Proud of our History - the MV Leif Eiriksson

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 MV Leif Eiriksson which serviced the Port aux Basques-North Sydney route from 1966 to 1976.

The vessel was named after Leif Eiriksson (also referred to as Leif Ericson) the Norse Viking explorer who landed on the northern peninsula of Newfoundland and established the first European settlement in North America around the year 1000.

The MV Leif Eiriksson was introduced to handle extra ferry traffic during the 1960s. With the new Trans-Canada Highway completed in Newfoundland in 1965, it was the first opportunity for residents and tourists to drive their cars across the Island resulting in a significant increase in demand. The introduction of the new vessel meant a second passenger and vehicle ferry to work in tandem with the MV William Carson to transport customers in a timely manner.

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 SS Ethie, A Newfoundland coastal boat which operated from 1900 to 1919.