Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has no intention of abandoning its adventurous tours to the North Pole, especially since cruise tickets for the entire 2019 season have been snapped up.
“Initially, cruises became a good a way to support the Atomflot state enterprise, and help it to deploy its idle fleet of icebreakers,” said Maksim Kulinko, deputy head of the Northern Sea Route Administration and the head of Rosatom’s Department for Development of NSR and Coastal Territories.
“At the moment, the situation is radically changing, and it [cruise service] is currently not a top-priority goal. But we don’t want to abandon it,” Kulinko added.
Atomflot is a subsidiary of the Russia’s state-run Rosatom group. The Murmansk-based enterprise maintains the world’s only fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers. The government started using the icebreakers for transporting tourists to the top-of-the-world in 1991.
The official stressed that Arctic cruises provided by the company are increasingly popular among foreigners. The voyages allow travelers to cross the Arctic Ocean on the world’s most powerful icebreaker, exploring the historic sites on Franz Josef Land.
According to Kulinko, the Russian Arctic fleet will get new icebreakers in the near future. This means some of the older icebreakers will be used for Arctic cruises. Over recent years, Arctic tourists have been carried to the North Pole by the world’s biggest nuclear-powered icebreaker ‘50 years of Victory’.