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1955::Princess of Vancouver

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

The Canadian Pacific Railway's new train & auto ferry Princess of Vancouver.

1979::Canadian Pacific Railway's Princess of Vancouver

"Canadian Pacific Railway's Princess of Vancouver"

Photo (1979): tbd

Vancouver, British Columbia

On June 21, 1955, CPRs newest ferry was launched from Nanaimo, BC. She was a brand new ship hot off the docks of the River Clyde. For three months, she sailed from Glasgow, Scotland to Vancouver Island via the Panama Canal. Capable of transporting 120 automobiles, 800 passengers and 28 rail cars between Vancouver and Nanaimo on eleven daily sails, she was sure to be the answer to many commuting prayers. But she faced significant challenges on her first summer out and the anticipated eleven daily sails quickly turned into three... and then two. Adjustments to the ferry slip became necessary as well as a few mechanical adjustments on the ship itself. She even ran hard aground in a mudbank in Vancouver and was forced into drydock for repairs. It was a rough start, but by Christmas, much of the initial problems had been ironed out. The Princess of Vancouver went on to service British Columbia for the next thirty years and ended her BC career alongside the Princess Marguerite on the Victoria to Seattle run before being sold for service in the South China Sea.

1955::Nanaimo, BC Ferry Lineup on May Long Weekend

"Waiting For a BC Ferry on Easter Long Weekend"

Photo Clip: Nanaimo Daily News (1955)

Nanaimo, British Columbia

Vehicles without a reservation waiting for a ferry at noon on Good Friday in Nanaimo, BC on Easter Long Weekend, 1955. Just weeks before the Princess of Vancouver arrived on Vancouver Island's shore from Glasgow.

1955::Trucks, Trains & Automobiles

"Trucks, Trains & Automobiles"

Clip: The Vancouver News-Herald (1955)

Vancouver, British Columbia

1955::Black Ball Ferry Line Meets the Competition

"Black Ball Ferry Line Meets the Competition"

Clip: Surrey Leader (1955)

Surrey, British Columbia

Reservations were encouraged if not at times necessary. The new CPR super ferry was tough competition and Blackball responded by putting a second ferry on the same route, eliminating the need for reservations (although it was still possible to reserve).


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