Icebreaker season in the Baltic is getting underfway:
Rosmorport's icebreaker Mudyug starts providing icebreaking assistance in the Baltic Sea.

The icebreaker Mudyug:

The combined Icebreaker/AHTS Botnica has secured a 10 year contract with Estonia for icebreaking/escort service in Estonia:

The Imperial Russian Navy sent a team to look over the Chief Wawatam (cross Straits RR ferry) early in the 20th century. The cross lake railroad ferries did a lot of icebreaking before the USCG took over the DomIce (domestic icebreaking) mission.

One of the Russian flag officers, Stepan Markovich, died in the Russo-Japanese War…your factoid for the day lol.

Sweden has deployed its whole state-owned icebreaker fleet to escort merchant ships in the frozen Baltic Sea and Lake Vänern. In addition, a privately-owned icebreaking AHTS vessel has been hired from Finland and two multipurpose buoy tenders are also breaking the ice.

Finland still has one large conventional quad-screw icebreaker and two multipurpose icebreakers in reserve, but if the present cold spell continues (as it appears to do), the whole fleet may be deployed this winter.

edit: In Russia, Rosmorport has deployed its 22,000-tonne flagship Viktor Chernomyrdin to the Baltic Sea alongside smaller icebreakers. In the Arctic, four nuclear-powered and two diesel-electric line icebreakers are hard at work, but the brand-new Arktika remains at Atomflot’s base in Murmansk.

50 Let Pobedy is currently somewhere north of the Bering Strait, waiting for the Arc7 LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie to return along the Northern Sea Route. According to the Northern Sea Route Administration, the ice conditions are “medium” throughout the Northern Sea Route except for the Kara Sea where most of the shipping activity occurs anyway.


The Damen Shipyards group built NUYINA inbound for the Mammoet quayside in Schiedam passing Maassluis Photo: Monique Davis-Mulder ©

NUYINA (The name is the word in the palawa kani language of the Tasmanian aborigines for the southern lights) is an icebreaking research and supply vessel (RSV), intended to support Australian bases in Antarctica. The vessel can deploy a wide range of vehicles, including helicopters, landing barges and amphibious trucks to support the resupply operation. The new ship provides a modern platform for marine science research in both sea ice and open water with a large moon pool for launching and retrieving sampling equipment and remotely operated vehicles. NUYINA began sea trails in the North Sea on 23 November 2020. It will be operated by DMS Maritime under the direction of the Australian Antarctic Division for the Australian Government and will be supporting science operations in the Antarctic as well as resupplying the Australian Antarctic Division stations: Casey, Davis, Mawson and Macquarie Island.

Care for a visit a Finnish icebreaker on the job?:

Or a nuclear powered icebreaker for a trip to the North Pole?:

The first cruise ship that will be able to take cruises to the North Pole is nearing completion at Vard Søviknes Shipyard:

PS> Her AIS has become active, so sea trials are not far away.

Le Commandant Charcot has been out on sea trials since 16. April.
Here is her track the last 24 hrs.:

Another newbuilt “ice capable” ship that has been on long sea trials has returned to the yard:

With the ice situation in the Gulf of Finland improved, the real icebreaker Vladivostok has moved to other tasks:

The Canadians couldn’t decide whether to award the construction of the polar icebreaker to Seaspan or Davie, so they decided to award one to both shipyards.

As of today, Canada operates the world’s oldest polar icebreaker, CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, which was commissioned in 1969. Its replacement, CCGS John G. Diefenbaker, was supposed to enter service in 2017.

Continuing with Canada-related topics, Vard Marine (subsidiary of Norwegian Vard Group AS which is in turn owned by the Italian Fincantieri), is teaming up with ILS Ship Design & Engineering from Finland to develop design solutions such as the self-propelled detachable icebreaking bow for global icebreaker market.

A slightly smaller company with about 15 employees, ILS could perhaps be described as “the other Finnish icebreaker design company”. Their prior work includes the multipurpose icebreakers Fennica, Nordica and Botnica, the Tor Viking series recently acquired by Canada, an icebreaking supply vessel for the Finnish Navy, several icebreaking tugs, and most recently the detachable icebreaking bow Saimaa. They also participated in the design for Finland’s LNG-powered icebreaker Polaris.

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The USCGC MACKINAW (WLBB 30) can break ice up to 32 inches thick at a continuous 3 knots. Commissioned in 2006, the 240 foot heavy icebreaker is the largest Coast Guard vessel on the Great Lakes. The USCGC MACKINAW is heading up bound in the St Clair River returning to its home port at Cheboygan, Michigan. Photo : Bert Varady Michigan, USA (c)

Original Mackinaw - operated on the lakes for over 60 yrs. Had too - was too wide to get out.

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Le Commandant Charcot left from Vard Langstein yard this morning heading to Longyearbyen with ETA 12.06.2021:

AFAIK she has not been delivered yet. To do ice trials north of Svalbard?

Seen here 31. May passing Ålesund while heading for sea trials in Storfjorden:

yea - believe USAP funds some of the the trip. If memory serves we had about 20 civilian folks on Deep Freeze 80 on the Glacier - probably the same for Polar Sea and Northwind that were down in the ice that year. Ours did 4 -5 different projects, but mostly we did piston cores, and bathymetric surveys for geologists out of Rice University.

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She have left Longyearbyen and now reporting destination as “Belgic Bank”:

No, not the National Bank of Belgium but an underwater feature between Svalbard and NE Greenland:

…until the St Lawrence Seaway opened…
But she is relatively shallow draft and, being an icebreaker, also “round of bottom”; would probably be a miserable rise in the N. Atlantic. She wasn’t much fun in a blow on any of the Lakes in open water.

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Some icebreaker action from Russia:

Posted by Ian Ackerman

The RSV NUYINA moored at Damen Shiprepair Vlissingen
Photo : Wim Albers, Work Ribs Holland B.V.

Makes sense. LNG is the only fuel readily available in the Arctic.

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