Duluth’s 2023 ‘First Ship Contest’ now open

Submit a guess for when the first “saltie” enters port
On Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at approximately 6:32 p.m. Resko, the oceangoing vessel arrived in...
On Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at approximately 6:32 p.m. Resko, the oceangoing vessel arrived in the Port of Duluth-Superior.(CBS 3)
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 4:27 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - There are many first signs of spring, but in the Twin Ports, a particularly special one is when the first ocean-going vessels enter the port of Duluth-Superior.

Now, members of the public can enter a contest to guess the exact date and time the first “saltie” will arrive.

The 40th Annual First Ship Contest is being held by Visit Duluth and Duluth Seaway Port Authority and invites members of the public to submit their guess in order to win the grand prize of a Duluth getaway, including:

  • One-night stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Duluth Waterfront
  • 4 William A Irvin Museum Ship tour passes
  • 2 Great Lakes Aquarium tickets
  • $100 Grandma’s Restaurant gift card
  • Lake Superior Magazine annual subscription
  • $100 Flagship gift card  2 Glensheen Mansion Classic Tour passes
  • Lake Superior Zoo feeding tour for 1-5 people
  • 4 Lake Superior Railroad Museum First Class Dome Car tickets
  • 2 Vista Fleet Sightseeing vouchers
  • $20 Vitta Pizza coupon
  • Incline Station Family Bowling & Pizza package
  • 2 Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra tickets
  • Bentleyville swag including a 2023 hooded sweatshirt and winter hat
  • Duluth Pack “Grab-N-Go” bag with a coupon for your next purchase
  • Gift basket from Minnesota Power
  • Gift basket from Visit Duluth featuring local artists
  • Gifts from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority

The runner-up will receive attraction passes and other gifts.

Guesses can be submitted at Visit Duluth’s website.

The contest closes on March 24 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Last year, The Resko was the first saltie to reach Duluth arriving on April 13 at 6:32 p.m. More than 3,669 people submitted their guesses, and the winner was just two minutes off the exact arrival time.

The earliest arrival on record was The Federal Hunter on March 30, 2013, while the ice-delayed arrival of the Diana on May 7, 2014, was the latest arrival.

After submitting a guess, visitors can learn more about planning a trip to Duluth and read a Q&A with the Aerial Lift Bridge supervisor Dave Campbell for behind-the-scenes facts on the iconic attraction.

Visit Duluth and the Duluth Seaway Port Authority have been partnering for the First Ship Contest since 1984. The very first contest helped mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Contest details, prize information, and trip planning information can be found on Visit Duluth’s website.