RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE                                                                                                                                                                                                                             THE OCEAN LINERS


Welcome to our website paying tribute to the world famous RMS Empress of Britain, the finest ship ever built for Canadian Pacific. She was built in 1930 by the renowned shipbuilders - John Brown & Co. (Clydebank) Ltd and was the largest ship ever built for Canadian Pacific.  She was uniquely designed as a dual role ship for the service from Southampton to Quebec City via Cherbourg and for world cruising. Her world cruises in the 1930s during the winter season soon became legendary circumnavigations of the world. A tradition that has been continued by the legendary RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 today.

She did not sail on the most prestigious of ocean liner routes, that from Europe to New York, but instead the route to Canada. Despite this she was certainly the equal of any of the grand ships of state that plied that route and indeed she surpassed many of them. With her three imposing funnels and white hull and superstructure, she imparted an air of majesty and power - while her interiors were a combination of traditional period styles touched with the glamour of art deco. She indeed was the most stylish and highly individual liner ever built for a British company. At 42,348 grt she also was the largest liner to sail between any two ports of the British Empire and deservedly was Canadian Pacific's flagship.

The Empress of Britain was a most remarkable liner, a combination of tradition and modernity: upright and imposing, yet curiously rakish. It was a profile that could only have been British, and yet, internally she was, and remains, quite unlike any other British liner: striking and dramatic, yet remarkably elegant. She was a most confidently grand liner and truly was a liner of her times full of the opulence and grandeur of the 1930s.

Sadly her glamourous life was cut short by the Second World War and she was transformed into a troopship ferrying soldiers from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to Europe for the war effort. Sadly in 1940 tragedy struck when the great liner was attacked by German bombers off the coast of Ireland and set on fire. The stricken liner was then taken under tow bound for the Clyde.However she was again attacked and torpedoed by a German U-boat. Sadly on the 28th October 1940 the once mighty Empress of Britain slipped beneath the waves of the North Atlantic, a mere 1/2 day's sailing from the shipyard where she had been built. Britain's greatest liner was no more.



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"I name this ship Empress of Britain. I wish success to her and all who sail in her."

Words of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at the Launch Ceremony, 11th June 1930.

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Her Regular Service Route: Great Britain to Canada

 Southampton to Quebec City (via Cherbourg) transatlantic service and worldwide cruising.





(c) Cruise Ship History Collection 2018 including www.thecunarders.co.uk                                                                                                                                                                              A Edward ElliottDocument made with Nvu