SS Princess Norah

Built in Fairfields Shipyards, Yard #632, In Govan, on the River Clyde, Glasgow, Scotland by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company which was founded in 1834.

Captain James William Troup In 1903 Troup was appointed Superintendent of the British Columbia Coast Service of the Canadian Pacific Railway. He was credited with designing many ships for the CPR and others.He retired in Aug 1928, so possibly one of his last designs.

SS Princess Norah Launched Sept 27, 1927.

Made her Maiden Voyage, leaving Scotland, Dec 20, 1928. She travelled thru the Panama Canal and Arrived in Victoria BC, Jan 23, 1929.

Went into service as “SS Princess Norah”, in 1929, operated until 1954, under Canadian Pacific Steamships Ltd.

Canadian Pacific Steamships Limited was formed Oct 1, 1915 with G. M. Bosworth as the First President, and Chairman of the Board. This was the first separation of Rail and Marine, for CPR. Headquarters was to remain in Montreal. Their Motto- “Bridging 2 Oceans, and Linking 4 Continents”. Then the name was changed to Canadian Pacific Steamships Ocean Services Ltd but on Sept 8, 1921 changed back to Canadian Pacific Steamships Limited. G. M. Bosworth remained as Chairman of the Board.

My guess for who this ship was named after:
Princess Margaret of Connaught was the Duke of Connaught's daughter, her real name slightly longer:
Princess Margaret Victoria Augusta Charlotte Norah

  • b- Jan 15, 1882, d- May 1, 1920
  • She was 18 in 1901.
  • She called herself an Irish woman.
  • She was called Princess Norah in her home circle.
  • She became Crown Princess of Sweden.
  • Duke of Connaught was the only surviving brother of King Edward VII

Mar 29, 1955 to 1957 name changed to “SS Queen of the North” (note- Not to be confused with the car ferry MV Queen of the North) Operated by CP and CN as a joint venture. Like that was going to last! Painted with a Blue Funnel, with a Black Top.

Jan 14, 1958 CPR announced the name was to be changed back to “SS Princess Norah”, they also quit going to Ketchikan at that time. Stewart was the most northerly port they would go to.

1959 Name changed again to “SS Canadian Prince” under the Northland Navigation Company. Taken out of service in 1964. The engines were removed, and hull taken to Kodiak Alaska. Turned into the “Beachcombers”, bar, dance hall, restaurant, hotel. Remained open until Jan 1976 Late 1980's the hull was scrapped.

  • The official Canadian Registry Number- 154848
  • Held 700 day passengers, 179 berths, in 61 staterooms
  • 1929 the Governor General of Canada, Major Freeman Freeman-Thomas Earl of Willingdon, was on board for an excursion trip along the Islands and shores of Vancouver
  • Sept 11, 1939 the ship carried a Giant Baby Panda to Seattle, where a plane was to take it to St. Louis Zoo.
  • During WWII it was under contract by US Army to carry troops to Alaska.
  • These ships were considered very luxurious and miniatures of the CPR Empress ships.
  • 4 cylinder, Triple Expansion Compound Steam Engine
  • Single Propeller
  • Tonnage (Volume)- 2,731 gross tons (one ton equals 100 cu ft.)
  • Length- 262 ft (seen slightly different lengths in various sources)
  • Beam- 48 ft
  • Draught- 26 ft
  • Speed- 15.8 knots

Unusual part of this ship, was a Rudder installed on the Bow of the Ship, as well as the regular one on the Stern. This helped it maneuver the narrow channels of the BC Coast. See Popular Mechanics article, EXT link

  1. 4 am Thursday, Aug 27, 1931, ran aground in dense fog, at entrance to san Juan Harbour, near Port Renfrew. Captained by R. Thomson
  2. Apr 1943- she ran aground on Zero Rock,while travelling from Victoria to James Island, in Haro Strait. Refloated and repaired in Esquimalt dry docks.

Message and photo above from Muriel Dowle ( nee Pettie)- “My mother RIP, brother, sister ( whom I have copied on this email) came on this vessel from Vancouver to Kitimat ( or it was possibly Prince Rupert ) Dec 24, 1954. I believe the actual arrival date was December 22. I am wondering if there are passenger lists? I have a photograph of myself, mother and siblings on the ship. ”
This photo shows part of the interior of this ship, so including it here.

  • Last modified: 2018/11/08 15:16
  • by dlgent