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Navy ships arrive in North Vancouver, open for tours Saturday

HMCS Vancouver was the first of several active vessels from the Royal Canadian Navy to dock at The Shipyards on Friday.

People with eyes on Burrard Inlet Friday morning (April 29) saw several big ships from the Royal Canadian Navy cruise into North Vancouver.

The general public is being welcomed this weekend to view and tour several active naval vessels from the RCN and Maritime Forces Pacific.

Starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, seven ships sailed into North Vancouver’s Burrard Dry Dock Pier, located just east of Lonsdale Quay.

HMCS Vancouver was the first to arrive, and is a Canadian patrol frigate currently undergoing exercises for a planned deployment in the Asia-Pacific region. For its trip into the harbour, the ship's crew was aided by a local pilot as well as a tugboat. 

The vessels entering the harbour kicked off Fleet Weekend, a three-day event to raise awareness of the navy’s capabilities as well as job opportunities.

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, people will be able to tour the ships and view several related displays. The tours and displays close at 4 p.m.

From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, there will be a ceremony commemorating the Battle of the Atlantic, held at the Sailor’s Point Memorial in Waterfront Park. The battle was the longest continuous military campaign of the Second World War, and one in which Canada played a vital role.

Sub-Lt. Wilson Ho told the North Shore News that Fleet Weekend is important because it allows the general public to see what navy sailors do on a day-to-day basis.

“The general public will have the opportunity to interact and talk with sailors, and also be able to have unique opportunities such as touring the upper decks of a Canadian patrol frigate or a maritime coastal defence vessel, and seeing what kind of equipment the RCN uses,” he said.

Ho said he encourages people to ask the sailors about what they do, what their experiences are, and what they like about the navy.

All the weekend’s events are free.

Ships in attendance include HMCS Calgary, HMCS Brandon, HMCS Edmonton, and three Orca Class patrol training vessels.

When: April 29-May 1

Where: Burrard Dry Dock Pier, North Vancouver

Cost: free