The world's biggest shipping firm says it is preparing to send a cargo vessel through the Russian Arctic for the first time – a voyage made possible by melting sea ice.
Janina von Spalding, a spokeswoman for Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on August 23 that the newly designed vessel would embark on "a one-off trial designed to explore an unknown route for container shipping."
Von Spalding said the ship will leave Russia's Pacific port city of Vladivostok around September 1 and was due to arrive in St. Petersburg by the end of September.
Experts say the Northern Sea Route could be a shorter journey from East Asia to Europe than the Northwest Passage over Canada because it will likely be free of ice sooner in the year due to climate change.