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.