Sister of the Dunrobin Castle she was the first ship to be built for the Castle Mail Steam Packets Co. Ltd and commenced service on the mail run in November 1876.
Balmoral Castle was christened by one of Sir Donald Currie’s daughters on 2 November 1876.
Four months later she was on her way south, taking with her Sir Bartle Frere, the newly appointed Governor of Cape Colony. She was greatly admired but did not remain long in the mail service for Currie was bringing out larger and more powerful vessels.
By 1882 trade had slumped and she was sold to Cia. Trasatlantica, renamed San Augustin and deployed on the Barcelona - Cadiz - Tenerife - Havana service.
On 16th June 1888, following a period on the Clyde for fire damage repairs, she rammed, cut in two and sank the Southampton, Isle of Wight & South of England R.M.S.P. Co's paddle steamer Princess of Wales with the loss of three lives. The paddle steamer was undergoing trials on the Skelmorlie mile at the time. In 1892 she was sold to the Quebec Steam Ship Co. of London but flew the Canadian flag as the Madiana.
On 10th February 1903, during a voyage from New York to Kingston in Jamaica with passengers and cargo, she was wrecked off Bermuda without loss of life.
BALMORAL CASTLE (1) was was built in 1876 by Robert Napier & Sons at Glasgow with a tonnage of 2948grt, a length of 344ft 10in, a beam of 39ft 5in and a service speed of 10 knots.