Where are Icebreakers Used?

Given their specific purpose of travelling through ice-covered waters, icebreaker ships are mostly used in the coldest areas of the globe, which include Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean.

Accordingly, the countries with the largest fleet of Icebreakers are those who also have large ice-covered territories. These Include Russia, U.S.A, Canada, Finland, Sweden and Germany.

In fact, the first three countries in this list also operate four of the five largest icebreakers in the world.

Top Icebreaker Fleets in the World

In 2010, The U.S. Coast Guard created the first list of the major icebreakers of the world. According to their list, the countries with the largest icebreaker fleets are Russia, Finland and Sweden.

Russia

Russia is by far the largest operator of icebreakers in the world today, with an astounding fleet of 37 icebreaker ships, and several more either planned or already under construction.

Russia is also the owner of the world’s largest, most powerful icebreaker in the world (as of 2011), the NS 50 Let Pobedy. This Russian Arktika class nuclear-powered icebreaker is 524 ft long and designed to break through ice up to 2.8 meters thick

 

Icebreaker in Lapland: Sweden and Finland

Up north in the bothnian sea all the ports freeze during the winter time. because of the Geographical position the industries rely very much on the marine transportation. Marine group in Sweden play a biggest role of keeping the winter ports open during the winter time. For that use they have fleet of Arctic Icebreaker such as polar Explorer and Arctic Explorer. That sailing on Swedish Lapland. Icebreaker sampo located on the Finnish side in Kemi and mainly for tourist use.

Sweden and Finland, each with a fleet of 7 icebreakers, both hold the place of second largest fleet of icebreakers in the world. While certainly not the largest countries on the list, both have a great need for these ships due to their location and weather conditions which require a great deal of icebreaking capabilities.

Given their high price and relatively specific purpose, most icebreakers are owned by governments such as Sampo icebreaker. However, in recent years, with the blooming popularity of arctic cruises, you can find more and more privately owned icebreakers, such as the Polar Explorer icebreaker, offering tourists a chance to explore the icy waters on an Arctic Cruise with Arctic icebreaker.

You can find shuttle bus transportation from Rovaniemi, Kemi and Levi.

FAQ

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 over 120 cm they can swim.

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.

During the cruise meals are not served, but snacks and beverages can be purchased from the cafeteria on board.
Icebreaker buffet lunch is offered at extra charge in restaurant on shore after the morning cruise and before afternoon cruise.
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. From time to time we have flash sales in our social media channels so follow us on our instagram (@polar.explorer.icebreaker) and on facebook (polarexplorericebreaker) to keep an eye on them.