In 1857 a new company commenced running from Weymouth to the Channel Islands and France, the Weymouth and Channel Islands Steam Packet Company, mainly financed by the Great Western Railway Company, who commenced with two vessels Cygnus and Aquila.
The almost identical ship to the Cygnus, the Aquila, followed six days later, built the same year and by the same company. She was originally intended for the North of Europe Steam Navigation Company for the Antwerp-Harwich service, which had proved unsuccessful. The two vessels were purchased by the Weymouth and Channel Islands Steam Packet Company in 1857. Cygnus and Aquila continued on the Weymouth-Channel Island station for many years until sold in 1889.