Montreal Port Authority (MPA) President and CEO Sylvie Vachon officially inaugurated the start of a new year of activity at the port on January 6 by presenting the Gold-Headed Cane to Captain Anuj Kararia, of India, master of the Valencia Express, the first ocean-going vessel to enter the port of Montreal without a stopover in 2015. The Valencia Express left the port of Lisbon in Portugal, on December 22. It crossed the port’s limits on January 1 at 00:06 a.m. Her arrival underlines the fact that the port is open year-round to all ocean-going vessels.

The event also allowed MPA to recognize the work of Corporation du Saint-Laurent Central pilots Alain Aubé and Alain Lecuyer, who brought the vessel safely into port.

The 176th Gold-Headed Cane presentation ceremony brought together numerous representatives of the maritime industry and Montreal’s business and cultural communities as well as political figures including Quebec Minister for Transport and the Implementation of the Maritime Strategy Jean D’Amour, and Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.

“The presence here today of a captain of Indian nationality who came from as far away as Portugal demonstrates the importance of the port as the engine of Greater Montreal’s transportation logistics chain, which is also at the heart of major global logistics chains” Ms. Vachon said.

Registered in Bermuda, the Valencia Express is 216 metres long. Hapag-Lloyd operates the container ship, which entered service in 1996.