Icebreaking season ended on 15 May

Mon 17 May 2021 08:29:00 AM EEST

The Icebreaking season 2020–2021 ended on 15 May. Polaris, the last icebreaker to operate in the Bay of Bothnia this season, will stop by Röyttä Harbour before its return to the Katajanokka base in Helsinki.

In comparison to the previous icebreaking season, this season can be described as normal, and it lasted from December to mid-May. At times, the Bay of Bothnia had full ice cover. However, the ice conditions remained relatively easy as the winter’s winds were primarily light. Almost every icebreaker was active, and merchant vessels’ safe arrival at harbours was ensured without difficulty. Icebreaking was required in the Gulf of Finland, too, and smooth traffic was enabled by two icebreakers. Icebreakers Kontio, Otso, Polaris, Sisu and Urho assisted maritime transport in the Bay of Bothnia, while IB Voima and MSV Fennica operated in the Gulf of Finland. The last time a comparable icebreaking capacity was used was winter 2017–2018 when eight vessels were on active duty.

This season, Arctia’s icebreakers operated for a total of 573.4 operating days. There were a total of 1,683 assistance tasks, 148 of which were towing operations. The total number of miles navigated over the course of the icebreaking season was approximately 58,000. 

Arctia would like express its thanks for the past icebreaking season to the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Fintraffic’s VTS centers, Finnpilot’s pilots, Swedish icebreakers and all the ships, shipping companies, shipbrokers and ports assisted by Arctia’s icebreakers as well as Arctia’s other collaboration partners.