The world’s biggest diesel icebreaker gets passenger status
© RIA Novosti. Ilya Pitalev

The world’s biggest diesel icebreaker gets passenger status

The Viktor Chernomyrdin, a diesel-electric icebreaker, has been given passenger ship status, which allows it to be used for Arctic cruises, including to the North Pole, when not being used in charter activities.   

The icebreaker can provide comfortable accommodation for about 90 tourists.

“The icebreaker upgrade project was carried out by the Energoeffektivnost designing bureau in St. Petersburg,” the Rosmorport press service reported. 

Most of the upgrades were related to passenger safety in keeping with the Russian Maritime Shipping Register’s regulations and international conventions related to passenger ships.

The Viktor Chernomyrdin has a total power output of 34.8 MW and is an Icebreaker-8 class icebreaker. It can cut through ice up to 3 meters thick, and can sail at 17.8 knots in open water. The ship can operate up to 60 days without refueling.

The Viktor Chernomyrdin is designed to provide general icebreaker support, participate in scientific expeditions, accept helicopters, and carry supplies and containers. It has research laboratories, a dynamic positioning system, and comfortable rooms for passengers.

During ice trials in the Arctic in May 2022, it was confirmed that the icebreaker was able to make steady progress in a 2 meter-thick solid ice field and cut through ice up to 3 meter thick.