Winter navigation on the Saguenay River | Musée du Fjord


Winter navigation on the Saguenay River

Excerpt from “Une histoire de la navigation sur le Saguenay” by the historian Russel-Aurore Bouchardbrise glace Saguenay Musée du Fjord

“We are here to escort ships heading for the Alcan and Grande-Anse port facilities in La Baie”, Stéphane Bégin

“The most powerful ship of the fleet – the Louis S. St-Laurent–makes its first rounds in more than thirty years”, Le Quotidien, February 20th, 2008

The idea of having an icebreaker sail up to the limits of navigable waters on the Saguenay River dates back to the years of the N. B. McLean, one of the prized ships of the Royal Canadian Navy’s icebreaker fleet, launched at the Halifax shipyard in 1930.

Le CCGS D'Iberville Musée du Fjord brise-glace SaguenayAround the mid-1950s, de-icing the Saguenay was entrusted to the CCGS d’Iberville, a ship that was baptised in 1952 and officially introduced as the “most remarkable icebreaker in the western hemisphere” (which was not exactly true since it was powered by alternating steam enginesystem, a throwback in mechanical terms).

Canada has been operating icebreakers for the past 100 years. In fact, between 1876 and 1899, small icebreaker ferries were built, as promised by the Confederation, which assured year-round ferry service between Prince Edward Island and the Continent. At the turn of the century, Canada’s first actual icebreakers, the Champlain and Montcalm, were built specifically to break up the ice walls and jams that caused floods every year along the narrowest parts of the St. Lawrence River.Le NGCC Pierre-Radisson PHOTO Jean Tremblay


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