing correlations. However, there are few reliable correlations existing to predict co-current experimental data. The comparisons of the present counter-current experimental data with the existing correlations show that Chu's (Chu, I.C., Yu, S.O., Chun, M.H. 2000. Interfacial condensation heat transfer for counter-current steam-water stratified flow in a circular pipe, J. Korea Nucl. Soc., 32 (2), 142-156) correlation predicts the experimental data well. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.