Nordica, owned and operated by Finnish state firm Arctia Shipping, has been leased to the international oil giant for three years on a part-time basis. Greenpeace says that drilling for oil in the Arctic could greatly damage the environment.
Greenpeace activists staged a protest on Tuesday. At first, a group of 15 activists locked themselves in various parts of the vessel in an attempt to keep it in dock. Once they were removed by police, a new group of activists gathered around the ship on rubber boats and canoes in the evening.
Police detained 39 protesters. The icebreaker set sail at about 10pm.