On August 17, the icebreaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie successfully completed her first commercial voyage, transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) from Norway to South Korea.
During this voyage, the vessel set a new time record for an NSR transit of just 6 days 12 hours and 15 minutes. Moreover, Christophe de Margerie has also become the world's first merchant vessel to travel the full length of the NSR without any icebreaker escort.
During her record-setting voyage, the LNG carrier covered 2,193 nautical miles from Cape Zhelaniya off the Novaya Zemlya archipelago to Cape Dezhnev at Chukotka, Russia's easternmost continental point.
The vessel proved her ability to operate in harsh, high-latitude environments. Her average speed during the passage exceeded 14 knots, despite the fact that in some areas she had to sail through ice fields 1.2 metres thick.
The total time of the voyage from Hammerfest in Norway to the port of Boryeong in South Korea was 19 days, about 30 per cent faster than the regular southern route through the Suez Canal.