Northern Sea Route

for National Geographic Russia, 2017


The XXI century will be the century of the Northern Sea Route. Global warming is offering unprecedented possibilities to sail the North free of ice, which will lead to a new order in the international trade order. 

Today, what is it to navigate The Northern Sea Route on a last- generation Icebreaking standby vessel? 

8 seas, 9 time zones, 29 latitudes up to the 77th Parallel North, 9 days of total Polar nights, rocking storms, changing ice: a quick summary of the 21 days navigation from Murmansk to Kholmsk on Sakhalin Island. 

Not more than 500 vessels have successfully completed the entire route since 1878-1879, when this was accomplished for the 1st time. 2017 opened a new era of the Northern Sea Route, with the first journey done by a tanker with LNG without any assistance of an Icebreaker. 

In 2018 sees for the first time a trade container completing the Northern passage.
The Western part of the route is already highly used for industrial export of mineral resources. Yet, a viable commercial intensive usage of NSR is predicted only for 2040.