1. Princess of Acadia arrives in Halifax this afternoon.
The 10,051 gross ton ship was built in 1971 in Saint John, NB for CP Ships to replace a smaller ferry of the same name. The previous Princess of Acadia was built in 1951 in Govan Scotland as Princess of Nanaimo and served in British Columbia waters until 1963 when it came to the Bay of Fundy. When it retired in 1971 it reverted to its original name for a time and became Henry Osborne in 1972 to run between Saint John, NB and St.John's NF to carry vehicles only. The operation was not a success and the ship was sold for scrap in 1974. The German tug Hansa towed the ship to Bilbao, Spain to be broken up in January 1974.
2. The previous Princess of Acadia at the old ferry terminal in Digby in her last year of operation, 1970.
In the past few years there have been repeated concerns about the ship's age and the need for a replacement. Various reprieves have been granted with subsidies extended, but there seems to be little action at present to build a replacement.
As the only remaining ferry service across the Bay of Fundy, the route is an essential one, and the inconvenience of having the ship out of service in holiday season cannot be overestimated.
Government action is needed to organize a replacement, and in view of today's shipbuilding and economic climate, it is becoming urgent. Any serious downtime for the ship will have a major impact on the economy out western Nova Scotia in particular.
For more on this ship and its service, see the Bayferryman blog link.
Also added June 25: