R.M.S. Aurania was launched from the Wallsend-on-Tyne shipyard of Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson on 6th Febrary 1924. She was built on the same slipway as the great ocean greyhound R.M.S. Mauretania but represented quite a different style of liner. Following extensive losses during the First World War, Cunard engaged in an extensive post-war building program which included the construction of eleven intermediate sized vessels. Aurania was the fourth of six "A"-class liners which were built to serve on the Liverpool-Montreal-Quebec and Liverpool-New York services. She was joined in commercial service by R.M.S. Alaunia and R.M.S. Ascania in 1925. These three sisters formed the second trio of the "A"-class liners, their elder sisters already having been launched as a first batch in 1922. Designed to accommodate approximate 500 First Class and 1,200 Third Class passengers, these ships were among the first purpose built 'Cabin Liners' in Cunard service.
Whilst all six liners developed a reputation for the comfort of their Cabin Class facilities, the second trio had the advantage of further improvements from the experience of their elder sisters. With spacious, well-appointed staterooms and a generous number of elegant public rooms, the ships represented the best of the 'Cabin Liner' concept of quality travel at affordable rates of passage. in 1927, Cunard responded to the decrease in Third Class trade by introducing a third 'Tourist-Third Cabin' category of travel. The ships were converted back to their original two class arrangement in 1939. Whilst the three sisters all survived wartime service, only Ascania would return to commercial service on a reduced 'austerity' service. She served once again as a troop ship during the Suez Crisis before facing the scrappers in 1956. Her fate was joined by Alaunia in 1957 and Aurania (then H.M.S. Artifex) in 1961.
The second trio of "A"-class liners offered their Cabin Class passengers an impressive suite of public rooms and stateroom accommodations, solidifying Cunard's reputation as an operator of quality Cabin accommodation on the North Atlantic service.
Tourist-Third Cabin was introduced aboard these liners in 1927 in response to the decline of immigrant travel to Canada. The new accommodations were bright and comfortable, representing the desires of a new travel market seeking reputable accommodation at affordable rates.