It is the first time that the brand new Arktika sails across the eastern part of the Northern Sea Route. But it has not been an easy voyage for the potent vessel.
When the icebreaker two weeks ago sailed through the Vilkitsky Strait and into the Laptev Sea, there were three cargo ships in its wake.
The early arrival of winter spurred a highly complicated situation on the Northern Sea Route and in early November more than 20 vessels were stuck in the sea-ice.
The complications with the sea-ice stretched into the last days of the year. The last commercial ship that transited on the route, the Pugnax, has spent almost two week longer time on the voyage than expected.
The troubles on the route will be overcome as more icebreakers are built, Rosatom argues. The Arktika is the first is the lead ship of Project 22220 icebreakers, and will over the next years be followed by at least four sister ships.
According to the state company, the Arktika is meeting expectations.
“We are satisfied with the results of the east-bound passage,” says Mustafa Kashka, General Director of icebreaker base Atomflot.
“The vessel’s icebreaking capacity is in line with the project characteristics,” he adds in a comment.
Rosatom will now carefully study results from the voyage as it plans further operations.
By Atle Staalesen,
Publisher: The Independent Barents Observer AS