CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent

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LSL HalifaxHarbour.jpg
The icebreaker and flagship of the Canadian Coast Guard, CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent under way in Halifax Harbour, escorted by CFAV Glenside (YTB 644) in the foreground.
Career (Canada)
Name: Louis S. St-Laurent
Namesake: Louis S. St-Laurent
Owner: Government of Canada
Operator: Canadian Coast Guard
Port of registry: Ottawa, Ontario
Route: Atlantic coastline and eastern Arctic
Builder: Canadian Vickers, Montreal
Launched: 3 June 1966
Commissioned: 1969
In service: 1969-present
Refit: 1988–1993 (Halifax Shipyards)
Homeport: CCG Base St. John's, NL (Newfoundland and Labrador Region)
Identification: IMO number: 6705937
Call sign: CGBN
MMSI number: 316165000[1]
Status: in active service, as of 2015
General characteristics [2]
Type: Icebreaker
Tonnage: 11,345 GRT
3,403 NRT
4,640 DWT[1]
Displacement: 15,324 tons (full)[3]
Length: 119.8 m (393.04 ft)
Beam: 24.38 m (79.99 ft)
Draught: 9.91 m (32.51 ft)
Depth: 16.3 m (53.48 ft)
Installed power: 5 × Krupp MaK 16M453C (5 × 5,880 kW)[4]
Propulsion: Diesel-electric (AC/DC)
Three shafts (3 × 6,714 kW)
Three fixed-pitch propellers
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Range: 23,000 nautical miles (43,000 km; 26,000 mi)
Endurance: 205 days
Boats and landing
craft carried:
  • 1 × Zodiac Hurricane RHIB
  • 2 × workboat/lifeboat
  • 1 × LCM barge
Complement: 46
Aircraft carried: 2 × MBB Bo 105 or equivalent

CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent is a Canadian Coast Guard Heavy Arctic Icebreaker. Louis S. St-Laurent '​s home port is St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador[5] and is stationed there with other vessels of the coast guard.

Named after the twelfth Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Louis St. Laurent, PC CC QC LLD DCL LLL BA. The vessel is classed a "Heavy Arctic Icebreaker" and is the largest icebreaker and flagship of the CCG.


MV Fundy Paradise, CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, and RV Farley Mowat at Sydport in Point Edward, Nova Scotia, March 2009.

Louis S. St. Laurent is based at CCG Base St. John's in St. John's, Newfoundland. The vessel's current operation tempo consists of summer voyages to Canada's Arctic where she supports the annual Arctic sealift to various coastal communities and carries out multi-disciplinary scientific expeditions. During the winter months, Louis S. St-Laurent sometimes operates in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to aid ships in transiting to Montreal, Quebec, although she usually only serves this assignment during particularly heavy ice years.


CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent alongside the pier at her (then) homeport, CCG Base Dartmouth.

Louis S. St. Laurent was launched 3 December 1966 by Canadian Vickers Limited at Montreal, Quebec and commissioned in October 1969.[6]

From 8 through 22 September 1969 Louis St-Laurent sailed on the SS Manhattan expedition in the Northwest Passage. She was assisted by CCGS John A. Macdonald, USCGC Northwind and USCGC Staten Island [7]

During 1976 Louis S. St. Laurent, Captain Paul M. Fournier in command, made a partial transit of the Northwest Passage traveling from east to west, through Lancaster Sound, Peel Sound, and Victoria Strait.[8]

In 1979 Louis S St-Laurent, Captain George Burdock in command, made a full east to west transit of the Northwest Passage. She assisted CCGS Franklin, and circumnavigated North America. [9]

Louis S. St-Laurent underwent an extensive and costly modernization at Halifax Shipyard Ltd. in Halifax, Nova Scotia between 1988-1993 which saw her hull lengthened as well as new propulsion and navigation equipment installed.

