Proud of our History - the SS Princess Helene

by Darrell Mercer

Marine Atlantic, its predecessor CN Marine, and pre-confederation Newfoundland coastal boats have a strong and proud history serving the people of Atlantic Canada through ferry terminals, passenger vessels and rail service.

In this week’s “Throwback Thursday” blog posting we highlight the SS Princess Helene which traversed the Bay of Fundy between Saint John, NB and Digby, NS from 1930-1963.

Recognized as the first passenger car ferry between the two provinces, the vessel offered more cabins, greater amenities, and the ability to carry significantly more passengers, vehicles and freight than that of its predecessors.

Given the name “Princess” because of the elegant amenities that were offered on board, the vessel is remembered fondly for the new era of ferry travel that it introduced on the Digby-Saint John service.

As always, we welcome your photos for posting in a future blog. Please email your photos to  including any facts such as the date and location.

In next week’s blog posting, we highlight the Newfoundland Dockyard in St. John’s which had a historical attachment to Marine Atlantic and its predecessors from 1884-1997.