Initially operated by the London Midland and Scottish Railway which saw service from 1935 to 1964.
She introduced a new principle into the cross-channel trade, the tourist class, which had been in use on the Atlantic lines since 1928.
The Duke of York had one of the earliest automatic fire extinguishers, by Grinnell. Small glass tubes contained a liquid which expanded on a given temperature being reached, and burst the containers, opening water valves above.
In 1942 she was renamed HMS Duke of Wellington for the duration of World War II.
She reverted to Duke of York after the war, and in May 1948 she was transferred to the Harwich to Hook of Holland service, alongside the Arnhem.
Originally a twin funnel vessel, she was rebuilt in 1950 with a single funnel. She was upgraded from coal to oil firing and cabin accommodation for 520 passengers was provided.
On 6 May 1953, she collided in fog with the American freighter USNS Haiti Victory. Six passengers were killed and the bow was completely sheered off just in front of the bridge.
She was re-built by Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company of Jarrow-on-Tyne with a more modern shaped bow and lengthened by about 7 ft. She rejoined the Harwich fleet in 1954.
She was sold to Chandris Lines in 1963 and originally named York she was sent to Smiths Dock Company for conversion work which was completed after transfer to the Chandris Company's own shipyard at Ambelaki. She entered service in 1964 as the Fantasia. She ran mainly on cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, with some winter charters to religious tour groups.
She was withdrawn in December 1975 and was broken up in 1976 in Spain