DIGBY — When a new Digby ferry arrives, likely within the next year, will it bear the name Princess of Acadia III?

Digby Mayor Ben Cleveland wondered publicly recently what some alternative names might be.

Cleveland asked folks for some of their ideas on the Facebook page he maintains as mayor.

The three most recent ships have all been princesses, starting with Princess Helene in the 1930s, SS Princess of Acadia in the 1960s and then MV Princess of Acadia in 1971.

That ship continues to ply the Bay of Fundy between Digby and Saint John and is due to be replaced next year.

What are the chances of a newly named ferry this time around?

When Cleveland broached the subject on his Facebook page, he shared an old, colour postcard of the first Princess of Acadia.

“We have had two vessels named Princess of Acadia,” the mayor wrote. “Should we continue with that name? What would your choice be.”

Why not call the new ship the Scotia Brunswick? one respondent posted.

Lsetkuk (sic), in honour of L’sitkuk, a name for the local Bear River First Nation, would be a good one, suggested another.

How about the Nova Princess, said someone else.

The Digby mayor also told ship operators Bay Ferries Ltd. what he was up to, asking people to begin thinking of new ferry names.

Ferry company executives said they had no problem with him putting out feelers.

In fact, the federal government will likely be the one to settle on a name, said Don Cormier, vice-president operations and safety management with Bay Ferries Ltd.

The company operates the Digby ferry but certainly hasn’t tossed any names around.

The government is searching the world for a replacement vessel. Bay Ferries executives offer input.

“That is being run by Transport Canada. It’s a federal process,” said Danny Bartlett, Bay Ferries’ vice-president of finance and administration.

“We aren’t at liberty to say much. … I can say that things are moving along, and hopefully within the next year, we all see a new ferry in here.”

Last year, Ottawa announced it would spend upwards of $60 million to replace the Digby-based Princess of Acadia, now in service for 43 years.

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Halifax Chronicle Herald