Russian Tall Ship Completes Historic Northern Sea Route Passage

Mike Schuler
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October 14, 2020

FILE PHOTO: STS Sedov

A 100-year-old tall ship has successful transited the full length of the fabled Northern Sea Route.

After departing from Vladivostok, Russia in mid-August, the Sedov completed the east-west passage this week having passed the south tip of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, marking the easternmost point of Europe. The vessel is expected to arrive Murmansk, Russia sometime next week.

The journey was made possible due to unprecedented low levels of sea-ice. In fact, Sedov’s captain said that during the journey they experienced hardly any sea ice at all.

“We expected that we at least would have encountered some finely-crushed ice in the Vilkitsky Strait and the Longa Strait,” ship captain Novikov told newspaper Neft, as reported by The Barents Observer.

“But we have sailed across practically the whole Northern Sea in open waters, and we have not run into any crushed sea-ice, nor icebergs,” he said.

The Sedov is a four-masted, steel-hulled barque that is one of the largest of its type in the world. It is is currently operated by Russia’s Federal Agency for Fishery, which organized the journey. In addition to the ship’s crew, on board were 136 cadets from the Baltic State Academy of the Fishing Fleet, the Kaliningrad Maritime Fisheries College and the Murmansk State Technical University.

The tall ship was originally built in Germany in 1921 but was acquired by the Soviet Union in 1945 as a war repatriation.

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