On 11th June 1930 Empress of Britain was launched at John Brown’s Shipyard at Glasgow. Most unusually the Prince of Wales, as Master of the Merchant Navy, agreed to launch the liner, accompanied by the Chairman and President of Canadian Paciﬁc, Ed Beatty. Tugs towed the hull to the adjacent ﬁtting out berth, where the next ten months would see feverish efforts to complete the liner.
Much of the interiors had been completed before the launch. The major work was installing the engines and boilers, and ﬁnishing off the superstructure. There were four propellers, each driven by a single-reduction geared Parsons turbine. The inboard sets supplied two thirds of the total power, more than enough for the planned World cruises. Total output of the engines was 62,500shp for a service speed of 24 knots; this could be increased to 66,500shp if needed. Astern turbines were ﬁtted to the two inboard turbines.