Proud of our History - The SS Empress

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 Empress which serviced the Northumberland Strait and Bay of Fundy crossings between 1906 and 1930.


Marine atlantic_20141110_163224

Originally designed to cross the Northumberland Strait, the vessel sailed between Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick/Nova Scotia from 1906-1916. In 1916, the vessel moved to the Bay of Fundy service between Saint John and Digby. At 235 feet in length and 34 feet wide, the vessel could transport both passengers and freight. With capacity for 500 passengers, the vessel provided a number of amenities including a post office, saloon and smoking room for customers.

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 Northern Ranger which serviced coastal Labrador communities from 1986-1997.