The RCMP schooner St. Roch was the first ship to travel the treacherous Northwest passage in both directions, as well as the first ship to ever circumnavigate North America. Visitors to the Vancouver Maritime Museum can take a self-guided tour of the ship (circa 1944) and view an informative video about its history and adventures.
As well there are exhibits for the children:
The Alcan Children's Maritime Discovery Centre is a great place for kids! With lots of hands-on displays, children of all ages have plenty to do:
Take the controls in a full-size replica of the wheelhouse of the tugboat Seaspan Queen
View Vancouver's active port life through high powered telescopes
Take to the deck in oilskins in "Fishing for a Living"
Pilot a remote-controlled deepsea robot
Explore the Discovery Wall, where drawers are filled with special treasures
Discover how to protect Vancouver Harbour from oil and other nasties
Visit our model maker, Lucian Ploias in his shop
A great place for sea and land 'lubbers'.
I first came here with my family when I was about 8 years old, but I remember thinking how cool it was! After all, it's not every day where you can climb aboard the St. Roch - the Royal Canadian Mountain Police schooner that was the first vessel to circumnavigate North America and the first to sail through the legendary Northwest Passage from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
Though it's often overlooked, I actually think the Vancouver Maritime Museum is one of the more unique museums Vancouver has to offer, especially if you're somebody who appreciates detailed displays. There's a deceivingly large amount of things to see and a surprisingly wide array of exhibits, despite the museum's small size. I think it makes for a great rainy day activity.
Packed with information, charts, photography, artifacts, and models, this is also a fantastic museum for families as many of the displays are hands-on, with several designed specifically for children in mind. As well, what kid (or adult) wouldn't be thrilled to take a tour through the multiple levels of the St-Roch?
The St. Roch would be interesting for those who are curious about the Canadian Arctic, the Northwest Passage folklore, and the challenges RCMP officers faced while living aboard this ship in the 1930s. However, there's a lot more to the museum than the St. Roch. There are exhibits on pirates, submarines, the Port of Vancouver, model ship building, the history of Vancouver's naval explorers (like Captain George Vancouver), the local fishing industry, warships, fireboats, tugboats, among other maritime-related material. It's actually a lot of fun! Well, at least I think so... but I'm a geek for these types of museums as I find it all fascinating!
While admission is already reasonable ($10 per adult), you can print off coupons from their website to save you a few dollars. Or if you already have the Vancouver edition of the Entertainment Book, there is a 2-for-1 coupon inside. Finally, on Canada Day (July 1st), admission is free for everybody!
In case you are interested in Maritime you should definitely stop by the Vancouver Maritime Museum. Main feature beside various aspects of life on the ocean is the complete original boat 'R. C. M. P. St. Roch'. This boat is the first one which managed the Northwest-Passage between the Arctic and North America from West to East (1940), and the second one doing it from East to West. You can enter the ship, go inside or climb underneath it. So you will have a full view on this historic vessel. Around it you will find lots of information about the Northwest-Passage and the attempts of humans to reach the poles. Even a 'link' to the Norwegian boat 'Fram' is set up (see photo #4), which you can visit in case you are in Oslo, Norway, one day.
'R. C. M. P. St. Roch' in Wikipedia
Vancouver Maritime Museum
1905 Ogden Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6J 1A3
Fax 604 737-2621
Information & Visitor Services 604 257-8300
Group & Program Bookings 604 257-8308
Maritime Store 604 257-3095
I am still disturbed and troubled after a visit to The Vancouver Maritime Museum. They have a new exhibit called Scrimshaw which features numerous images of an inappropriate sexual nature on tusks. There was only one small warning sign beside one of the display boxes. But, there was no warnings in the entrance ways leading to the display or when I purchased tickets for my family (which I regret now). I believe that the public needs to be aware of this. As a mother and a teacher, I am concerned for unknowing and vulnerable children especially families and school groups. I will not be returning nor recommending this Museum.
The main exhibit of this museum is the St Roch, an Artic patrol ship that was the first to traverse the Northwest passage. All in all, this museum is well worth a visit.