The history behind our Polar Explorer

Polar Explorer was built in 1976 in Hamburg, Germany. It’s original name back then was Schnoorturm. By that time, other three identical icebreakers were built: Schepelsturm, Herdentor and Werdertor.
These ships had a unique design for those times and were built as first multifunctional vessels. The unique of these vessels was that they could operate in open and ice – covered waters in the Northern Sea. These ships could act as icebreaker, supply and tug vessels at the same time and could provide services at considerably lower costs than a group of 2- 3 single task ships.

During 1976-1980, Schnoorturm (Polar Explorer), was working as an icebreaker in Kiel harbor (Germany). Later in 1981 was sold to Newfoundland (Canada) where it was working as an icebreaker and supply vessel until 1985.

After that, it was working all around the world as tugboat, supply ship as well as laying cables on the sea. In 1991 the vessel was fully rebuilt and start working for Norwegian oil industry in the Arctic Ocean. Its task was to deliver cement to fill the underwater pipes. Since 2016 it is working for the tourist industry as Polar Explorer in Sweden.

Schnoorturm 1976-1980 on the test drive in the North Sea.
The flag of the shipyard still flies in the port yard.

In the winter of 1979, the ship was used to support the icebreaker HANSE (2,771 BRT / 1966) belonging to Water and Shipping Directorate Kiel, Kiel,together with the TS -62 POWER (742 BRT / 1976) belonging to Hapag-Lloyd AG, Hamburg, to break ice in the Bay of Kiel.

Schnoorturm 1976-1980. In March 1979 in the Kiel Fjord.

Schnoorturm 1976-1980

On August 18, 1980, the German steamship company “Hansa” reports in Bremen insolvency at the district court in Bremen.

1980-1981: sold on September 1st, 1980, to VVG supply ship Verwaltungs- Gesellschaft m.b.H., Bremen (Manager: VTG supply shipping G.m.b.H.,Bremen).
Registered on March 19, 1981, for Hansashore Canada Inc., St. John’s – Nfl. / Canada (Manager: VTG United Tanklager und Transportmittel G.m.b.H., Hamburg).

1981-1985: In 1983 management changed to Crosbie Offshore Services Ltd. transfer. Incorporated in 1985 for Offshore Supply Association Canada, St. John’s-Nfl. / Canada (Crosbie Offshore Services Ltd.).

1985-1986: Registered in 1986 for VTG Supply Boat Liberia Inc., Monrovia / Liberia (Manager: VTG supply shipping G.m.b.H., Bremen).
On 11/30/1986 at 21:00 local time, broke on the tow voyage from the US to Taiwan with the American demolition ships TRADER (13,486 GRT / 1945) ex. Amco Trader and VOYAGER (13,487 GRT / 1944) ex. Amco Voyager a fire in the engine room at the position 10° 45′ N / 99°11′ W about 800 nm off the coast of Panama.
Since the fire could not be fought successfully, the crew made an emergency call and disembarked. The crew is taken on by the American turbine tanker KEYSTONER (11,368 BRT / 1953).

Schnoorturm 1985-1986. On December 6th, 1986, during the towing trip. The fire also
destroyed the superstructure.

On December 7th, 1986, collided with the Panamanian motor tug PANAMA CHIEF (837 BRT/ 1973) in Balboa / Panama. It was declared a total loss.
Sold through Panama Air Marine Safety & Supply Inc. on 03/25/1987 for 150,000 USD Cross Caribbean Services Ltd., Panama.

1987: arrived in tow at Conastil Shipyard, Cartagena / Columbia for repairs on May 7th, 1987.
It is renamed Baru.

The wreck in the shipyard in Cartagena.

In 1987 sold to Eide U.K., Douglas – Isle of Man / Great Britain and at the group’s own shipyard Eide Contracting A/S, Hoylandsbygd / Norway extended and rebuilt by 7.50 m. The ship is remeasured: 1,976 GRT 593 NRT 1,791 tdw. Put back into service on 10/04/1991 for Eide U.K. Ltd., Douglas – Isle of Man / Great Britain (Manager: Farstad Shipping Ltd).

