Northern Sea Route Off to Slow Start This Summer

Barents Observer
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Photo credit Atomflot

The expected record number of vessels using the Northern Sea Route between Europe & Asia this summer seems delayed.

In course of the two first months of sailing, only nine vessels of different types have taken the journey, but if the sailing season lasts as long as it did in 2011, there might still be time to break last year’s record of 34 vessels and 820.000 tons of cargo, reports Barents Observer.

Nuclear-powered icebreakers have been escorting vessels in transit between Europe and Asia in convoys this summer, as opposed to earlier seasons, where they followed one ship at the time, a press release from the operator of Russia’s fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers Rosatomflot reads.

Time still remains to break records. 
According to specialists, the ice situation on the Northern Sea Route this summer is on average.

From the Kara Gate to the New Siberian Islands the vessels sail on clear water, but in the East Siberian Sea the ice situation is more difficult than last year.

The journey took on average 11 days for the vessels that sailed the NSR in July, but in August no vessel has spent more than 9 days on the journey. The average speed in August was 12 knots.


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