IN June 1955 the Queen launched, at Glasgow’s Fairfield yard, the £5.5 million passenger liner, Empress of Britain. Less than a year later, her sister ship, the £6.5 million Empress of England, was launched at the Vickers-Armstrong yard on the Tyne, by Lady Eden, wife of the Prime Minister, Sir Anthony. Both were built for Canadian Pacific Steamships, the Atlantic shipping arm of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. The Empress of England, the largest passenger ship built at the naval shipyard, had accommodation for 150 first-class passengers and 900 tourist passengers. At her launch it was said that she would primarily work the passenger and freight service between Liverpool and Montreal or St John.

The Empress of England is pictured here in April 1960, at the Tail o’ the Bank, en route to Canada, and about to receive a complement of passengers from the paddle steamer, Jeanie Deans, at Greenock’s Princes Pier.

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Herald Diary

The website traces the Empress’s eventful history, beginning with her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal on April 18, 1957, with 158 first-class and 900 tourist-class passengers. From 1958, the website says, a call at Greenock was re-introduced into Canadian Pacific’s sailing schedules, the calls having been dropped in post-war years in an attempt to speed up passage times. Canadian Pacific’s final visit at the Tail o’ the Bank was made on November 13, 1968, by the Empress of England, “so breaking a forty-year link between Scotland and Canada.”

The liner was bought by new owners in 1970 and re-named Ocean Monarch. Its last voyage was in 1975, and it was broken up that same year,