The modernization program was controversial as the government of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney had initially proposed building a class of mega icebreakers (the Polar 8 Project) for promoting Canadian sovereignty in territorial waters claimed by Canada; the USCGC Polar Sea had made an unauthorized transit of Canada's Northwest Passage in 1985 early in Mulroney's administration, provoking a strong nationalist out-cry across the country. However, budget cuts in the late 1980s saw proposed expansions of the coast guard and armed forces scrapped. In compensation to the coast guard, the government opted to modernize the largest icebreaker in its fleet, the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent.

On 22 August 1994 Louis S. St-Laurent and USCGC Polar Sea became the first North American surface vessels to reach the North Pole.

In the summer of 2006, CBC TV's The National broadcast from Louis S. St-Laurent in a special series focused on climate change.[10]

The vessel was originally scheduled to be decommissioned in 2000 however a refit extended the decommissioning date to 2017. In the February 26, 2008 federal budget, the Government of Canada announced it was funding a $721 million "Polar Class Icebreaker" (named John G. Diefenbaker) as a replacement vessel for Louis S. St-Laurent.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17]


  1. ^ a b "Louis S. St-Laurent (6705937)". Equasis. French Ministry for Transport. Retrieved 2012-04-08.(registration required)
  2. ^ "CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent". Canadian Coast Guard. Archived from the original on 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  3. ^ Louis S. St-Laurent. 1994 Arctic Ocean Section, page 10. Retrieved on 2012-04-08.
  4. ^ "Krupp MaK Wins $21.6-Million Retrofit Contract For Canadian Icebreaker". American Shipbuilders. Retrieved 2012-04-08. 
  5. ^ "Vessel - Canadian Coast Guard". Archived from the original on 2010-06-17. 
  6. ^ Stephen Saunders, ed. (2004). Jane's Fighting Ships 2004-2005. Jane's Information Group. p. 95. ISBN 0710626231. 
  7. ^ Smith, William D. (1970). Northwest Passage, The Historic Voyage of the SS Manhattan. Markham, ON.: Fitzhenry & Whiteside Ltd, Publishers. ISBN 0-07-058460-5. 
  8. ^ MacFarlane, John M. (2012). "A List of the Early Partial Transits of the Canadian Northwest Passage 1921 to 2004". Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  9. ^ MacFarlane, John M. date=1990 - Revised 1995, 2011 & 2012. "Full Transits of the Canadian Northwest Passage". Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  10. ^ "The National visits Canada's North". CBC News. October 27, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-11-03. 
  11. ^ "Budget 2008: Chapter 4 - Leadership at Home and Abroad". Government of Canada. February 27, 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  12. ^ "Arctic icebreaker, fishing port, tax break a start: northerners". CBC News. February 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  13. ^ Chris Windeyer (February 29, 2008). "Feds to replace old icebreaker". Nunatsiaq News. Archived from the original on 2008-03-03. Retrieved 2008-03-04. Ottawa will put aside $720 million this year to commission the icebreaker, which the government says will have better ice breaking capability than the Louis St. Laurent, considered the workhorse of the Coast Guard. 
  14. ^ Lee Berthiaume (February 27, 2008). "Icebreaker Replacement Deadline Looms: Despite $720 million in yesterday's federal budget, procurement for a new polar icebreaker will take eight to 10 years". Embassy, Canada's Foreign Policy Newsletter. Retrieved 2008-03-04. Despite setting aside $720 million in yesterday's budget to purchase a new polar class icebreaker, the government will be cutting things close if it wants to decommission the ageing Louis St. Laurent heavy icebreaker as scheduled by 2017, according to Canadian Coast Guard commissioner George Da Pont. 
  15. ^ Brodie Thomas (March 3, 2008). "Reaction mixed on fed's budget". Northern News Services. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  16. ^ Tara Mullowney (March 4, 2008). "Feds fall short: Ottawa must do more, politicians say". Southern Gazette. Retrieved 2008-03-04. ...and $720 million in funding for the Coast Guard will translate into a polar class ice-breaker that will be based in Newfoundland......“This is a bigger boat, so you can add to that.” 
  17. ^ Bartley Kives (February 28, 2008). "Red Amundsen our flag in white Arctic". Winnipeg Free Press. Archived from the original on 2008-02-27. Retrieved 2008-03-01.