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Ice Class Ship

Antarctic I Polar-Class Icebreaker (ICE CLASS SHIP)
Antarctic I Polar-Class Icebreaker

What is ice class ship?

As we know there are different type of ships involved in merchant navy like LNG carrier bulk carrier etc. One of the special types of vessel is ice class ship or known as ice breaker basically a vessel with some specified characteristics comes under ice class.

Ice breaker or ice class vessel is a special type of vessel mainly designed to trade in the region which has ice routs like breaking the hard ice sheets or sail in the icy water of arctic region etc. This type of ship has nothing but given additional strength to carry out the necessary operations some of the rules for ice vessel and there regulations are give in ICE CLASS rules by IMO and the state of flag in which it is sailing.

When the ship is sailing in icy water there is some point that we should take under consideration like,

  • The structure of the ship i.e. the strength and the design of the hull should be strong and good enough to break the ice and sail throw it without damaging the structure of the ship.
  • The machinery like engine, boiler and all other auxiliary machineries should be able to operate under sub zero temperature without being getting tampered.
  • The deck and the ship structure must go through heavy snowfall.
  • Less visibility issues should be considered. 

What are the requirements for a vessel to become an ice class ship?

The requirements are as follows-

General requirements

The ice class ship should have the good structure that is able to take the load of local ice breaking as well as the polar ice breaking.  

The entire hull of the ship structure should be strong enough to sail without damaging the hull of ship.

Material used in ship making

The material used in ship making should be strong and resistance to operate in that area.

Material should have strength more than ice and dubitable enough to match the ship structure.

It should be anti-corrosive and anti-abrasion.


The accommodation is designed in such a way that the seafarer should not get injured during ice break and normal operations also, it should provide favourable condition to work in subzero temperature.

According to IMO ship polar class requirement the crew should get enough facility to maintain their life with ease without any discomfort.


Windows in the bridges should be able to clear snow, mist, rain, fog etc.

All the life boat should be partially or totally enclosed according to SOLAS rules and IMO regulations.

There should be adequate number of thermal protections on board for every working crew.

Ice breaker, a kind of equipment used to break the ice on deck.

Operation and manning

The ship should have the modern navigation equipments that receive the ice and the weather condition while transiting.

Must have the polar ship certificate and the manual of operation in polar waters. The crew on board should have the tanning for polar water sea services.

Environmental protection

As we know the melting of the glacier on the poles is very bad for the environment for that the vessel trading there should take measure to protect it by maintaining rules and regulations by safe practicing ballast water management, emission from ship etc.

1 D Class ice ship

Class 1D is a class of ice class ship made of steel plancius region has the 1D class of ice ship.
The D refers for protective skin and double skin hull.
This type of ship has a very high strength in the forward only and they sail in the light and very light condition they may have a fixed rout or a specified rote of sailing considering the season of sailing this ship has been classified by the Lloyd register based on the Baltic sea and arctic sea they usually sail in the first-year ice.

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