Posted by: cruise2 | 15 May, 2012

S.S. Keewatin’s Repatriation to Canada Next Month

by Kevin Griffin, managing director of The Cruise People’s London office

The 105-year-old steamship, thought to be  the last surviving Edwardian
passenger liner, is due to be towed out  of the Kalamazoo River at Douglas,
Michigan, her home for the past  forty-five years, on about June 2.

She will then  be taken up Lake  Michigan to lay over at the old Michigan State
Ferries dock at   Mackinaw City (the ferries went out of service when the bridge
was opened  across  the Strait).

On or about June 20, she will depart for her final tow  to Port McNicoll.

Keewatin is scheduled to  arrive at Port McNicoll at 3 pm on Saturday, June
23, one hundred  years to the day after her first departure from that port.
Although  she and sister ship, Assiniboia, had been built in 1907, Canadian
Pacific  moved its main Great Lakes base of operations from Owen Sound  to
Port McNicoll  in 1912.

As a 17-year-old, I worked from Port  McNicoll as a waiter in sister  ship
Assiniboia, in her last year of  passenger service before enrolling at
university. The following year,  with the passenger service gone, I was
posted  out to Princess  Patricia, working from Vancouver to Alaska.

Both ships were built at Govan,  forty-two years apart. As my family emigrated to Canada on board Canadian Pacific’s Empress of Canada (ii), ex-Duchess of Richmond, and with  Keewatin being the last surviving Canadian Pacific passenger ship,  in whose  sister I worked, I have a particular interest in this voyage so I will  keep you posted.

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