The MV Polar Pioneer was built in Finland 40 years ago. It is one of 10 Akademik Shuleykin-class ships built in the mid-1980s for the Soviet Union's oceanographic research purposes. Originally, the ship was an ice-strengthened research vessel with ice class 1A Super, suitable for navigation in polar regions with heavy sea ice. From the mid-1990s, about half of these very solid ships were used as chartered polar expedition vessels.
Today, three of them are still in operation, with MV Polar Pioneer being the only ship in the Atlantic, the Arctic and the Antarctic Peninsula. After being decommissioned since the end of 2019 due to structural changes, the ship has now been reborn and returned to the expedition business in June with several successful voyages in Svalbard, accommodating up to 53 passengers. What makes the MV Polar Pioneer so special is that she is a true expedition ship, able to reach places that larger vessels simply cannot. But she is still big enough for guests to feel comfortable during the voyage. And thanks to the highest ice class, she has no problems venturing into the ice.
To ensure operation, especially in the ice, the engine and powertrain must be extremely reliable and easily repairable in some of the most remote places on earth. A very crucial part in the drive train is the Geislinger BE coupling. With well over 100,000 hours of operation, it has been running unchanged since the ship was delivered 40 years ago. Below is a picture of such a BE 56/15/3 coupling during maintenance, which even under such extreme conditions still lives up to its claims of longevity and durability, and has done so for so long.
The nameplate still shows the old name of the Geislinger company, "Dr.-Ing. Geislinger & Co". So this coupling is a fully functional, living part of Geislinger history and a perfect example of Geislinger's "BUILT TO LAST" strategy: it has been running for 40 years with very low maintenance costs and continues to do so...
Further information about Geislinger steel spring couplings can be found here: Geislinger Coupling
And for more information about the ship see also: Polar Pioneer Management
See also: Geislinger coupling in operation in Arctic and Antarctic regions