About Us

Company Profile

Martech Polar Consulting, Ltd. is a privately-owned company that provides global ice pilotage and navigation services in accordance with IMO Guidelines for Ships Operating in Polar Waters and Canadian Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Regulations.

Martech Polar’s founder, Captain David (Duke) Snider, is an ice pilot and ice navigator with extensive Arctic and ice navigation experience in Canadian, American and Greenland waters, Arctic and Baltic waters, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. He also has extensive tenure onboard coastal and offshore research vessels as Chief Officer and Master.

As Arctic sea ice and Antarctic continental ice diminishes, the season for accessing these environments lengthens. However, the Polar Regions remain the most remote and challenging areas on the globe, subject to climate extremes and at the furthest limit of logistic support. This poses unique challenges and requires specialized expertise to mitigate danger and maximize efficiency.

Martech Polar’s experience and familiarity in challenging Polar Regions provides clients with the best way forward in ensuring safe and efficient operations. We provide global ice navigation services and support for polar shipping, ice navigation, polar research, expedition logistics support and ice-related consulting services.
As long as Arctic ice exists, it will remain a challenge. Knowing how to identify ice, plan for and execute a transit in ice-infested water, particularly where dangerous multi-year and glacial ice can be encountered, is vital to operations in the Polar Regions.

It takes many years of experience to learn how to identify ice and to safely manoeuvre a vessel in ice-infested waters. It is often a lack of experience in operations in ice-infested waters that results in damage or loss. Many that truly know the Polar Regions accept that the skills and knowledge required to operate there is far and above those held by the average mariner.

Captain David (Duke) Snider brings his extensive experience in polar shipping and as a highly qualified ice navigator to Martech Polar. He also calls on expert mariners with decades of polar shipping experience to ensure continual progress in all aspects of polar shipping and vessel operations.
Martech Polar calls on a core of highly qualified and experienced mariners who are available to provide ice pilotage and ice navigation services worldwide. Our associates are based in North America, New Zealand and Western Europe.

Martech Polar’s associates are experts in:

  • Ice Pilotage and ice navigation
  • Ice physics and dynamics
  • Chartering and brokerage
  • Logistics support
  • Marine engineering with focus on cold climate operations
  • Naval architecture with focus on ice strengthening design
Martech Polar endeavors to ensure continual progress in all aspects of polar shipping and vessel operations. We are dedicated to improving safety at sea, with a particular focus on improving standards of ice navigation.

Captain Snider is the President of the Nautical Institute and Chair of the Ice Navigator Working Group. The Ice Navigator Working Group is tasked with advancing the Nautical Institute's goal establishing a global standard for ice navigators and contributing to safe navigation in ice-covered waters.

CEO, Principal Consultant

Captain David (Duke) Snider
Master Mariner
BA, Maritime Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Captain David (Duke) Snider is a Master Mariner with 33 years at sea. He has served onboard naval, commercial and Coast Guard vessels in Polar Regions, the Baltic, Great Lakes and Eastern North American waters. He retired from Canadian Coast Guard service as Regional Director Fleet Western Region in 2012.

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