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A new era for Norwegian Polar research

The new icebreaking research vessel Kronprins Haakon is amongst the most advanced in the world. Today it is being presented in Bergen.

The Kronprins Haakon, which is classified as an icebreaker, is designed to meet both existing and new needs in relation to year-round operation, monitoring and data collection in ice-covered and open waters. While it will be owned by the Norwegian Polar Institute, it will be operated by the Institute of Marine Research. UiT The Arctic University of Norway will be the biggest user of the vessel.

"The Kronprins Haakon has been built to operate in challenging ice conditions, which means it can go further north and south than any other Norwegian research vessel. It is equipped with the very latest high-tech equipment, enabling us to perform more complex studies. It is a large boat capable of withstanding all kinds of weather conditions, and we are planning research missions to both the Arctic and Antarctic", says Anne Husebekk, Rector of UiT

"Norway's decision to invest NOK 1.5 billion in the Kronprins Haakon shows how important the research fleet is to Norwegian marine and Polar research. The vessel will become a floating laboratory and research platform with top-of-the-range technology and represents an important addition to the existing fleet of vessels. Today is an incredibly important day for us", says Sissel Rogne, Director of the Institute of Marine Research.

The ship was built by the Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri and was launched in Italy back in February 2017. Today the ship arrived in Bergen. The vessel has a gross tonnage of around 9,000, is 100 metres long and 21 metres wide, and will be able to accommodate 55 people - scientists, students and crew - in 38 cabins. The hangar in the bow has space for two helicopters and is equipped with complex instruments for studying the marine ecology, morphology and geology of the sea floor. Designed by Rolls-Royce, the ship will have a cruising speed of 15 knots and be capable of breaking through ice up to one metre thick.

"Today the Kronprins Haakon ushers in a new era for the Norwegian Polar research", says Ole Arve Misund, Director of the Norwegian Polar Institute. "As the owner of the Kronprins Haakon, we are proud of this opportunity to help manage Norway's research infrastructure, and this new research vessel is a long-awaited tool that marks the start of a new age for Norwegian Polar research", says Misund.