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Wind-powered cargo ship makes maiden voyage across Atlantic

The refurbished 1920’s schooner Avontuur arrived in Canada after completing its first cargo voyage from France, the first oil-free commercial transatlantic voyage of the 21st century.

   Portfranc Logistics’ and Timbercoast’s eco-friendly cargo ship, the Avontuur, has returned to the Port of Montreal after its first successful voyage from Europe.
   With eight sails and 15 crew members, the 43.5-meter long schooner has been dubbed as the 21st century’s first eco-friendly cargo ship. Built in Germany in 1920 and refurbished in 2016 to include solar panels and wind turbines, the ship’s legacy “hopes to create a ‘greener’ and ‘oil free trade path’ between Europe and North America,” according to Portfranc Logistics.
   The ship is owned by Timbercoast, which provides wind-powered cargo shipping. According to its website, Timbercoast stated that the Avontuur “is sailing in European and Caribbean waters as a ramp cargo service.”
   The Avontuur arrived in Canada from La Rochelle, France on Saturday with cargo such as boutique clothing, artisanal kitchenware, champagne and French textiles. The cargo was even delivered to the warehouse at La Rochelle via electric truck from Portfranc’s partner Tempo One.
   “Beyond the oceans, our ambition at this specific moment is to offer a complete oil-free supply chain. This ship’s cargo was entirely transported by trucks powered with liquefied natural gas – fossil energy that is 50% cleaner than conventional gas,” said Portfranc Logistics. The trip marked the first oil-free commercial transatlantic journey of the 21st century, the company said.
   With support from the Quebec government, the Avontuur aims to make five Atlantic crossings by the end of 2019.