September 8 - Further to our reports of August 24 and September 4, it's mission accomplished for Beluga Shipping as its multipurpose heavy lift project ships Beluga Fraternity and Beluga Foresight have reached their destination of Novyy Port / Yamburg in

The Bremen-based project and heavy lift shipping company has thereby succeeded in sending two merchant vessels through the formerly impenetrable Northeast Passage from Asia to Europe. 

Both vessels had set sail in July from Ulsan in South Korea, to enter the Northern Sea Route via the inspection point at Vladivostok in order to deliver their project cargoes further into the region than any other merchant vessel had been able to do before. Now, 44 cargo modules with single weights of 200 tons or more have been discharged offshore onto barges using the ship's onboard cranes for on-transport to Surgut. 

The two ships will now head to Rotterdam via Murmansk to unload the remaining 3,500 freight tons of construction parts packed in wooden boxes.

"We are all very proud and delighted to be the first western shipping company which has successfully transited the legendary Northeast Passage and delivered the sensitive cargo safely through this extraordinarily demanding sea area", Niels Stolberg president and CEO of Beluga Shipping said. 

"To transit the Northeast Passage so professionally without incidents is the result of our extremely accurate preparation as well as the outstanding team work between our attentive captains, our reliable meteorologists and our engaged crew", added Stolberg. 

During the passage through the East Siberian Sea, the Sannikov Strait and the Vilkizki Strait, the Beluga vessels followed in a little convoy behind Russian Atomflot-ice breakers 50 Let Pobedy and Rossia. Small icebergs, icefields and iceblocks were safely negotiated. 

Now Beluga says that it is already getting ready for further project cargo voyages through the Northeast Passage in 2010 - probably using the new Super Heavy Lift vessels of the Beluga P-class which will be launched from autumn this year.