RMS Empress of England

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Empress of England.jpg
RMS Empress of England'
  • 1957-1970: RMS Empress of England
  • 1970-1975 SS Ocean Monarch
Port of registry: 1957-1970: London,  UK, 1970-1975: Southampton,  UK
Route: Liverpool-Greenock-Quebec-Montreal (1970- Cruising)
Builder: Vickers-Armstrongs, Newcastle
Yard number: 155
Launched: 9 May 1956
Completed: 19 March 1957
Maiden voyage: 18 April 1957
Out of service: 1975
Fate: scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan
General characteristics
Class and type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 25,585 GRT (1971, 25,971 GRT)
Length: 640 ft (195.0m)
Beam: 85.3ft (26.0m)
Installed power: 30,000shp
Propulsion: Geared turbines, twin screw
Speed: 20 knots
Capacity: As built, 160 1st class, 898 tourist class (1971, 1372 one class)
Crew: 464

RMS Empress of England was an ocean liner built in 1956-1957 by Vickers-Armstrongs, Newcastle, United Kingdom for the Canadian Pacific Steamships. The ship was launched in 1956; and she undertook her maiden voyage in 1957. She was a near identical sister ship to Empress of Britain.[1]

Canadian Pacific[edit]

Empress of England was intended for sailing between Liverpool and Montreal. The ship was launched by Lady Eden, the wife of the Prime Minister Anthony Eden on 9 May 1956.[2]

Empress of England's maiden voyage began on 18 April 1957. The ship sailed from Liverpool bound for Montreal, Quebec. Trans-Atlantic crossings continued until starting her last regularly scheduled crossing which began on 14 November 1969. The ship accomplished some cruises before she was sold in March 1970 to Shaw, Savill & Albion Line.[2]

Shaw, Savill & Albion Line[edit]

Shaw, Savill & Albion Line renamed her Ocean Monarch. Initially no structural alterations were made. On 14 April 1970 she departed Southampton on a line voyage to Australia, arriving at Sydney, New South Wales, on 15 May. Two cruises to Japan (to coincide with Expo) were then undertaken, before the ship returned to Southampton. The vessel then proceeded to the Cammell Laird facility at Birkenhead for a major refit which involved turning her from a two-class transatlantic liner into a single-class cruise ship.[3] This work included removal of the vessel's extensive cargo holds and cargo handling gear, installation of additional passenger cabins and the re-design of the ship's stern, to include a large swimming pool/lido area with a new bar/discothèque beneath.

The refit took far longer than was scheduled, so Ocean Monarch was able to complete just one cruise in October 1971, before departing for Australasia. She sailed from Southampton on 5 November 1971, bound for Sydney via Barbados, Curaçao, Panama, Acapulco, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Honolulu, Tokelau, Fiji and Auckland. Ocean Monarch was then based at Sydney until April 1972, when she returned to Britain to service the northern summer cruise season. In late 1972 the vessel returned once more to Australia, for a program of cruises from Sydney to South Pacific ports, remaining throughout 1973.

In May 1974, Ocean Monarch left Sydney for Southampton for a further series of UK based cruises. However, her schedule was disrupted by increasingly problematic main boilers, which defects would eventually seal the vessel's fate. Although the ship was sent back to Australasia in November 1974, mechanical failure in early 1975 caused a cruise to be cancelled, whilst the ship was drydocked at Sydney and repairs were made.

The ship left Sydney on 26 April 1975 for the last time. Upon return to Southampton in May 1975 the vessel was once again drydocked and subsequently offered for sale. Ocean Monarch was sold in June 1975.[3] The vessel left Southampton on 13 June 1975 bound for Kaohsiung in Taiwan where she was scrapped.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cartwright, Roger et al. (2001). The Development and Growth of the Cruise Industry, p. 29.
  2. ^ a b c ShipsList: Empress of England/Ocean Monarch Archived 4 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b "A Tale of Two Liners", Ships Monthly: 51, January 2018CS1 maint: Date and year (link)