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OceanXplorer: The world’s most advanced research vessel in action

New-Build
Written by
Charl van Rooy

As system tests on the North Sea continue on the 87-metre expedition yacht OceanXplorer and the vessel draws ever closer to delivery, SuperYacht Times’ Charl van Rooy and photographer Tom van Oossanen rendezvoused with the ship over the North Sea last week to bring you an exclusive closer look at what is described the ‘most advanced research vessel in the world’.OceanXplorer research vessel on the North SeaPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht Times

Video by Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht Times

OceanXplorer started life as the Volstad Surveyor in 2010 and has spent the past two years being transformed into a sophisticated research vessel by Damen in Rotterdam after being acquired by the Dalio family. 

Works are nearing completion and the vessel will set off on its maiden voyage this year – an event that will be chronicled in a six-part documentary series entitled Mission: OceanX, co-produced by OceanX and the BBC with James Cameron for National Geographic.OceanXplorer research vessel on the North SeaPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht TimesOceanXplorer research vessel on the North SeaPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht Times

Most recently, the vessel’s 3.7-ton ROV (Remote Operated Underwater Vehicle) was loaded on board in a dedicated hangar amidships on the starboard side. OceanXplorer’s 40-ton Palfinger A-frame crane has also passed its certification tests this month and the vessel will soon be receiving its two submersibles which form an integral part of the research and content gathering which the ship was designed for. OceanXplorer research vessel on the North SeaPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht TimesOceanXplorer research vessel on the North SeaPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht TimesOceanXplorer research vessel on the North SeaPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht Times

Along with Gresham Yacht Design, OceanXplorer was developed by some of the most experienced expedition mariners and studio production designers in the world, to facilitate some of the most ambitious ocean research and underwater filmmaking projects ever undertaken.

Underwater discoveries will be analysed in the state-of-the-art dry and wet labs on board while OceanXplorer's media studio will be able to document and broadcast the groundbreaking discoveries in ultra-high-definition.OceanXplorer research vessel on the North SeaPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht TimesOceanXplorer research vessel on the North SeaPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht Times

A dedicated hangar on the vast foredeck houses the vessel’s helicopter which will serve an important role in the operation of the vessel and on her many upcoming expeditions in some of the most remote places on the planet. OceanXplorer research vessel on the North SeaPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht TimesOceanXplorer research vessel on the North SeaPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht TimesOceanXplorer research vessel on the North SeaPhoto: Tom van Oossanen / SuperYacht Times

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