RMS Empress of India was an ocean liner built in 1890-1891 by Naval Construction & Armaments Co, Barrow-in-Furness, England for Canadian Pacific Steamships. This ship would be the first of two CP vessels to be named Empress of India, and on 28 April 1891, she was the very first of many ships named Empress arriving at Vancouver harbor.
Empress of India regularly traversed the trans-Pacific route between the west coast of Canada and the Far East until she was sold to the Maharajah of Gwalior in 1914 and renamed in 1915.
In 1891, Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and the British government reached agreement on a contract for subsidized mail service between Britain and Hong Kong via Canada; and the route began to be serviced by three specially designed ocean liners. Each of these three vessels was given an Imperial name.
Empress of India and her two running mates—RMS Empress of China and RMS Empress of Japan—created a flexible foundation for the CPR trans-Pacific fleet which would ply this route for the next half century.[5