The Ludogorets arrived today, April 25, to top up its cargo of soy beans*. It is one of several Navigation Maritime Bulgare ships that are frequent callers to Great Lakes ports. When they load export cargoes on the Lakes, they are restricted to the St.Lawrence Seaway draft of 26 feet 6 inches, and so they can "top up" with more cargo once they reach salt water ports.
The Ludogorets was built in 2010 by Wuhu Xinlian in Wuhu (Sanshin), China as Fritz for German owners associated with Intersee Schiff. In 2015 it was renamed Marbacan by MC Schiff of Hamburg then took its current name in 2016. Despite its Bulgarian operator, it is registered in Malta. The 20,491 gt, 29,998 dwt ship carries three 30 tonne capacity cargo cranes.
The Ludogorets began it current voyage in Ust-Luga, Russia where it took on a cargo of fertilizer, sailing February 27. On arrival off Sorel, QC on about March 20 there was some controversy about the cargo in view of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and a general ban on Russian shipping but the ship was cleared to unload some cargo April 4-5. It then went to the Lanoraie anchorage downstream of Montreal before transiting the Seaway April 8-9.
Once the ship arrived in Hamilton, ON April 10 it unloaded the remaining cargo and began to load its new cargo April 15. It sailed April 20 and made good time down through the Seaway, passing Montreral April 22.
In my initial post I was speculating on the ship's cargo:
* I believe the ship is carrying soy beans, since that is the usual bulk cargo these days from the Halifax Grain Elevators. However I do not have independent confirmation.
Since making that post a reader has kindly confirmed that indeed it is soybeans. It will take on an additional 8,000 tonnes here for a total of 24,000 tons for delivery to Italy. it is expected to return to Hamilton, possibly in ballast, for another load and if so may top up here again.
The reader also noted that the crew is Bulgarian.