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Alexander Henry opens up for season (6 photos)

The former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker opened as a museum in 2018, and will have its first full season for tourists in 2019.

THUNDER BAY - Thunder Bay’s most beloved ship is opening its decks for the season.

The Alexander Henry welcomed its first round of tourists on Saturday at Pool Six on the city’s waterfront.

“It was pretty impressive. I was amazed at how knowledgeable our tour guides were,” Gary Parrish, a tourist from Northern Wisconsin said.

The ship, which had been a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker for nearly 30 years after it was built in 1958 at the Port Arthur Shipyard, returned to its home two years ago.

In 2018, it officially opened as a museum on the 60th anniversary of the ship’s first day in the water.

After seeing 2,800 visitors over 54 days, Charlie Brown said the shortened season was a success.

Brown, president of the Lakehead Transportation Museum Society, said to tbnewswatch in October, "We did remarkably well...we thought that was excellent," in regards to the first year.

This year, Brown will have the benefit of a longer season, and hopes for more positive tourist experiences, such as Parrish who travelled from Weyerhaeuser, Wisconsin.

“We stopped in Manitouwadge a few years back and they had a World War II submarine tour. This was quite a bit more extensive than that,” he said.

Brown said volunteers are needed to help re-paint the ship, citing an improvement to the ship’s exterior as one of the main objectives in 2019.

“The winter this year and last year were extremely hard on the ship… We have left-handed and right-handed paintbrushes.”

The ship will be open all summer long from Thursday to Monday for tours.

The first group of tourists made mention of Pool Six’s hard-to-locate access point, which Brown wants to be perfectly clear about.

“Most people don’t know where Pool Six is,” Brown said. “You have to come in the Pearl Street entrance to Marina Park, take an immediate right at the roundabout, and you’ll see the signs.”

Tours are priced at $10 for adults, and $7 for seniors and children under the age of 16.

North West Helicopter Tours will also be available for tours at Pool Six for those looking for some heightened entertainment.

Michael Charlebois

About the Author: Michael Charlebois

Michael Charlebois was born and raised in Thunder Bay, where he attended St. Patrick High School and graduated in 2015. He attends Carleton University in Ottawa where he studies journalism.
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