Vitus Bering (icebreaker)

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NameVitus Bering (Витус Беринг)
NamesakeVitus Bering
OwnerDafne Line Shipping
Port of registry
Ordered16 December 2010
BuilderArctech Helsinki Shipyard, Helsinki, Finland
Cost$100 million
Yard number506
Laid down19 January 2012
Launched30 June 2012
Completed21 December 2012[3]
StatusIn service
General characteristics [1]
TypePlatform supply vessel
Beam22.1 m (73 ft)
Draught7.90 m (25.9 ft)
Depth11.00 m (36.09 ft)
Ice classRMRS Icebreaker6
Installed power
  • Two ABB Azipod VI1600 units (2 × 6.5 MW)
  • Two bow thrusters
  • 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph) (open water)
  • 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) in 1.5 m (4.9 ft) level ice
Endurance30 days
  • 700 m2 cargo deck
  • 195 evacuees
CrewAccommodation for 50

Vitus Bering (Russian: Витус Беринг) is a Russian icebreaking platform supply and standby vessel owned by Sovcomflot. Built by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard in Helsinki, Finland, she and her sister ship, Aleksey Chirikov, were ordered on 16 December 2010, shortly after the joint venture agreement between STX Finland Cruise Oy and United Shipbuilding Corporation had been signed. Delivered to the owners on 21 December 2012, Vitus Bering will be used in the Arkutun-Dagi offshore oil field in the Sea of Okhotsk.


Vitus Bering under construction at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard

Only six days after the agreement for the formation of the company was signed between STX Finland Cruise Oy and United Shipbuilding Corporation on 10 December 2010, the newly founded Arctech Helsinki Shipyard received an order for two multipurpose icebreaking supply vessels from the Russian state-owned shipping company Sovcomflot. The value of the shipbuilding contract was US$200 million and the construction of the vessels would provide work for 1,000 man-years.[4] Initially, the ships were to be delivered to the customer together in April 2013,[5] after which they would be used for standby, supply and ice management of Berkut, an offshore platform operated by Exxon Neftegas Limited in the Arkutun-Dagi offshore oil field in the Sea of Okhotsk.[6]

Although the ship was assembled at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, the majority of the steel blocks were manufactured by the Russian Vyborg Shipyard as the Hietalahti shipyard no longer has such production capacity. Only five of the 42 hull blocks for the two vessels were manufactured locally in Helsinki to ramp up the production while the remaining blocks were produced and partially outfitted in Vyborg and then brought to Helsinki on a barge for final outfitting, painting and hull assembly.[7] The steel-cutting ceremony for the first vessel was held at Vyborg Shipyard on 6 July 2011 and production began in Helsinki in August 2011.[8]

The keel laying ceremony of the first vessel was held on 19 January 2012 when the first block, a 353-ton midship section manufactured in Helsinki, was lowered to the shipyard's covered drydock.[7] Vitus Bering was launched and floated out on 30 June 2012. The hull assembly of the second vessel began in July and she was launched on 23 November 2012, one day after the first vessel left for one week sea trials.[9][10][11] Vitus Bering was delivered to Sovcomflot on 21 December 2012, four months ahead of the original schedule.[3][12] From Helsinki, she headed for St. Petersburg, where the new vessel was visited by president Vladimir Putin on 10 January 2013.[13]

The ship is named after the Danish explorer Vitus Bering who, while in Russian service, became the first European to discover Alaska.[14]

Technical details[edit]

Vitus Bering is an upgraded version of SCF Sakhalin, a similar icebreaking platform supply vessel built at Helsinki in 2005.[15] Several modifications have been made to the original design, including adding a fourth main engine, but the hull form is nearly identical. The most noticeable external difference is the covered foredeck, which will protect the mooring equipment from icing.

Vitus Bering is 99.9 metres (328 ft) long overall. Her hull has a moulded breadth of 22.1 metres (73 ft) and depth of 11.00 metres (36.09 ft) to upper deck. When loaded to a draught of 7.90 metres (25.9 ft), the deadweight tonnage of the ship is 4,158 tons. The four Wärtsilä[16] diesel generating sets — two twelve-cylinder 12V32 and two six-cylinder 6L32 engines — have a combined output of 18,000 kW (24,000 hp) and provide power for all shipboard consumers, including two 6.5 MW ABB Azipod VI1600 propulsion units.[17][18] A double acting ship, Vitus Bering is designed to be able to break ice both ahead and astern. She is capable of operating in ice up to 1.7 metres (5.6 ft) thick and maintain a speed of 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) in level ice with a thickness of 1.5 metres (4.9 ft).[19] Her ice class, assigned by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping, is Icebreaker6.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Vitus Bering (111097)". Register of ships. Russian Maritime Register of Shipping. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
  2. ^ a b "Vitus Bering (9613549)". Equasis. French Ministry for Transport. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  3. ^ a b Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Delivered Icebreaking Offshore Vessel. Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, 21 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-21.
  4. ^ Esko Mustamäki appointed as the Managing Director of Arctech Helsinki Shipyard Inc. Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, 4 April 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  5. ^ Arctech receives an order for two new icebreaking Supply Vessels from Sovcomflot. Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, 16 December 2010.
  6. ^ "Russia: Sovcomflot Successiful in Exxon Neftegas Supply Vessel Tender". Offshore Energy Today. 2010-12-20. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  7. ^ a b Arctech Started the Hull Assembly of Multifunctional Icebreaking Supply Vessel. Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, 19 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  8. ^ Construction of multi-purpose icebreaking service vessel begins. Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  9. ^ Launch of Arctic Offshore Vessel at Arctech. Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  10. ^ Arctech Launched Sister of Arctic Offshore Vessel. Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, 23 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  11. ^ Arctic offshore vessel Vitus Bering on sea trial. Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, 22 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  12. ^ Arctic Offshore Vessel Will Be Delivered from Arctech 4 months in Advance. Arctech Helsinki Shipyard, 15 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  13. ^ As Offshore Oil Prospects Expand, Putin Calls for More High-Tech Ships. Maritime Connector, 12 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  14. ^ Vitus Bering. SCF Group. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  15. ^ SCF Sakhalin. Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  16. ^ Helsinki yard turns to special vessels for Arctic conditions. Helsingin Sanomat, 14 August 2012.
  17. ^ References - Propulsion Products. ABB. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  18. ^ Multifunctional icebreaking supply vessel (MIBSV). Arctech Helsinki Shipyard. Retrieved 2012-01-27.
  19. ^ Russian multi-purpose icebreaking PSV begins build in Finland Archived 2013-01-29 at The Motor Ship, 20 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-27.