Photo of a commemorative plaque in front of a boat
General view, 2015

The S.S. Klondike was designated a national historic site in 1967.

Commemorative plaque: 10 Robert Service Way, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory Footnote 1

The largest vessel ever to ply the Canadian portion of the Yukon River, this sternwheeler was built by the British Yukon Navigation Co. and launched at Whitehorse in 1937 to replace her namesake, which sank the year before. Klondike No. 2 was designed to expedite the movement of silver-lead ore on the Yukon River. A combination freight and passenger boat, she operated primarily between Whitehorse and Dawson. In 1954-55 the vessel was placed in cruise service after an extensive refurbishment. Her retirement in 1955 brought to an end the era of commercial steamboat navigation in the Yukon.

Description of historic place

S.S. Klondike National Historic Site of Canada is a large sternwheeler dry-docked on the bank of the Yukon River beside the Robert Campbell Bridge in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.


Photo of a historic boat
The sternwheeler by the lake, the S. S. Klondike National Historic Site, 2012
Photo outside a historic boat
Aerial vue, 2017

Heritage value

The S.S. Klondike was designated a national historic site of Canada: 

  • to commemorate inland water transportation in the Yukon Territory;
  • to represent Yukon steamers and other vessels.
Photo of anchors inside a building
Anchor, date unknown
Photo of two people sitting in front of a boat
Two youg women on the sternwheeler, the S. S. Klondike National Historic Site, 2015


The heritage value of the S.S. Klondike resides in its completeness and legibility as a fast water shallow drafter sternwheeler steamer representative of the type of vessel built for Yukon water transportation. The S.S. Klondike was built by the British Navigation Co, launched in 1937 and operated as a freight and passenger vessel on the Yukon river until 1955, when she retired. Commercial navigation ceased on the Yukon River in 1957. The S.S. Klondike has been restored by Parks Canada to the 1937-1940 period ship and is now open for public visitation.

Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1962: Commemorative Integrity Statement, 7 July 1997. 

Related information about this designation:

The National Program of Historical Commemoration relies on the participation of Canadians in the identification of places, events and persons of national historic significance. Any member of the public can nominate a topic for consideration by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

Get information on how to participate in this process