Icebreakers and ice-capable ships are perfectly suited for harsh sea environments. Their strength, power, missions, equipment and sea operation capabilities differentiate them from any other vessel.

Providing support to ships in ice-infested waters, often at temperatures as low as -50°C, icebreakers are essential to safe navigation and commerce in challenging weather conditions such as in eastern Canada, the Great Lakes and the Baltic Sea.

Ice-capable ships are heavy, expensive and highly powered vessels compared with their open-water equivalents. They must be able to endure ice impact loads and possess the power and strength to move through the ice without breaking down or getting stuck.

VARD designs for ferry systems, coast guards, navies and cruise ship lines.

VARD high-performance ice-strengthened vessels portfolio of includes:

  • Research vessels
  • Offshore support and patrol vessels
  • Roll-on / roll-off (RoRo) / roll-on / roll-off passenger (RoPax) ferries
  • General cargo
  • Cruise ships

VARD’s decades of experience, designing icebreakers and ice-capable ships for the Arctic, Antarctic and sub-polar regions of the world, positions the company at the forefront of the field.

VARD works with clients to ensure the company’s designs reflect customer’s requirements and priorities. The designs for these complex vessels focus on safety, efficiency, environmental protection and the comfort of all people on board.

The company’s goal is to design a ship that is uniquely fit for the client’s purpose and delivers the utmost value for the cost.

While working with VARD, the client becomes a part of an integrated project team that benefits from the company’s technical understanding and experience, as well as the client’s in-depth knowledge of a specific mission.

VARD identifies the right set of features for the client’s vessel, based on the extensive collection of full and model-scale performance data on the company’s designs, ships and other icebreakers.

The marine engineering expert evaluates the relative cost and capability of each feature and variable such as fuel consumption and length of a mission to help the client define their requirements.

VARD also considers each project’s potential impact on local environments and communities and strives to reduce the harmful effects.

This collaborative approach ensures the delivery of design with the greatest operational benefit that adheres to shipyard construction requirements and can be produced within the client’s time and cost framework.

VARD’s expertise is valued by regulatory bodies such as Arctic Council with regards to consulting on standards and regulations for polar shipping, including the IMO Polar Code and Canadian Arctic Shipping regulations (ASPPR).

Local stakeholders such as the Inuit Circumpolar Council and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) also seek VARD’s advice on environmental protection, sustainable development and other policy and regulatory issues, affecting the polar marine environment.