Port of Montreal welcomes first ocean-going vessel of 2008

    MONTREAL, Jan. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The M/V Valentina, with Captain Volker
Huba at the helm, crossed Montreal's port limits at Sorel at 0:21 a.m. today,
and became the first ocean-going vessel to reach the Port of Montreal in 2008.
The vessel also inaugurates the new navigational season to Montreal.


    Camera crews and journalists are invited to board the ship at 10:30 a.m.,
at Montreal Gateway Terminals Section 77 (located on Notre-Dame Street East,
at the corner of de Boucherville Street), to accompany port representatives
led by the Montreal Port Authority President and Chief Executive Officer,
Mr. Patrice M. Pelletier, in extending a warm welcome and best wishes to the
vessel's captain and his crew.
    The Valentina is a Marshall Island-flagged vessel operated by OOCL, a
shipping line represented in Montreal by McLean Kennedy. A containership, it
has a capacity (deadweight) of 1,853 TEUs. Arriving from the Port of Antwerp
(Belgium), the ship docked this morning at Montreal Gateway Terminals Section
77, operated by Montreal Gateway Terminals Partnership.


    Captain Huba will be presented with the traditional Gold-Headed Cane at a
press conference and reception at the Port of Montreal Building on Thursday,
January 3, 2008.
    The Gold-Headed Cane is a prize awarded at the beginning of each new
navigation year, to the captain of the first ship to reach the Port of
Montreal directly from overseas. It is a great marine tradition that dates
back to 1840, and was, for many years, a spring ritual.
    The awarding of the Cane became a New Year's tradition when the Danish
ship Helga Dan inaugurated year-round navigation at the Port of Montreal on
January 4, 1964. In 2008, the Montreal Port Authority will hold its 169th
Gold-Headed Cane presentation.

    About the Montreal Port Authority

    The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) is an autonomous and profitable federal
agency created by federal law to operate the port facilities in Montreal on a
commercial basis. Managed by a Board of Directors composed of Montreal
business people, the MPA operates its own railway network, a grain terminal
and a marine passenger terminal and leases the Port of Montreal terminals to
private stevedoring firms. Through its activities, the Port of Montreal
generates $2 billion in annual economic spin-offs, and some 18,000 direct and
indirect jobs depend on its activities. For more information, visit

For further information:

For further information: France Poulin, Director of Communications,
(514) 283-1489

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