Ship Photos of the Day – French Research Vessel ‘Marion Dufresne II’ Sets Sail After Renovation

Marion Dufresne in dock - Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque

The French research vessel, Marion Dufresne II, has left the Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque in northern France after completing a 4-month full overhaul that is expected to extend the vessel’s life by 20 years.

Head of Marketing and Sales at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque, Khalil Benjelloul explains a little more about the work carried out at the yarsd:

“We replaced the vessel’s most important scientific apparatus, the multi-beam sonar. We scrapped the existing equipment, rebuilt the hull and installed a new gondola and control room. Furthermore we completely renewed the ILOT capstan, a system used to take sea water samples, and installed new equipment. The hull has been blasted and repainted as well as some of the ballast tanks. The vessel’s accommodation areas have been redone in cooperation with the client’s subcontractor, this included laboratory facilities used by IPEV scientists. Marion Dufresne II can accommodate 114 passengers or scientific researchers and 46 crew.”

Marion Dufresne dock - Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque

After completing all renovation work on-time, the Marion Dufresne II set sail July 28 for the Port of La Réunion in the southern Indian Ocean where it will resume its logistic and scientific voyage to the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.

The multi-purpose research and supply vessel is owned by French administration Les Terres australes et antarctiques françaises (TAAF) and managed by shipping group CMA CGM. It supplies French southern islands 4 months a year, and carries out oceanographic research 217 days a year under the Institut Polaire Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV).

Departure Marion Dufresne - Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque - 28-07-15

Operating out of the Port of La Réunion (yes, where they have found what is believed to be pieces of MH370), the vessel is used to transport passengers and supplies to the French islands of the Indian Ocean and performs scientific work in all ocean conditions, including ice.

Besides the vessel’s research and scientific capabilities, the multi-purpose vessel is equipped with a heli-deck and can be used as a supply vessel to transport containers and fuel to remote areas.

Marion Dufresne sonar system - Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque

All photos courtesy Damen Shipyards Group