Poseidon president Nikolay Saveliev said the vessel’s owner, Atomflot, made the decision to extend the tourism use of the vessel earlier this week. According to an Atomflot statement by Andrei Smirnov, deputy director for fleet operations, the extension is related to the earlier-than-planned deployment of a different icebreaker, the Soviet Union.
This will allow 50 Years of Victory to be used for tourism cruises for at least three years beyond 2015.
Earlier, Poseidon Expeditions had announced that following next summer’s departures, the nuclear-powered icebreaker would be used to facilitate scientific exploration and transport in hard-to-reach areas of the Arctic and Northeast Passage.
'The Atomflot announcement came as a surprise, but a very pleasant one,' Saveliev said, adding that Poseidon is currently in negotiations with Atomflot for the additional three seasons. Departure dates and rates beyond the 2015 season are still to be determined.
Poseidon Expeditions has operated 29 North Pole cruises aboard the nuclear icebreakers Yamal and 50 Years of Victory since 2001, and will offer four programs in 2015.