When it comes to signs of spring, it's certainly been a big week across the Northland! We've had the first ice shelter removal deadlines hit in Minnesota and on Friday, the West Duluth Dairy Queen opened for the season.

Another sign of spring, and one that will be very beneficial to the winner, was Visit Duluth announcing the 40th Annual First Ship Contest is underway.

Visit Duluth partners with the Duluth Seaway Port Authority to make this popular annual tradition possible. The rules of the contest are pretty straightforward. Whoever correctly guesses when the season’s first saltie sails into our seaport wins an 'epic prize package' of Duluth goods and experiences.

How epic is the first-place prize package? Here are some highlights of what the winner will enjoy:

  • One-night stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Duluth Waterfront
  • 2 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 First Class Dome Car tickets
  • 2 Vista Fleet Sightseeing vouchers
  • $20 Vitta Pizza gift card
  • 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
  • Minnesota Power gift basket
  • Visit Duluth gift basket featuring local art
  • Duluth Seaway Port Authority branded winter hat and hardcover port history book
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The second-place winner will also receive a prize package, which includes:

  • 2 Great Lakes Aquarium tickets
  • Lake Superior Magazine annual subscription
  • 2 Glensheen Mansion Classic Tour passes
  • Duluth Pack Gear Stash Bag with a coupon for your next purchase
  • 4 Lake Superior Railroad Museum passes
  • 2023 Bentleyville long-sleeve shirt and 5 Nickelodeon Universe Mystery tickets
  • Visit Duluth Can Koozies

If you need a point of reference to make your guess, remember the Resko was the first saltie to reach Duluth in 2022, arriving on April 13 at 6:32 p.m. Visit Duluth says the winner of last year’s contest was just two minutes off the exact arrival time.

All guesses must include the month, date, and specific time. Make your guess now before that first ship arrives and good luck!

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