British Columbia Coast Steamship Service

The C.P.R., seeing the rich potential of coastal sea traffic, purchased the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company, which had run the first steamers on the coast under the Hudson’s Bay Company flag since the arrival of the Beaver in 1836.

After the turn of the century, the economy and population of British Columbia expanded dramatically. The CPR built up its Princess Line – the pride of the coastal service – to a fleet of thirty-two ships. These steamers plied the “Triangle Route” between Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle. Some ships sailed further north, where they were the lifeline of many isolated ports on Vancouver Island and up the coast of British Columbia to the Alaska Panhandle.  The British Columbia Coast Steamship Service was renowned for its Princess cruises through the dramatic Inside Passage to Alaska.  The coastal service brought prosperity to the region and was recognized as one of the finest coastal fleets in the world.

The Chung Collection contains archival records of the B.C.C.S.S., including log books of ferries, photographs, and office documents.  This records provide a rich insight into the operations of the B.C.C.S.S., from the time of C.P.R.'s purchase of the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company to the dissolution of passenger services in the 1970's.

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