50 let pobedy

3

The three remaining Arktika-class nuclear-powered icebreakers in service:

NS Sovetskiy Soyuz - Советский Союз

NS Yamal - Яма́л (showing her distinctive “shark mouth” bow design)

NS 50 Let Pobedy - 50 лет Победы

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. 

Arktika

Sibir

Rossiya

All three still await disposal, and all three still carry their reactors.

10

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. 

We’re in Murmansk at nuclear base Atomflot and we’ve boarded 50 let Pobedy, the most powerful ship in the world. It’s 11:30pm and we’re enjoying the endless golden hour.

Tomorrow we’ll welcome our first set of guests and begin our first of four voyages to the North Pole!