Canadian Pacific named three of its passenger liners Empress of Britain. Those launched in 1905 and 1955 were built at Fairfield, while the 1930 Empress of Britain came from John Brown’s yard. Drawing on archive documents, press coverage, passenger memoirs and novels, this talk explores the fascinating stories surrounding these ships. Two of them served in world wars and one operated the first world cruise. One transported British Home Children while another hosted fashion shows. Taken together, they present a history of the evolving role of the ocean liner across the whole twentieth century. Faye Hammill, Professor of English Literature and Canadian Studies at the University of Glasgow, is working on a research project titled “Ocean Modern”.