1991-1993: registered in 1993 for Eide Shipping Ltd. U.K., Aberdeen / Great Britain (Manager: Seaforth Marine Services Ltd).
It is renamed Sun Wrestler.


Sun Wrestler 1993-1994

In 1994, it is sold to Loki Shipping Ltd., Aberdeen / Great Britain (Manager: Seaforth Marine Services Ltd.).

1994-1998: from December 1997 management is by Acomarit (U.K.) Ltd. From November 12th, 1998, the management is transferred to Specialist Marine Services Ltd., Hull / Great Britain and the ship is renamed Statesman.


Statesman 1998-2008. For bunkering at the pier.
After the repair, the bridges were completely renewed, the forecastle received a bulwark and not so visible the extension by 7.50 m.

Statesman 1998-2008 in Aberdeen.

Sold on April 29, 2008, to Eide Marine Services AS, Hoylandsbygd / Norway (Manager: Eide Marine Services AB, Nasau/ Bahamas).


Statesman 2008

2008-2015: on April 29,2008, it is renamed Eide Wrestler.

Eide Wrestler 2008-2016

2016: “ Marine News” March 2017 informs: Sold in 2016 to Rederi AB Nestor in Sweden renamed to Polar Explorer.

*Source: DDG Hansa


Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, you can choose your pick up and drop of location during the booking process. Price will be calculated accordingly. Your luggage will be stored in the bus during the tour. 

Yes, when you are coming by our shuttle bus you can store your luggage in the bus during entire trip. No special reservation for luggage is required.

Yes, you can make your way with your own car and park free of charge at the cruise terminal. There is no actual border between Finland and Sweden, you can drive non-stop via the border.

There is no age limit for participating in a cruise, children of all ages are welcome on board!
Survival suits are available at size 125 cm so if your child height is close to 125 cm they can swim. It is up to responsible crew member decision if the child is grown enough and it is safe to swim for child. 

No, a double layer survival suit, which you will put over your normal clothes, will keep you insulated from cold water.
Swimming is voluntary – so if you don’t feel like it you don’t have to do it.

Walking on sea ice is allowed only when ice is solid and at least 20 cm thick. Early winter cruises may not allow walking on ice activity.
Captain makes a decision when it is safe to walk on ice on each cruise.

The ship is not wheelchair accessible due to high thresholds around the ship required for water holding in case of flood.

Lunch on board can be added at special price 20 € per person when booked together with shuttle bus. Lunch on board without reservation is 25 €.
Snacks and beverages can be purchased from the cafeteria on board.

Gluten and lactose intolerance is considered in all meals. Vegetarian meals are offered.

There is no border control between Finland and Sweden, driving is non-stop. Though occasional check may happen. Please also have valid ID with you.
If you hold Schengen visa, same visa is valid for both countries and single entry visa also valid to cross brothers within Schengen area multiple times. 

In case the border of Finland or Sweden is closed due to emergency lock down, all cruises will be cancelled and your payment is fully refunded. 
In case the country where you were travelling from closes down and travelling outside of the country is prohibited for leisure reasons, standard cancellation policy will apply.
We recommend buying travel insurance covering costs caused by cancellations due to COVID, health conditions or any other circumstances preventing travelling.

No cancellation fees are charged if you cancel your booking 31 or more days before cruise departure.
25€ booking fees per person are non-refundable. 
If you cancel 30 days before cruise departure or later, 100% cancellation fees are charged.
In case of “no show”, being late for cruise departure or shuttle bus pick up resulting in missing the departure, 100% cancellation fees apply.
Cancellation fees are charged If cancelled for any reason, including restrictions due to COVID-19 and medical reasons.
We recommend buying travel insurance covering costs caused by cancellations due to health conditions or any other circumstances preventing travelling.

In case our icebreaker cruise is cancelled due to weather conditions or lack of passengers, you will be offered an alternative cruise date or time.
If none of the alternative options fit you, you will get a full refund.

We do not practice discount coupons. 
We keep our prices as low as possible so everyone can join.