Ionic (II) was built by Harland and Wolff (yard number 346) in December 1902 for the joint White Star/Shaw, Savill & Albion service to New Zealand. She began her maiden voyage on 16th January 1903, from London to Wellington. She arrived at Wellington on 5th March, and left on 16th April for the return trip. In August 1914 Shaw, Savill & Albion ships changed their inbound port of call from Plymouth to Southampton, with Ionic being ﬁrst to do so.
With the declaration of the Great War both Australia and New Zealand volunteered to send troops. Among the ﬁrst liners to be requisitioned were Medic, Afric and Ionic. A torpedo was ﬁred at her in the Mediterranean on 31st December 1915 but it missed her by a matter of feet. Ionic returned to commercial service on 31st January 1919, after being operated under the Liner Requisition Scheme.
During a reﬁt in 1929, the accommodation was converted to Cabin Class and Third Class only. In 1932 White Star’s Australian service passed to Shaw, Savill & Albion, together with Ionic and Ceramic, plus Mamilius (ex-Zealandic). Although the corporate entities had merged, operations continued unchanged but White Star had no further interest. Subsequently she was rebuilt with Tourist Class accommodation only for 280 passengers. On 9th September 1936 Ionic left Avonmouth for New Zealand on her last sailing. Having sailed over 2 million miles, she was sold for scrapping on 6th January 1937 for £31,500. She left Liverpool for Osaka, arriving on 16th June, and soon after was dismantled.