Icebreaking polar class research vessels: New Antarctic fleet capabilities

Rogan-Finnemore, Michelle; Ojeda, Miguel; Acosta, Jorge Manuel Paz; Bretel, Patrice; Browne, Nick; Flått, Stig; Wang, Shuoren; Sliester, Randolph. 2021 Icebreaking polar class research vessels: New Antarctic fleet capabilities. Polar Record, 57, e46. 9, pp.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
Text (Open Access)
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
icebreaking_polar_class_research_vessels_new_antarctic_fleet_capabilities.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (742kB) | Preview


Supporting Antarctic scientific investigation is the job of the national Antarctic programmes, the government entities charged with delivering their countries’ Antarctic research strategies. This requires sustained investment in people, innovative technologies, Antarctic infrastructures, and vessels with icebreaking capabilities. The recent endorsement of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Polar Code (2015) means that countries must address challenges related to an ageing icebreaking vessel fleet. Many countries have recently invested in and begun, or completed, builds on new icebreaking Polar research vessels. These vessels incorporate innovative technologies to increase fuel efficiency, to reduce noise output, and to address ways to protect the Antarctic environment in their design. This paper is a result of a Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs (COMNAP) project on new vessel builds which began in 2018. It considers the recent vessel builds of Australia’s RSV Nuyina, China’s MV Xue Long 2, France’s L’Astrolabe, Norway’s RV Kronprins Haakon, Peru’s BAP Carrasco, and the United Kingdom’s RRS Sir David Attenborough. The paper provides examples of purposeful consideration of science support requirements and environmental sustainability in vessel designs and operations.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0032-2474
Additional Keywords: Antarctic; Icebreakers; Polar Class vessels; National Antarctic programmes
Date made live: 06 Dec 2021 11:29 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...