Proud of our History – SS Cabot Strait

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 Cabot Strait which serviced the Port aux Basques-North Sydney crossing and coastal Newfoundland and Labrador communities between 1947 and 1974.

Named after the Cabot Strait, the 110 kilometre section of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southwestern Newfoundland and Cape Breton, the SS Cabot Strait was introduced as the primary vessel connecting the provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in the late 1940s. Measuring 272 feet and having gross tonnage of 2,046, the vessel could travel up to 14 knots and carry 147 passengers per crossing. With its 61,700 cubic feet of cargo capacity, the vessel was later moved to the coastal Newfoundland and Labrador service where it operated until 1974.

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 Pictou-Caribou-Wood Islands ferry service, which played a significant role in connecting Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island dating back to the 1800s.