Proud of our History - the original SS Bruce

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 original SS Bruce, the first vessel to make the Port aux Basques-North Sydney crossing serving from 1898 to 1911.

The first vessel constructed as part of the ‘alphabet’ fleet, the SS Bruce had to ability to travel through the ice of the Cabot Strait and was recognized as a reliable ice-breaking vessel. From its first departure on June 30, 1898, the vessel made over 2000 trips and transported over 350,000 passengers.

We hope you enjoy these photos of a vessel that marked the beginning of a new transportation era for the Island of Newfoundland that continues to this very day.

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 MV Patrick Morris which served the Port aux Basques-North Sydney crossing between 1965-1970.

  • SS Bruce circa 1900s