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Royal Canadian Navy Fleet Weekend returns to North Vancouver

You can tour ships or go for a ride in a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) during Fleet Weekend running May 4-8 at Burrard Dry Dock pier on the North Van waterfront
HMCS Ottawa deploys on Operation Projection and Operation Neon to the Asia Pacific Seas. The Ottawa is one of several Royal Canadian Navy ships that will be on display during Fleet Weekend in North Vancouver May 4-8.

Land Ho! Royal The Royal Canadian Navy is setting sail for North Vancouver for Fleet Weekend May 4-8.

Nautical enthusiasts and history buffs will have a rare opportunity to tour some of the navy’s ships and enjoy the spectacle of the Canadian Fleet Pacific.

A variety of navy ships, including HMCS Ottawa, a Halifax-class Frigate, and HMCS Nanaimo, a Kingston-class coastal defense vessel, as well as several training vessels will be docked at the Burrard Dry Dock next to Lonsdale Quay today until Monday.

The event is held on the first weekend of May to commemorate the Battle of the Atlantic, a long campaign during the Second World War in which Canada’s Navy was instrumental.

Tours of HMCS Ottawa and Nanaimo will be held on Friday, May 5, and Monday, May 8. The tours will last one hour and will be offered in the morning from 9 a.m. to noon and in the afternoon from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Commodore David Mazur, Commander of the Canadian Fleet Pacific, explained that the tour will mainly be on the upper deck, with opportunities to pass through the ship and see the interior.

“They're going to be able to use one of the ladders to go up to the bridge wings and through our bridge,” said Mazur. “There'll be able to walk through the hangar, walk past the torpedo tubes and magazine area. They're going to come up the board side of the ship, seeing our missile deck and our boat deck.”

The weekend will also Include HMCS Discovery’s Battle of the Atlantic Parade on Sunday, May 7 at 11:30 a.m. The parade will be hosted at Sailors Memorial in Waterfront Park, a short walk from where the other ships will be docked. This year's commemoration holds special importance as it marks the 100th anniversary for Canada's Naval Reserve.

The navy will also be offering rigid inflatable boat (RIB) rides as part of the weekend’s festivities.

As long as the ships keep making waves with the public, the Royal Canadian Navy is happy to continue providing the experience.

 “Last year, it was very successful, and we determined that maybe we should try and do this as an annual thing to continue making Canadians aware of the navy and what we do,” Mazur said.

All Fleet Weekend events, including tours, are free.

For more information or to book a spot on a boat ride or ship tour, visit the Fleet Weekend website.

Jordan Copp is an intern reporter with the North Shore News. He can be contacted at