For more than 35 years, from 1923 to 1958, the Union Steamship Cardena sailed the British Columbia Coast, carrying passengers, groceries, dry goods, industrial cargo, mail and sundry other supplies to the 200 or so mining, logging and fishing communities that once dotted the province’s coastline during the early years of the 20th century. On her return voyage, at the peak of the summer fishing season, the Cardena routinely carried thousands of cases of canned salmon to the railheads at Prince Rupert and Vancouver for shipment across Canada and around the world. And so it went for the better part of half a century; a regular and reliable marine service (with only infrequent interruptions) that made the Cardena a coastal institution, remembered with affection and regard by the countless men, women and children who inhabited those tiny outports in a bygone era.
In 1961 she was broken up by Capital Iron & Metals Co. Ltd., Victoria, BC. Her hull was towed to Powell River and ballasted with gravel she served as a floating breakwater. Then she was towed to Kelsey Bay for the breakwater there.