For the third time in its history, Canada Maritime won the traditional'race' to be the first ocean-going ship to enter the port of Montreal after midnight on December 31st.
The 1,000 teu Canmar Glory battled through the North Atlantic December
gales to reach the Canadian gateway at 00:29 on January 1st, beating a friendly rival from Cast by 3.8 miles, and a OOCL ship trailing two miles further behind.
The captain of the first ocean-going ship to reach the port in the New Year is awarded a gold-headed cane, a tradition dating back to the
early years of the 19th Century. In those days, the captain of the first ocean-going vessel to reach the port in Spring was awarded a top
hat. A more lasting Malacca cane with a gold head bearing the arms of Canada and an engraved inscription was substituted in 1880. A new cane
is made and presented every year.
Nowadays, the presentation is made to the first ship to arrive after New Year, as the port is no longer icebound in winter. As well as
being a time-honoured tradition, the cane serves to remind customers that the vital gateway port remains open and navigable by ice-strengthened ships all-year-round.
Canmar Glory's Captain Comor is the third representative of Canada Maritime to receive the award. Previous Canada Maritime winners were
the Canmar Valour in 1998 and the Canmar Venture in 1990.
Canmar Glory operates alongside three similar 1,000 teu ships on Route B of Canada Maritime's Mediterranean Service, offering a fixed-day
weekly service between Valencia, Livorno, Cadiz, Lisbon and the Montreal gateway.
Four 1,500 teu ships provided by Canada Maritime and its partner operate Route A of Canada Maritime's Mediterranean Service.