The icebreaker ship Polaris is unique in many ways. It is the first icebreaker in the world capable of running on both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and ultra-low-sulphur diesel. Its total output of about 22 MW also makes it the most powerful icebreaker in Finland, a country that has long been known for its icebreaking expertise.


    Polaris begins its service at a historical moment. In 2017 Finland celebrates the 100th anniversary of its independence.  In recognition of the centenary, Polaris is adorned with the Finland 100 logo. The slogan for Finland’s big year, “Together,” is also an appropriate term to describe the design and construction process of the new icebreaker. The ship is the sum of the efforts of all the people who have contributed to Finland’s world-famous expertise in designing, building and operating heavy icebreakers.


    The main purpose of Polaris is icebreaking and assisting other vessels in icy conditions on the Baltic Sea. The ship is also able to perform oil spill response operations, emergency towing and rescue operations on open water all year round.


    IB Polaris, the first LNG powered icebreaker in the world, joined Arctia’s fleet in September 2016. This unique vessel is able to use both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and low sulphur diesel oil as fuel. The use of LNG significantly reduces carbon emissions, making IB Polaris also the most environmentally friendly diesel electric icebreaker in the world.


    Icebreaker Polaris is a true masterpiece of Finnish shipbuilding expertise. Innovative design is used for example in the vessel’s hull form and propulsion unit arrangement. The vessel is equipped with three Azipod propulsion units rotating 360 degrees which enables excellent maneuvering qualities. The icebreaking capacity of IB Polaris is 1,2 meters at a speed of 6 knots. Lamor delivered the in-built oil recovery system, which enables Polaris to collect 1015 m³ oil with a rate of 200 m³/h in harsh weather and ice conditions.


    The vessel’s main task is fairway icebreaking on the Baltic Sea, which means assisting merchant vessels to and from Baltic Sea ports in wintertime. In addition, Polaris can perform oil spill response operations, emergency towing and rescue operations on the open sea all year round. The unique vessel has been designed for the most demanding icebreaking conditions on the Baltic Sea. The special hull form and propulsion arrangement minimize ice resistance and maximize the icebreaking capacity.



    IB Polaris










    Arctech Helsinki Shipyard


    Ice class






    110 m




    24 m


    Operational draught


    8 m




    1 0961 at design draught


    Main engines


    Wärtsilä 2x 6000 kW, 2x 4500 kW, 1x 1280 kW, Dual fuel


    LNG tanks


    2 x 400 m³




    17 knots


    Speed at 1.2 m ice


    6 knots


    Pollard pull


    214 tn







    Polaris begins its service at a historical time. In 2017, Finland celebrates its 100 years as an independent nation. The theme for Finland’s centenary year, “Together”, is also an appropriate term for describing the design and building process of Polaris. It is the result of world-famous Finnish know-how in designing, building and operating heavy icebreakers.


    Arctia’s premier polar class icebreaker Polaris is engineered for 50 years of service life and it is operated by a crew of 16 seafarers with solid Arctic experience. Arctia maintains the competence and expertise of its personnel through continuous training.



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