the Arctic 2020: The Arctic Today
The past few years have seen the continued decline of Arctic sea ice, with sea ice extents reaching record lows in 2016 and again in 2017 (similar but not record levels were recorded in 2018 and 2019). Low sea ice levels have contributed to both extreme weather events and ecosystem collapse in the northern regions, and opened up the Arctic for increased shipping. In August 2017 a Russian tanker completed the Northern Sea Route without icebreakers—the first ship to do so in history—and a year later the cargo ship Venta Maersk became the first commercial ship to make the route.
22 Aug–28 Sep 2018 Venta Maersk▲
In August 2018 the container vessel Venta Maersk departed the port of Vladivostok, Russia, to navigate the Arctic via the Northern Sea Route in the following month. Although it required some assistance by icebreakers in the East Siberian Sea, Venta Maersk reached Saint Petersburg on the Baltic Sea on 28 September, becoming the first commercial ship to complete the Northern Sea Route.