Whatever Happened to Maine’s Legendary Scotia Prince Ferry?
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
If you were around Casco Bay between 1982 and 2004, you certainly saw the majestic Scotia Prince ferry. At the time, it was pretty much the only cruise ship that you would see in Portland harbor. The Scotia Prince would sail folks from Portland to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The ship was 470 feet long and held 1120 passengers, and a round trip would take about 24 hours. It was a pretty fun experience and once the ship was 3 miles out from Portland, you could gamble at their small casino. The story of this iconic ship after it stopped sailing in Maine is pretty interesting. From more ferry service to helping hurricane and war victims, the ship ended up going all over the world!
Whatever Happened to the Scotia Prince?
The Scotia Prince sailed between Maine and Canada from 1982 to 2004. In the summers of 2002 and 2003, a ferry took people from Tampa to Mexico. In 2004, the Scotia Prince people found a ton of mold at Portland's International Marine Terminal and canceled their 2005 season. The City immediately evicted the Scotia Prince. There were lawsuits, and it was messy. The Scotia Prince then sat idle in Charleston, South Carolina. In an interesting turn, FEMA chartered the ship after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as a floating hotel for people who had become homeless from the storm. It housed people off the coast of New Orleans for six months. The Scotia Prince was sold in 2007 and ran its Tampa to Cancun route for a while before being sold again in 2011.
The new owners brought the Scotia Prince to India, where it provided the first ferry service in over 30 years between Sri Lanka and India. Here's a video of its first docking in Colombo, Sri Lanka. It looks like it was a big deal! Check out the video; if you were ever on the Scotia Prince, it would all look familiar. The ship then was used to help take Indian citizens from war-torn Libya.
After serving to help in its second humanitarian crisis, the ship ran as a ferry between Italy and Turkey. Then it sat idle in Gibraltar for 2010 and 2011. Sadly in 2012, the journey for the Scotia Prince came to an end when the ship sold for scrap parts in India.
We found some fun Scotia Prince memorabilia on eBay:
We found this video of some audio from some of the entertainment on the Scotia Prince. The Broadway Lounge was the place to go after a meal in the Concord Dining Room. Long Live the Scotia Prince!
[Photo by Rama, Cc-by-sa-2.0.fr - No Changes Made]
LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America