The Vancouver Maritime Museum is thrilled to announce plans to return the historic vessel, RCMPV St. Roch to the ocean for a re-enactment of its west-east traverse through the Northwest Passage.

The St. Roch, which is currently in a dry-dock in the Vancouver Maritime Museum, was originally built in 1928 by Burrard Dry Dock. For many years after it was built, the ship moved supplies and patrolled remote communities in the Western Arctic. Black-and-white photo of the St. Roch schooner in the water near Halifax.

On June 23, 1940, under the command of Captain Henry Larsen, the ship left Vancouver to make the first-ever west-east journey through the Northwest Passage. It arrived in Halifax Harbour on October 11, 1942. 

The re-creation of the journey will start on April 1, 2022, with the plan to arrive in Halifax by September 1, 2022. The captain and crew have not yet been selected for the journey, but Director Joost Schokkenbroek expects to be on board the ship for at least a portion of the journey.

 The ship will be outfitted with the same stores and equipment that Captain Larsen and his crew had in 1940, though there will be back-up GPS and other navigation technology available to the crew. The museum is even exploring the possibility of having 17 sled dogs on board the ship for a portion of the journey. A film crew will be present, as the museum plans to commission a virtual reality (VR) experience of the journey.

The journey will also function as a fundraiser for the organization. Tickets will be sold for the opportunity to crew the ship and the funds raised will go toward the development of the VR experience.

“We are very excited at the possibilities this historic re-creation holds for the museum and all future visitors,” says Shokkenbroek. “Finally the world will get to experience the hardships, and the resilience and bravery, of Captain Larsen and his crew.”

For updates on this exciting venture, please email