Built by the Clydebank Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., successors to J & G Thompson, Clydebank in 1898 for the LSWR's Channel Islands - France services, Vera's design was based on that of Alma and Columbia. Two four cylinder triple expansion engines driving twin screws gave her a service speed of 18 knots.
With the outbreak of WW I Vera was requestioned by the Admiralty for use as an auxiliary cruiser and as such was credited with the sinking of a German submarine off the Isle of Wight.
At her return from the war, Vera resumed her peacetime rôle, principally on the Channel Islands routes with occasional replacement duties on the Southampton - Le Have Service. In 1933, after a 35 year career, Vera was replaced by a new Brittany and sold to Thomas Ward & Sons, Inverkeithing for breaking up.