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1955::Waiting For a Ferry on Easter Long Weekend

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

Reservations were highly recommended for long weekend ferry travel to the mainland.

1955::Long weekend ferry traffic between Nanaimo and Vancouver, British Columbia

"1955::Waiting For a Ferry on Easter Long Weekend"

Photo Clip: Nanaimo Daily News (1955) Nanaimo, British Columbia


Vehicles without a reservation had to wait for a ferry in Nanaimo on Easter Long Weekend. By the end of the day, many cars did not make it off the island. Weeks later, Canadian Pacific's (CP) Princess of Vancouver arrived on Vancouver Island's shores from Scotland to help with the island ferry traffic.


1955::Princess of Vancouver in Detail

"1955::A Canadian Pacific Rail Ferry"

Clip: The Vancouver News-Herald (1955)

Vancouver, British Columbia


Although reservations remained highly recommended, the new Princess of Vancouver made island travel easier. She serviced the Nanaimo to Vancouver run and was capable of transporting 120 automobiles, 800 passengers and 28 rail cars between Nanaimo and Vancouver. The new ship's ability to carry rail cars, cars, and trucks in the same sail had to be explained to concerned passengers in the local papers.


1955::Black Ball ferry line was tough competition for CPR's new Princess of Vancouver.

"1955::Black Ball Ferry: Tough Competition"

Surrey Leader (1955)

Surrey, British Columbia


CPs new fast ferry was a tough competitor. Blackball, a privately owned ferry company already well established on the Nanaimo to Vancouver run, responded to the challenge that the new ship represented by putting a second ferry on the same route. By doubling its service, Black Ball was able to compete. The large capacity of their vessels, their frequency of service and fast turn-around time, and their rapid loading and unloading abilities eliminated any need for a ferry reservation, making Black Ball tough competition for CP.


1955::New Canadian Pacific Fast Ferry

"1955::New Canadian Pacific Fast Ferry"

Ad Clip: Times Colonist (1955)

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Although the Princess of Vancouver was initially scheduled for eleven daily sails, this number was quickly and drastically reduced before the end of her first summer until all of her mechanical issues and docking station issues were resolved.


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