A ship is an investment and built to create revenue. The decision whether the design of a ship is realized or not is therefore strongly affected by the natural obstacles of mission and route. The occurrence of ice along arctic routes is such an obstacle and affects significantly the resistance and the required propulsion power. Advanced simulation environments, such as panel methods or CFD do not exist yet for ice resistance calculations and hence semi-empirical formulations or model tests need to be employed to assess or validate a design. Ice model tests impose great expenses in terms of time and money, which often does not allow testing design variations. On the other hand, the results of semi-empirical formulas might be accompanied by significant uncertainties. The academic study presented in this paper is a transit simulation on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) for the ice-capable tanker MT Varzuga (formerly MT Uikku). The study evaluates the ice conditions along several NSR alterations and the ice resistance-related performance with available semi-empirical methods and ice model tests. Finally, the economic impact of the applied ice resistance prediction methods is evaluated and the differences are quantified.

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