The icebreaker pier in Katajanokka has been buzzing with activity for the last few days. The world’s first LNG-powered icebreaker, IB Polaris, was moored alongside Urho on Monday, 12th of June. To prepare for Polaris, the pier was reinforced and extended with a 22-metre extension with three mooring points.
The end of the icebreaking season and summer break are keeping the crew of Polaris busy this week with preparing the icebreaker’s engines and equipment for the summer break. While the crews of conventional Baltic icebreakers are enjoying the holidays earned during the winter, Polaris is never completely empty during the summer. From Midsummer to mid-September, the vessel’s engineers will care for the ship’s equipment in shifts.
No doubt the summer holidays and, for many of the crew, the return to their hometowns will be welcome. According to Pasi Järvelin, master of IB Polaris, they will also miss out on the beautiful summer of Helsinki: ”We will be back by mid-September, however, and it will be thankfully pouring rain by then, so the return to work is relatively painless for icebreaker crews.”
There is also plenty to experience in Katajanokka during the summer, since Arctia’s icebreakers are some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and an integral part of the urban landscape and the city’s skyline. This summer, the iconic vessels Voima, Urho, Sisu, Otso and Kontio have been joined by a new star: Polaris.