RMS Empress of England

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Empress of England.jpg
RMS Empress of England'
Name: 1957-1970: RMS Empress of England
1970-1975 SS Ocean Monarch
Owner: 1957-1970: Red Ensign Canadian Pacific Steamships
1970-1975: Red Ensign Shaw, Savill & Albion Line
Port of registry: 1957-1970: United Kingdom
1970-1975: United Kingdom
Builder: Vickers-Armstrongs, Newcastle
Launched: 9 May 1956
Maiden voyage: 18 April 1957
Out of service: 1975
Fate: scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan
General characteristics
Class and type: Ocean liner
Tonnage: 25,585 tons
Length: 640 ft
Beam: 85.3ft
Propulsion: twin propellers
Speed: 21 knots
Capacity: 1,058 passengers

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. The ship was ordered along with two other sister ships -- the Empress of Britain and the Empress of Canada.[1]

Canadian Pacific

The 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 May 9, May 1956.[2]

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

Shaw, Savill & Albion Line

When the vessel was sold to Shaw, Savill & Albion Line, she was renamed Ocean Monarch however no structural alterations were then made. On April 14, 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. 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/discotheque 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 November 5 1971, bound for Sydney via Barbados, Curacao, 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. The vessel left Southampton on 13 June 1975 bound for Kaohsiung in Taiwan where she was scrapped.[2]

See also