Persia begun her maiden voyage for Cunard Line on January 26th 1856. She was 3,300 tons with a length of 398 feet.
Persia won the Blue Riband during her maiden year, for the fastest westbound transatlantic crossing. She was the first Atlantic record breaker constructed of iron and was the largest ship in the world at the time of her launch.
Persia was paired with Cunard's Scotia on the New York route until 1867 when Cunard commissioned the Russia (the first screw Cunarder that could match Persia's speed).
Because of her fuel consumption, Persia was not a good fit for the other Cunard services and was laid up in 1868. Her engines were removed and she was sold to MacArthur and Wilson of Glasgow for conversion to sail. However, the conversion didn't take place and Persia was sold for scrap in 1872.