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St. Roch is a Royal Canadian Mounted Policemarker schooner, the first ship to completely circumnavigate North America, and the second sailing vessel to complete a voyage through the Northwest Passage. It was the first ship to complete the Northwest Passage in the direction west to east, going the same route that Amundsen on the sailing vessel Gjøamarker went east to west, 38 years earlier.

The ship was most often captained by Henry Larsen. The ship can now be found at the Vancouver Maritime Museummarker in Vancouvermarker, British Columbiamarker, Canadamarker and is open to the public for scheduled visits.


St. Roch was made primarily of thick Douglas-fir, with very hard Australian "ironbark" eucalyptus on the outside, and an interior hull reinforced with heavy beams to withstand ice pressure during her Arctic duties. St. Roch was designed by Tom Hallidie and was based on Roald Amundsen's ship the Maudmarker.

Service history

St. Roch was constructed in 1928 at the Burrard Dry Dock Shipyards in North Vancouver. Between 1929-1939 she supplied and patrolled Canada's Arctic.

In 1940-1942 she became first vessel to complete a voyage through the Northwest Passage in a west to east direction, and in 1944 became first vessel to make a return trip through the Northwest Passage, through the more northerly route considered the true Northwest Passage, and was also the first to navigate the passage in a single season. Between 1944-1948 she again patrolled Arctic watersmarker. In 1950 she became first vessel to circumnavigate North America, from Halifaxmarker, Nova Scotiamarker to Vancouver via the Panama Canalmarker. Finally in 1954 she returned to Vancouver for preservation. In 1962 St. Roch was designated a Canadian National Historic Site at the Vancouver Maritime Museum.


File:StRoch - VMM.jpg|St. Roch at Vancouver maritime museumFile:St roch vancouver 1.jpg|St. Roch at Vancouver maritime museumFile:St roch vancouver 2.jpg|St. Roch at Vancouver maritime museumFile:St roch vancouver 3.jpg|St. Roch at Vancouver maritime museumFile:St roch vancouver 4.jpg|St. Roch at Vancouver maritime museum

See also


Further reading

  • Thompson, John Beswarick. "The more northerly route : a photographic study of the 1944 voyage of the St. Roch through the Northwest Passage" (Ottawa, ON, Canada, Parks Canada. 1974)

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