The first saltie of the 2019-20 shipping campaign is through the Soo Locks and expected to dock in the Port of Duluth-Superior on Monday.
The Maria G anchored off the Duluth Ship Canal late Saturday, and will proceed beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge sometime early Monday, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority said. Maria G’s official arrival time will be recorded when the 655-foot vessel carries under the bridge.
Flying the flag of Malta, Maria G will dock at Riverland Ag/Duluth Storage on Rice’s Point to load grain.
Historically, the latest arrival of the port’s first saltie was May 7, 2014 (Diana), and the earliest March 30, 2013 (Federal Hunter).
Maria G is operated by a 22-member crew under the command of Capt. Ievgen Medvedenko. The owner is Sweden-based Brochart KB. The Seaway agent is Colley Motorships. The local vessel agent is Guthrie-Hubner. Ceres Terminals will provide the stevedoring with tug assists from The Great Lakes Towing Company, the Port Authority said.
The ship discharged steel in Oshawa, Ont., prior to the current journey. Beginning Monday morning, Maria G will load approximately 21,000 metric tons of spring wheat. Fully loaded, the vessel will then depart Duluth for Italy.
A first-ship ceremony is planned for Monday afternoon at the Riverland Ag/Duluth Storage grain elevator for community leaders and maritime representatives to welcome the captain and crew. Due to homeland security regulations, the ceremony is an invitation-only event. As part of the ceremony, the winner of the annual First Ship contest, co-sponsored by Visit Duluth and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, will be announced from more than 2,000 entries.