Norway’s new polar research vessel Kronprins Haakon is one of the world’s most advanced of its kind. It arrived in Norwegian waters and Bergen just before the New year.
The ship, built in Italy, has a price tag of almost 1.5 billion, was launched in Italy in February last year. It was then equipped and tested until it could set its course towards domestic waters, on Wednesday 20 December. Ten days later it arrived in Bergen where it will be tested further for a while. The ship was displayed in Bergen on Tuesday.
Crown Prince Haakon has a gross tonnage of 9,000 tonnes and is 100 meters long and 21 meters wide. She has room for 55 people in total with crews, researchers and students. The ship is built to pass through ice that is one meter thick and has a cruising speed of 15 knots. The ship has space for two helicopters and was designed by Rolls-Royce.
“With Crown Prince Haakon we are launching a new era for Norwegian polar research,” said the Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute, Ole Arve Misund.
The research vessel is owned by the Norwegian Polar Institute and is operated by the Institute of Marine Research, and UiT – Norway’s Arctic University – will become the biggest user.
– Crown Prince Haakon is built for studies under difficult icy conditions, and it can go further north and further south compared to other Norwegian research vessels.
The ship is equipped with state-of-the-art advanced equipment that will help us to make more complex studies. The boat is big and will withstand all possible weather conditions, and we are planning a research trip to both the Arctic and Antarctica, “says Rector of UiT, Anne Husebekk.
The supply of the research vessel has been delayed for a year and a half, and the crew on board is hired by the ship yard in Italy. Only in February, when the ship will formally be taken over by the Norwegian Polar Institute and the Institute of Marine Research, will a Norwegian crew embark.
Then the ship will be tested in northern waters until spring, and is scheduled for its first expedition on July 19th.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today