The status of the other three ships is as follows: NS Rossiya (Россия), the third unit produced, has been reported out of service since 2013; NS Arktika (Арктика) was finally retired in 2008 after 33 years in service; and NS Sibir (Сибирь) was out of service since 1992 after problems with her steam generation system.
All three still await disposal, and all three still carry their reactors.
Before I began my time as Expedition Photographer on board icebreaker 50 Let Pobedy, I wondered if I might tire of the polar landscape near to the North Pole. How much variety could there really be when all you’ve got to work with is endless ice and sky?
Now I can tell a different story. I was absolutely mesmerized with the textures, colors, shadows and shapes that carried on for hundreds of miles as we traveled further and further North. The slightest change in light affected the way the ice glistened below it. The sun hung low on the horizon and on my favorite evenings, like the last photo, everything shone gold.
My very first piece of fine art, from St. Petersburg-based oil painter Victor Kobzev, whom I met on board 50 let Pobedy, depicting our ship and the icy landscape of the high Arctic. The sky is based off a photograph I took in Franz Josef Land. I am so proud to own this and will treasure it always, it is such a lovely memento from this time in my life.