Yamal icebreaker

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Yamal icebreaker Review and Specifications

Specifications of Yamal icebreaker

Year built 1992  /  Age : 25
Flag state Russia
Builder (Baltiysky Zavod) Baltic Shipyard (St Petersburg, Russia)
Class Russian nuclear icebreaker (cruise ship, Arktika-class, Project 10520)
Owner Russian Federation
Operator Atomflot (Rosmorport)
Speed 22 kn / 41 kph / 25 mph
Length (LOA) 150 m / 492 ft
Beam (width) 30 m / 98 ft
Gross Tonnage 20646 gt
Passengers 100
Crew 150
Decks 8
Cabins 50
Decks with cabins 4

Review of Yamal icebreaker

NS Yamal ("атомный ледокол Ямал") is Russian nuclear icebreaker. "NS" stands for "nuclear ship". The vessel is state-owned (by the Russian Federation) and operated by Atomflot. The Atomflot company provides all Russian nuclear icebreakers with maintenance and technological services. The company also serves the country's special vessels fleet.NS Yamal icebreaker ship

One of the Russian icebreaker cruise ships, Yamal is a nuclear-powered icebreaking vessel of the Arktika-class. It is named after the Yamal Peninsula (Northwest Siberia). The name's meaning is "End of the Nenets Land". Nenets (aka Samoyeds) are an indigenous people living in the arctic regions of Russia. NS Yamal was laid down in Leningrad in 1986, but launched 6 years later - in October 1992, after the breakup of USSR (the Soviet Union). This nuclear ship never filled its designed role - to keep the Arctic shipping route open. Instead, it has always carried passengers on Arctic "icebreaker" cruises. In July 1994, Yamal took an excursion to the North Pole with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to celebrate ship's Official Maiden Voyage. While at the exact north pole, the cruise passengers and the crew celebrated with a barbecue at  -10 degrees F temperature (wind gusts measured at -40 degrees F). Because of the 90/90 coordinates, the Captain (Smirnov) organized a swimming party with Mr Will Rountree - an US citizen. The American was recorded as the first person to ever swim there (July 21, 1994). Water temperature was below freezing, ~30 degrees F. Yamal played a significant role in creation of North Pole annual cruise travel expeditions, being one of the few ships capable to get there and bring tourists in safety. Since 1993, the ship is operated by the Murmansk Shipping Company (abbrev MSCO) with operations in Arctic Russia and also in Baltic Sea (northern Europe). During 2001-2008 period, the ship was also operated by Poseidon Expeditions (Arctic and Antarctica cruise operator). Among most serious Yamal ship accidents are:

  • December 23, 1996 - a crew member was killed when a fire broke out on the ship. The fire was extinguished within 30 min. The nuclear reactor was not affected.
  • March 16, 2009 - the ship collided with MT Indiga (Russia-flagged product tanker / oil tanker). The accident occurred in Kara Sea (Yenisei Gulf, the Yenisei River's estuary). The oil tanker suffered a 9,5 m (31 ft) crack on its main deck. No damage was reported for the ice-breaker.

The Yamal icebreaker's itinerary program offers North Pole expedition cruises and also longer itineraries on the Northern Sea Route along the Russia's Arctic coastline. Russia's nuclear fleet of ice-breaking vessels is used exclusively in the Arctic Ocean for escorting merchant ships and assisting research stations floating in the ice-covered waters north of Siberia. These ships are also used for scientific and Arctic cruise expeditions. The Russian nuclear ice-breakers must sail in ice-cold waters to effectively cool their reactors.

NS Yamal icebreaker vessel details

Yamal is one of all 6 icebreaking vessels of the Arktika class - together with the old Sibir (1977-1992), the old Arktika (1975-2008), Rossiya (1985), Sovetskiy Soyuz (1990) and 50 Let Pobedy (2007).old Arktika-class Russian icebreaker ship design (Project 10520)

Besides NS Yamal, the list of other Russian nuclear icebreaker ships includes 50 Let Pobedy (2007, sister-ship, Arktika (2017), Sibir (2019), Rossiya (1985, sister-ship), Sovetskiy Soyuz (1990, sister-ship), Taymyr (1989), Ural (2020), Vaygach (1990), Sevmorput (1988, cargo ship).

Besides Yamal, the list of other Russian icebreaker cruise ships also includes Akademik Ioffe, Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Kapitan Dranitsyn, Kapitan Khlebnikov and the nuclear ship 50 Let Pobedy,NS Yamal icebreaker ship

  • The vessel has 1 dining room, Sauna, Library, Auditorium, Passenger Lounge, Volleyball Court, Gymnasium, 1 swimming pool (indoor, heated), Infirmary, 1 elevator, 1 helipad (helicopter deck) with a Mi-2 transport helicopter. The ship is also equipped with Zodiacs (large-capacity inflatable boats) used for remote landings.
  • DWT Deadweight tonnage: 2750 tons
  • Displacement tonnage: 23455 tons
  • Max Draught: 11 m (35 ft)
  • Icebreaking capacity: 5 m (16 ft)
  • Ice-class LL1
  • Range: unlimited (4 years endurance)
  • Power: 2 x OK-900A nuclear reactors (each 171 MW, or combined 342 MW power output)
  • Propulsion: turbo-electric, 3 shafts, 3 electric motors (17,6 MW output each, or 52,8 MW combined power output).

Note: In case of poor AIS coverage, tracking the vessel's current location will be impossible. You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all icebreakers and ice-breaking research ships in the "itinerary" section of our Icebreakers hub. All states and their fleets are listed there.

Photos of Yamal icebreaker

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