From Maritime Propulsion:  http://articles.maritimepropulsion.com/article/New-Large-Russian-Nuclear-Icebreaker11150.aspx  comes this story about the newest Russian icebreaker - LK60 - whose 34m (112') beam and 10.8m (35') draft will make a big path through the ice for large ships using the Northern Sea Route over Russia. 

This formerly impassible Arctic route is now open 3-5 months a year, and the navigable season is predicted to grow to year-round in coming decades as Polar ice retreats. But icebreakers like this can make the NSR a year-round route right now.

Below I've posted a video of an earlier type Russian icebreaker making a trip to the Pole through 2m (6') ice, maintaining impressive speed - 16 knots - as though running in clear water. This older type icebreaker can handle up to 3m (10') ice and go as fast as 20 knots. I don't know what the capabilities of the new LK60 type will be, but obviously they'll be able to do even more. 


I've never worked on an icebreaker, but with the Arctic opening up more each year as the ice cap shrinks, this will be an opportunity for more and more sailors. 

Have you worked on an icebreaker? Please let us know what your experience was like!