Cunard built the Scythia as one of a series of 19,000 ton liners to operate in support of their large express liners. Scythia was designed as an 'intermediate' liner, for servies between Liverpool and Queenstown to New York and Boston.
The ship was also designed to operate cruises, and sailed between New York and the Mediterranean with American tourists aboard.
At the onset of World War II, Scythia (like many Cunarders) was called into service. On 1 November 1940 she was used as a troop carrier sailing with the 1st King's Dragon Guards to the Middle East. Later in the war, Scythia participated in the British Army's activities in North Africa. It was during this use that she was attacked by an aerial torpedo, however the quick thinking of her crew saw the ship saved.
After the war, Scythia was used as a repatriation vessel, and also transported war brides on the Canadian service, operating alongside the larger Aquitania.
In 1948, Scythia was used by the International Refugee Organisation to transport refugees to Canada, before finally re-entering passenger service in 1950.
Scythia remained in service until 1958, at which time she was withdrawn from service and scrapped.