In recognition of the post-World War II demand for economical transportation of tourists and migrants, the Empress of England and Empress of Canada were designed with Tourist class occupying most of the space, which was a fundamental change of ship design. They were also of a higher standard to fill a dual role of cruising profitably in the winter when the St. Lawrence River was not navigable as well as crossing the Atlantic in warmer months. Both of the ocean liners were fully air-conditioned and stabilized.
Their normal route was from Montreal and Quebec City to Greenock and Liverpool. The company advertised a scenic 1,000 mile passage on calm, sheltered waters down the St. Lawrence River on the way to Europe.
First class staterooms on Empress of England were all on A-Deck and had private facilities. Tourist class staterooms were on A, B and C-Decks, with upper and lower berths for either two or four passengers. Each class had its own lounge, smoking room, cocktail bar and restaurant. Both classes had access to the indoor swimming pool, "Empress" ballroom and a cinema. First class also enjoyed a Sun Veranda Lounge on Boat Deck with a glazed roof and glass doors opening onto a sheltered sun deck.
Empress of Canada was a slightly larger, improved running mate. First class had the "Mayfair" Room, "St. Lawrence Club" and "Salle Frontenac" Restaurant. First class cabins and suites aboard Empress of Canada were forward on Empress Deck and midship on Upper Deck. Tourist class had the "Windsor" lounge, "Banff Club" and "Carleton" Restaurant. The two-deck "Canada Room", a cinema and indoor swimming pool were shared by both classes.
"For fun on the way... sail to Europe on a White Empress... relaxing staterooms, spacious friendly public rooms, wide decks for sunning, strolling, sports. Enjoy a morning swim, a snooze in the afternoon, evenings of cards, movies, parties, dancing. You start your holiday en route!"
Declining demand moved Canadian Pacific to withdraw Empress of England in 1970 and sell her to the Shaw Savill Line as a replacement for their Southern Cross. Empress of Canada only remained in service until November, 1971. By January she had been sold to the new Carnival Cruise Lines as Mardi Gras, their first cruise ship.
Go to Canadian Pacific Steamships sailing schedules or select schedules by ship:
Empress of England
Built: 1957 by Vickers-Armstrongs, Newcastle, England
Empress of Canada
Built: 1961 by Vickers-Armstrongs, Newcastle, England