Captain Saldanha crossed the Port of Montreal’s downstream limits at Sorel on January 1, 2007 at 0:13am to claim the prestigious prize, the 168th since the inception of the tradition in 1840. It was a double first for him, as this was his first voyage as captain, having been promoted from chief officer on December 21, the same day he and his crew of 26 left Lisbon for Montreal. The Bermuda-flagged Glory is a 177 m long container ship owned by Hapag Lloyd, which has been serving Montreal for many years.
Originally the goal of the prize was to promote maritime links with Europe and to speed the spring opening of navigation in Montreal, which was cut off by ice during the winter months. Until 1880, the winner received a top hat rather than a cane. It became a New Year’s tradition in 1964 when the Danish vessel Helga Dan inaugurated all-season navigation to Montreal.