Royal Mail Ship
), usually seen in its abbreviated form RMS
, is the ship prefix
used for seagoing vessels that carry mail
under contract by Royal Mail
. Any vessel designated as RMS has the right to both fly the pennant of the Royal Mail when sailing and to include the Royal Mail "crown" logo with any identifying device and/or design for the ship.
The designation has been used since 1840.The first citation in the Times
is from 18 August 1840 It was used by many shipping lines, but is often associated in particular with the Cunard Line
,Maxtone-Graham, John et al.
(2004). Royal Mail Lines
and Union-Castle Line
, which held a number of high-profile mail contracts
, and which traditionally prefixed the names of many of their ships with the initials "RMS". The Canadian Pacific Railway
's trans-Pacific Royal Mail contract required the construction of the first three of a fleet of steamships—the RMS Empress of China
, the RMS Empress of India
, and the RMS Empress of Britain
which regularly sailed between Vancouver and Asia beginning in 1891.
While some lines, particularly the Royal Mail Lines
, called all their ships RMS, technically a......