When Arctic offshore development in the 1970s first led to consideration of ice capable tankers, there was a high level of uncertainty over design requirements for both safety and ship performance, and a lack of reliable methods to evaluate design proposals. Since that time, improved understanding of the ice environment has raised the confidence of design specifications. Parallel developments have resulted in a suite of engineering tools for ship performance evaluation at the design stage. Recent development of offshore and near shore oil and gas reserves in several countries, together with economic studies of increased transportation through the Russian Arctic, led to renewed interest in ice capable tanker design. In response, Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) applied its experience in tanker design and construction to the design of a specialized tanker with ice capability. SHI produced two prototype hull designs for further study. The performance of both hulls and of the propellers was evaluated at the Institute for Ocean Technology (IOT) in St. John’s, Newfoundland. This paper discusses the development of the design, describes the model experiments to determine performance and variations, and presents the results. It shows how physical modeling can provide insight into design features, and points out the areas where further research will have the greatest effect.