The Polarstern research vessel

Credits: Tim Kalvelage (Alfred Wegener Institute).

The RV Polarstern is a double-hulled German research icebreaker equipped for sustained operations at temperatures down to -50°C. Originally commissioned in 1982, the Polarstern is, to this day, still one of the most advanced and versatile polar research ships worldwide, and is capable to operate everywhere including pack ice zones. The ship is mainly used for research in the Arctic and Antarctic, and carries the latest equipment and technologies available. In its nine permanent labs, scientists can conduct biological, geological and geophysical, as well as glaciological, oceanographic and meteorological research. Moreover, the ship can be equipped with specific types of labs to address specific expedition objectives. The ship is 118 m long and 25 m wide, and operates an average of 317 days a year. A 20,000 horsepower engine allow her to easily break through 1.5 m thick ice, thicker ice up to 3 m can be overcome by ramming.

Follow the track of the RV Polarstern in real time via