Warship welcome aboard – virtual style


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

The Royal Canadian Navy will showcase their warships to an American audience despite the cancellation of Seafair 2020 in Seattle. 

Usually, the navy sends a few ships to represent Canada in the yearly July event, but with COVID-19 the event has been postponed.

The ship tour will now be virtual and available to everyone.

Two weeks ago, video footage of HMCS Calgary sailors was filmed by Cpl Jay Naples, MARPAC Imaging, as they walked through the ship. The edited film will join the United States Navy (USN) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) videos for Virtual Fleet Week that will feature vessels and aircraft that were to attend the live event, such as USS Omaha, USS Bunkey Hill, USS Dewey, USCG Cutter Elm, and USCG Cutter Active.

The approximately four minute video is hosted by Lieutenant (Navy) John Longstaff, Calgary’s Above Water Warfare Officer.

The video opens overlooking Esquimalt harbour with Commodore Angus Topshee, Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific, welcoming viewers to the Royal Canadian Navy.

Commander Lorraine Sammut, Calgary’s Executive Officer, helped coordinate the production of the virtual tour despite the crew busy getting ready for an upcoming sail.

“Having Calgary showcased in this manner gives our sailors an extra something to be proud of while providing yet another fantastic opportunity to showcase our navy to Canadians and our partners,” she said.

The video tour will be also be shared with the USN’s organizers of Portland’s Rose Festival, an event normally attended by the RCN but also postponed due to COVID-19.

The virtual ship tours will be released daily starting July 27 on the Seafair and MARPAC Facebook pages.


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