Now that the Arctic ice cap is shrinking, we've started seeing a lot of exploration for energy, mining, and other commercial activity up there - not to mention the recent opening of the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route as practical shortcuts between Europe and Asia. Vessels like Shell's new private icebreaker designed for oil exploration will become more and more common over the coming decades.
Here's the link to the MarineLink.com story, or you can also click on the photo of another of Shell's ice-class vessels, the NANUQ, above:
Anyone out there involved in this sort of work? I'd love to hear about your experiences, and pictures would be very welcome too - I'll post them for the world to see.