The history of the Maritimes and its people is as consistent and powerful as the tides of the Bay of Fundy. Which is why in 2015, when Bay Ferries began operating a renewed ferry service between the Annapolis Basin in Digby, Nova Scotia, and the historic port of Saint John, New Brunswick, they selected a name for their new vessel—the former Blue Star Ithaki from Athens, Greece—that paid homage to the legacy and trailblazing spirit of Rose Fortune. Born the child of runaway slaves in Philadelphia, Fortune and her family fled during the American Revolutionary War, becoming Black Loyalists and pledging their loyalty to the British Monarchy. Among some 3,000 Black Loyalists, Rose, age 10, and her family arrived in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia in 1783. Not one to take her freedom lightly, Rose made a successful life for herself and her children. First, operating a luggage transportation business from the Annapolis ferry docks to nearby hotels and houses, then as Canada’s first female police officer. Rose died at the age of 90 on February 20, 1864, leaving a modest grave, but bold impact on the history of the Fundy region.
The mv Fundy Rose as she was christened, replaced the mv Princess of Acadia in May 2015. Marrying the resilience of this region with the people who have built it, the mv Fundy Rose connects passengers to the festivals, forts, and southwestern fishing communities of the ‘Scallop Capital of the World,’ Digby, and the parks, heritage sites, and natural wonders of Canada’s oldest incorporated city, Saint John.