Howe Sound Queen

Official No: 0319730
Place Built: Sorel, Quebec
Builder: Marine Industries Ltd.
Year Built: 1964
Previous Name: M.V. Napoleon L.
Joined BC Ferries: 1971
Vehicles: 70
Passengers: 330
Crew: 6
Length: 73.46 m
Breadth: 18.4 m
Gross Tons: 855.37
Service Speed: 9.5 knots
Horsepower: 1,400


The Howe Sound Queen is the only BC Ferry built in Canada outside of British Columbia. She was previously named Napoleon L. and operated in Quebec until 1971. She was purchased by B.C. Ferries that year for $350,000 (Bannerman, 173). Upon arrival on the coast, the Howe Sound Queen underwent a $250,000 refit and was then placed on the Bowen Island - Hoseshoe Bay route. On that route she was affectionately (or not) nicknamed the "Hound" for her lack of amenities and poor handling of heavy seas. The Howe Sound Queen now operates mainly between Vesuvius on Saltspring Island and Crofton on Vancouver Island. In 2007 and 2008 the ferry underwent a major refit that focused on extending her service life and improving passenger amenities. The refit took place in two phases and cost approximately $3 million.


1961 - Napoleon L. is purchased by BC Ferries. Refitted, renamed Howe Sound Queen , and placed on the Horseshoe Bay - Bowen Island route.
1991 - December - The Howe Sound Queen made a hard landing at Horseshoe Bay. Six passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Origin of Name

Howe Sound Queen Named after Howe Sound, a large inlet/fjord north of Vancouver which separates the city from the Sunshine Coast. There are many large islands in Howe Sound including Bowen, Keats, Gambier, and Anvil. The Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal is located near the mouth of the sound. Howe Sound was named by Captain George Vancouver, naming it after Admiral Earl Howe ("Howe Sound" - Encyclopedia of British Columbia )

For Further Reading

Bannerman, Gary and Patricia. The Ships of British Columbia . Surrey: Hancock House Publishers, 1985.

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