Results are presented from a sea ice forecasting experiment combined with a field campaign undertaken in the Barents Sea in March 2014. The simulations were performed with the regional coupled atmosphere-sea ice-ocean model HAMMER, recently developed within the project IRO-2 dealing with ice forecast and route optimization. The model HAMMER is driven by the high-resolution forecasts provided by the ECMWF and by results of the Arctic wide ice ocean data assimilation system ICEDAS, ran by project partners. For initial conditions of sea ice thickness and concentration remote sensing information from SMOS and AMSR2 are used. Project partners used the model output to run a ship route optimization system. The experiment took place during a two-week period in March 2014 onboard RV Lance, to test the sea ice prediction system under operational conditions. The model results are compared to ice observations as well as to hydrographic measurements conducted during this cruise. By this means, it was possible to analyze the skill of the model system, and hence, its potential for a customized ship routing under ice conditions.