ONTARIO, CANADA (WWTI) — The St. Lawrence Seaway will close for the season much later than usual.

The international waterway will officially close to traffic on Friday, January 4, 2024, according to a press release from the St. Lawrence Seaway Corporation.

All ships must be clear of the Montreal-Lake Ontario portion of the Seaway by 10 a.m. on January 5 if traveling downbound. If traveling upbound, vessels must be clear of Cape Vincent by 6 a.m. on January 5.,

According to Michael Folsom from the Seaway Shipwatchers Network, this is the latest date in the Seaway’s 64-year history.

However, any transit of the Montreal-Lake Ontario section after December 24, will be subject to prior written agreements.

All operational surcharges have also been waived from December 21 to December 24, the Corporation said.

In the notice, the Corporation said the closing dates were chosen to “maximize the movement of vessels carrying essential cargo along the Seaway.”

The St. Lawrence Seaway was temporarily shut down in October 2023 due to a strike of unionized workers.

Read the full closing notice below.