A Maersk container ship, the 3,596 TEU Venta Maersk, has arrived at the Port of Saint Petersburg after successfully completing a trial passage through the Northern Sea Route.
Venta Maersk is one of Maersk Line’s new Baltic feeders, and departed from Vladivostok, Russia on 22 August 2018.
The route took 37 days to complete and included stops in Vostochny Stevedoring Company and Busan, before passing through Bering Strait on 6 September 2018.
According to a statement by the world’s largest shipping company, the vessel and all systems aboard “performed well in the unfamiliar environment”.
Find out more about the Northern Sea Route and Arctic shipping by reading a Port Technology technical paper
Although the Northern Sea Route is passable at this time of year, ice conditions in the East Siberian Sea required the assistance of icebreakers.
In order to ensure the safety of the crew, cargo, vessel and environment, Maersk has also been in close and regular dialogue with the Northern Sea Route Administration and ice breaker companies.
The crew underwent special training and was joined by Northern Sea Route certified “ice Pilots” throughout the entire transit.
Palle Laursen, Chief Technical Officer at Maersk, commented: “We are very happy to welcome back crew and vessel safe and sound after this unique voyage.
“The trial allowed us to gain exceptional operational experience, test vessel systems, crew capabilities and the functionality of the shore based support setup.
“Currently, we do not see the Northern Sea Route as a viable commercial alternative to existing east-west routes.”