Start of eastbound voyages on the NSR in 2024

On 1 July, the summer-autumn navigation season starts at the NSR.

Until this date, only vessels with at least Arc-4 ice class are allowed to operate in this water area. From the beginning of July sea ice cover decreases and makes it possible to use vessels with low or no ice reinforcement. Everything depends on specific ice conditions in the area. Most favorable period for navigation usually observed from mid-August to early October. In this period NSR transit traffic and export of mineral resources eastward became more active.

The first vessel to start a transit navigation on NSR in summer 2024 is Arc-7 ice class oil tanker “Shturman Skuratov”, with a LOA of 249 m and a DWT of 41 041 tons. Ship usually works in year-round export of crude oil from the Arctic Gate Terminal in Ob Bay. The ship left the port of Murmansk on June 16, presumably after unloading 35,400 tons of crude oil to RPK «Nord» in Kola Bay. At the time of publication on June 24, the tanker is proceeding in ballast at the East Siberian Sea heading to the port of Kozmino. This port is a crude oil export terminal near the port of Nakhodka in eastern Russia. So far she goes on her own without icebreaker assistance and is scheduled to arrive at the destination on July 11.

Photo mt “Shturman Skuratov” (Source: Marine Traffic, © D. Lobusov)

Track of mt “Shturman Skuratov” 16.06-24.06.24 (Source: Spire Shipview)

The Arc 7 LNG carrier “Eduard Toll” became the first LNG-type vessel to start eastbound deliveries of LNG cargo in summer 2024. The ship left the port of Sabetta on 21 June and is escorted by a nuclear icebreaker “Sibir”. On 24 June she is in the Laptev Sea, destination port is unknown.

Photo LNG carrier “Eduard Toll” (Source:

LNG carrier “Eduard Toll” 21.06-24.06.24 (Source: Spire Shipview)

More LNG carriers for summer season.

Usually during the summer season additional LNG carriers of lower ice class are used for LNG export.  This year, 13 such vessels have already received permits to operate in NSR waters. Below is the table that displays main characteristics of these vessels. The list is not final, other vessels may appear. It should also be noted that having a permit does not mean that the vessel necessarily goes to the NSR. 

Table 1. List of LNG carriers of lower ice class that can be used for LNG export. Update 24.06.24

IMO Vessel Name Ice class Flag LOA DWT Owner or operator Permit Start date
9834296 LNG_Dubhe No Hong Kong 289 97 000 ARCTIC RED LNG SHIPPING LIMITED 01.07.24
9834313 LNG_Phecda No Hong Kong 291 97 000 Arctic Orange LNG Shipping Limited 01.07.24
9834301 LNG_Merak No Hong Kong 295 97 000 Arctic Yellow LNG Shipping Limited 01.07.24
9781920 Seapeak_Yamal No Bahamas 294 91 610 XIANG CH2 HK INTERNATIONAL SHIP LEASE CO 01.07.24
9834325 LNG_Megrez No Hong Kong 295 91 500 ARTIC INDIGO LNG SHIPPING LIMITED 01.07.24
9655456 Clean_Vision Arc 4 Malta 289 89 831 Olinda Limited 01.07.24
9655444 Clean_Horizon Arc 4 Malta 289 89 831 Avoca Maritime Corp. Limited 01.07.24
9953523 North Sky Arc 4 Panama 293 88 809 Novatek Asia 01.07.24
9953509 North Air Arc 4 Panama 293 88 636 Novatek Asia 01.07.24
9953511 North Mountain Arc 4 Panama 293 88 636 Novatek Asia 01.07.24
9953535 North Way Arc 4 Panama 293 88 636 Novatek Asia 01.07.24
9629598 Lena_River Arc 4 Marshall Islands 288 84 585 Solana Holding LTD. 01.07.24
9629586 Yenisey_River Arc 4 Marshall Islands 288 84 565 Navajo Marine Limited 01.07.24

*Further on in the text, we only consider those vessels that have an official IMO number. Barges and various auxiliary fleets from river shipping register are not included.

Other ships with NSR transit permissions.  

In addition to the LNG carriers, many other vessels have obtained permits to work at the NSR. Here we cite only those vessels that have in their permit a direct indication of transit voyage. Among them we see 3 big container ships, 3 big tankers, 1 general cargo ship and several fishing vessels.

Table 2. List of vessels with a permit for a transit voyage along the NSR. Update 24.06.24

IMO Vessel Name Ice class Type Flag LOA DWT Owner or operator Valid from 
9200811 Flying_Fish_1 Ice 1 Container Panama 294 66 781 Safetrans Line 01.08.24
9253296 SFT EGYPT No Container Liberia 260 48 848 Safetrans Line 01.08.24
9238753 SFT_Turkey No Container Panama 260 50 812 Safetrans Line 01.08.24
9623609 Xin_Xin_Hai_1 Ice 2 General cargo China 166 29 011 Yangpu Newnew 15.07.24
9511521 Moskovsky_Prospect Ice 3 Tanker Gabon 250 113 867 Sovcomflot 15.07.24
9413547 NS_Arctic Ice 3 Tanker Gabon 250 111 107 Sovcomflot 02.08.24
9305568 SCF_Baltica Arc 5 Tanker Gabon 250 117 153 Sovcomflot 15.07.24
7712937 Jupiter Ice 1 Fishing Russia 68 1 251 OOO Antey 10.07.24
7704708 Olafsson Ice 1 Fishing Russia 71 1 552 OOO Antey 10.07.24
8408258 ANTARES No Reefer Russia 71 1 343 OOO Antey Sever 01.08.24
8516615 Progress Arc 4 Reefer Russia 103 3 750 OOO Transrechflot 15.07.24

In addition to vessels that have NSR transit passage explicitly stated in their permits, there are vessels that have received permits without transit passage wording. But they have all zones of NSR from western to easter boundaries included, so they also can transit the NSR. For example, “Shturman Skuratov” has such a permit. Most of the vessels in this category received permits during the winter navigation period and have ice class not lower than Arc 4. The total number of vessels that have received permits to operate in the NSR water area is increasing daily. Most of the new ships suppose start operations in July. We will periodically update information on NSR transits and other activities during this season.

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