General, history of the ship: Russian icebreaker with dieselelectric propulsion, among the 10 strongest non-nuclear icebreakers of the world - together with the other 3 vessels of the SOROKIN class: KAPITAN SOROKIN, KAPITAN NICOLAEV and KAPITAN KHLEBNIKOV. Built 1975-1980 on the renowned Finnish Wärtsila wharf, famous for its icebreaker competence, for service both along the arctic coasts of Russia and in the Baltic Sea. Like its sister ship KAPITAN KHLEBNIKOV, the DRANITSYN was originally based in the Far East of Russia. After the decrease of navigation there in the wake of the breakdown of the Soviet Union, both ships were partly rebuilt in the 1990s to meet the passenger vessel standards at that time. While the KHLEBNIKOV is mostly in touristic use since (ending in early 2012), the KAPITAN DRANITSYN has a wider range of duties: classic icebreaker service on Russian icy shipping routes, but also research and exploration of ressources projects, tourism and filming, as the following list shows (not complete):
• 1994 icebreaker cruise to the North Pole - the KAPITAN DRANITSYN is one of the very few non-nuclear vessels, which have reached the North Pole so far.
• 1996 first circumnavigation of the whole Arctic Ocean. 1999 and 2000 further touristic circumnavigations, including assistance to the German luxury expedition cruiser HANSEATIC, which ran aground in the Canadian Arctic.
• Research projects in the Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Bering Sea and Laptev Sea.
• Touristic cruises: Bering Strait/Chukotka, Antarctica, circumnavigations of the Arctic (1999, 2000), Franz-Josef-Land (latest: 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010), North Pole, Novaya Zemlya (2005), Severnaya Zemlya (2005), Spitsbergen.
• Charter for US oil company, based in Alaska (2007-2009)
• Charter for film projects.
The KAPITAN DRANITSYN does not meet the newest international safety regulations for commercial passenger vessels anymore, and an adaption for just a few tourist cruises per year is seemingly too expensive. However, the Russian tour operator in charge for the 2010 Franz Josef Land cruise managed to get a special permission from the Russian authorities for using it for that 2010 cruise, nevertheless.
Owner: Russian state
Operator: MSCO Murmansk Shipping Company
Type of vessel: icebreaker, ice class KM LL3 A2
Length: 131,0 m
Width: 26,5 m
Draft: 8,5 m
Displacement: 10471 t
Power: up to 24000 hp
Max. speed: 15 kn
Cruise speed: 12 kn
Crew: 60 (plus expedition staff by tour operator)
Passenger cabins: 49 (triple and double)
Passenger berths: 108
Ice breaking: up to about 1.5 m (5 ft) closed ice continuously (speed may sink down to 2 kn), up to 7 m ramming (back and forth).
Cabins: All passenger cabins have windows, all with own facilities (shower/toilet/washing basin). Suites with separated sleeping and living area. Double cabins: bed and sleeping sofa (1.8 m). Triple cabins: bunk beds and sleeping sofa. All cabins: wardrobe, small desk, mirror.
Electricity: 220 V AC/DC (sockets fitting for the flat EU-norm 2-pinned plugs).
Deck and cabin plan to the right - click on it to get larger version in new window.
Other features: dining room, bar, library, lecture hall, indoor pool, sauna, small infirmary with doctor.
Bridge: the bridge is almost always open for passengers, provided some rules on this important working place are respected.
Communication: The radio station is equipped with an IRIDIUM satellite telephone, from which also passengers can make and receive calls during duty hours of the radio station against payment.
Rubber motor boats ("Zodiacs"): not regular equipment on the ship, but provided by the tour operator for expedition cruises and then stored on the front deck, from where they are lowered down and lifted up by the deck crane.
Helicopter: Hangar and helipad for 2 MilMi-3 helicopters earlier, now reduced to 1 MilMi-3 helicopter, which does not belong to the ship, but is chartered from a Russian helicopter company, when needed for a project.