HMCS Oriole to dock at Sarnia Harbour

HMCS Oriole (Photo courtesy of HMCS Oriole’s official Facebook page)

The oldest ship in the Royal Canadian Navy is expected to sail into Sarnia ahead of this weekend.

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Oriole was commissioned in 1954 after it was built in 1921.

The ship is expected to dock at Sarnia Harbour at approximately 10 a.m. Friday.

“After we get the ship ready for public tours, we are going to open from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday and again from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday,” said Acting Sub-Lieutenant Scott Ferris.

Members of the public can take a tour of the ship and speak with sailors at no charge.

“Oriole is to the navy like the Snowbirds are to the air force. While we are a training vessel, a big part of what we do is public outreach,” said Ferris. “This is a very different navy vessel. It’s the only one of its kind that the navy has, in terms of a sailing vessel. It gives our sailors a really unique opportunity to experience navy life in a different way.”

HMCS Oriole in Toronto (Photo courtesy of Acting Sub-Lieutenant Scott Ferris)

As outlined by the Government of Canada, the ship is 102 feet in length with working sails of 6,000 square feet.

HMCS Oriole has been visiting communities during the 2022 Great Lakes deployment, in celebration of its 101 years in service. The navy’s training and public outreach vessel departed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, in early May.

“We have been having just a fantastic experience so far,” said Ferris. “[There are] lots of opportunities for the public to help us celebrate our 101 birthday this year but lots of training opportunities as well for the crew that’s onboard.”

The ship will leave Sarnia on Sunday for Sault Ste. Marie. From there, HMCS Oriole will make its way back to Halifax.