Duluth Seaway Port Authority Holds “First Ship” Welcoming Party

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority held a first ship welcoming ceremony Thursday morning.

The invite-only event happened on the first saltie that came through the port earlier this week.

That ship was the Federal Dart, which arrived on Tuesday and made history as the earliest saltie to come through the port of Duluth-Superior in the spring.

“It’s in great part because it’s a low ice year for Lake Superior,” Deb DeLuca, the executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, said. “Last year you may remember we had really heavy peak ice late into the season, so we had a slow start to the season. This year, we have a very fast start to the season, we’ve already received 20 vessel arrivals. The Soo Locks opened last Saturday, so that’s part of the reason. You might’ve heard the captain say that he had a very easy sail across the Atlantic and the Great Lakes being free of ice helps greatly.”

The Federal Dart brought in cement from Turkey, and sails under the Marshall Islands flag.

The captain of that ship talked about how it felt to break a record.

“It’s really super [exciting],” Anuvarat Arora, the captain of the Federal Dart ship, said. “All of my crew was super excited about it…first time being the first vessel coming into Duluth, but I’ve been to Duluth about four or five times.”

The Federal Dart’s voyage took 25 days.

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