Born in April 1851 in Saint John, NB – died in July 1883 in Cavendish, PEI. About 3 times the size of the Bluenose, the fastest sailing ship of its era got stuck for 2 weeks shortly after being launched. Christened as a cargo ship, her maiden voyage from New Brunswick to Liverpool, England only took 15 days. In June 1852, the Marco Polo was converted to a passenger ship. That September, because of a measles epidemic, 52 children on board lost their lives. In 1858, the ship names “Eastern City” caught fire and the Marco Polo saved all the passengers and crew near the cape of Good Hope. In 1861, a collision with an iceberg south of Cape Horn caused considerable damage but she survived. On Canada’s birth date in 1867, the Marco Polo was converted back to general cargo. After years of plying the oceans, the queen of the seas, Marco Polo, came to her final resting place just 900 feet off shore near Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island. She had sprung a bad leak and the captain had no choice but to ground her to save the crew and cargo.
Other facts: The wreck site of the Marco Polo is a federally protected site – only 1 of 2 sites in the country. A complement of music has been composed about this large sailing ship, also a musical and a play. Lucy Maud Montgomery, the writer of Anne of Green Gables, wrote an essay about the Marco Polo’s last days. The great ship Marco Polo will always be remembered. Visit Anne’s Windy Poplars Cottage Resort which is only a 5 minute drive from this ship’s final resting place.