The History of the ACADIA

Acadia, a Dominion government hydrographic survey ship, was commissioned as a patrol vessel from January 16, 1719, to March, 1919, and carried out A/S Patrol in the Bay of Fundy, off the south shore of Nova Scotia and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. She then resumed survey duty until the outbreak of the Second World War when she was commissioned on October 2, 1939, first service as training ship for HMCS Stadacona, later patrolling the Halifax approaches from May, 1940, to March, 1941. She also occasionally acted as close escort from small convoys between Halifax and Halifax Ocean Meeting Point. After refit in 1941, she served as a training ship at Halifax for A/A and DEMS (Defensively Equipped Merchant Ship) gunners and, in June, 1944, went to HMCS Cornwallis as gunnery training ship. Paid off on November 3, 1945, she was returned to the Dominion government. Acadia retired from service on November 28, 1969, to become a museum ship at the Bedford Institute in Dartmouth, N.S. On February 9, 1980, she was handed over to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

Today she is a fixture on the Halifax Harbourfront, right outside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

ACADIA Statistical Data

  • Pendant:
  • Type:
  • Class:
  • Displacement: 1350 tonnes
  • Length: 170 ft
  • Width: 33.5 ft
  • Draught: 19 ft
  • Speed: 8 kts
  • Compliment: 59 Officers and Crew
  • Arms: 1 - 4", 1 - 12 pdr.
  • Builder: Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Newcastle
  • Keel Laid:
  • Date Launched: 1913
  • Date Commissioned:
  • Paid off:


HMCS Acadia is also the name of a Cadet Summer Training Centre located in Cornwallis, NS.

Additional Information

Acadia 's well-preserved decks, cabins and engine room have attracted numerous film makers who have used the ship to depict a wide variety of vessels. These include:

  • A Japanese destroyer in the 1982 Salter Street Film production South Pacific 42
  • A Scottish immigrant vessel in the 1990 film Little Kidnappers
  • The SS Mont-Blanc in the 1992 Halifax Explosion film Morning of Armageddon
  • A World War II merchant ship in the 1992 television show Lifeline to Victory RMS Lusitania in the 1996 docudrama Lusitania
  • The liner RMS Republic in the 1996 PBS American Experience show Rescue at Sea
  • A hospital ship in the 1998 short film Halifax 1917
  • A 19th century ocean liner in Alexander Keith's Brewery beer commercials in 2000
  • HMS Beagle in a 2009 NOVA/National Geographic docudrama Darwin's Darkest Hour
  • A San Francisco ferry and steam-powered sealing ship in the 2009 miniseries Sea Wolf
  • As both RMS Titanic and the cable ship CS Mackay-Bennett in the 2011 docudrama Waking the Titanic.

Keywords: HMCS ACADIA, Royal Canadian Navy Ship, , Class