Montreal

21st century's first eco-friendly cargo ship Avontuur docks in Montreal

A wind-powered 1920s schooner docked in Montreal Saturday as part of a project that aims to offer businesses and consumers a sustainable shipping option.

Wind-powered 1920s schooner aims to offer consumers, businesses a sustainable shipping option

The Avontuur, a 1920s-era German schooner, docked in Montreal on Saturday. Its arrival marks the first eco-friendly transatlantic commercial crossing on the 21st century. (Radio-Canada)

On a cloudy Saturday, a 1920s-era schooner glided into Montreal's Old Port. 

While some might brand its arrival as a tourist trap, the boat came with a purpose: to deliver cargo from Europe to North America, sustainably.

The wind-powered schooner docked in Montreal as part of a project that aims to offer businesses and consumers an environmentally-friendly shipping option.

Called the Avontuur, the boat travelled from La Rochelle, in France, to Montreal, marking the first eco-friendly transatlantic commercial crossing of the 21st century.

Over the last two months, the schooner has carried cargo mainly consisting of French artisanal work and champagne. Some fabric that was shipped to Montreal will be used by Cirque du Soleil's costume designers. 

Launched by Montreal-based retail company PortFranc and supported by the Quebec government, the project seeks to create a green sea route between Europe and North America — most global cargo is transported using heavy oil.

By 2019, organizers hope five transatlantic round trips will have been completed.

Though sailing is admittedly much slower than conventional cargo transportation, PortFranc uses the environmental argument to attract customers.

The Avontuur was built in 1920 and renovated in 2016. It's equipped with solar panels and wind turbines.

With files from Radio-Canada

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