Built to escort merchant marine flotillas through the pack ice of the Russian Arctic, Khlebnikov became an expedition vessel in 1991. Since that date, the 112-guest, polar-class icebreaker has earned a reputation unequalled by any other expedition vessel. Kapitan Khlebnikov has garnered more polar firsts than any other passenger ship. Khlebnikov circumnavigated the Antarctic continent, twice. The ship was the platform for the first tourism exploration of the Dry Valleys. The icebreaker has transited the Northwest Passage more than any other expedition ship in history.