The Polaris is 110 meters long and 24 meters wide. The vessel, which has been tailor-made for the demanding conditions of the Baltic, is expected to be used for 50 years.
Arctia, owned by the Finnish state, is responsible for ensuring winter navigation to and from Finland's ports, all of which run the risk of freezing and becoming inaccessible during particularly cold winters. Arctia plans to completely update its icebreaker fleet by 2029, which is estimated to cost about €1bln.
In the summer of 2016, the prolongation of Archtech's land-use lease by the City of Helsinki triggered concern due to the fact that the company has been on the US sanctions list since Crimea's re-unification of Russia. According to Helsinki City Board member Hannu Oskala, Finland need not take US sanctions into account, since the shipyard "concentrates on what it does best: civilian vessels."
To celebrate the 100-year-jubilee of Finland's independence, the Polaris was adorned with centennial decorations. Finland's first icebreaker, the Murtaja, predates Finnish independence and began its operations back in 1890, when the Grand Duchy of Finland was still part of the Russian Empire.