Victoria was built for the London and South Western Railway's Channel Islands-France service in 1896 by J and G Thomson Limited, Clydebank, and used mainly on the Jersey-St. Malo service until sold in 1919.
Victoria's maiden voyage to the Channel Islands was on 25 July 1896, under the command of Captain A Jones. She first operated to St Malo on 1 August and remained on the Jersey station until November 1903, when she transferred to Plymouth as a liner tender and excursion vessel, after extensive alterations.
The changes were undone in 1907 when she was replaced by the Atalanta and she returned to operate in the Channel Islands, until 1914. Byu early 1915 she was back in island waters, operating until near to the end of the war, when work which was started to convert her for naval duties was interrupted by the Armistice. She did not return to Channel Island operations.