Operation Area of the Vessels

German Research Vessels Portal

In the field of basic marine research, Germany has a very efficient fleet of research vessels at its disposal. As universal platforms, the vessels facilitate research in all marine science disciplines and in the waters of all oceans.

This portal provides a platform for scientists working at publicly funded research institutions (universities, institutions of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, institutions of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Association, institutes of the Max Planck Society, and subordinate federal authorities) to submit cruise proposals for the research vessels POLARSTERN, METEOR, SONNE, MARIA S. MERIAN, ALKOR, HEINCKE, and ELISABETH MANN BORGESE. Proposals for secondary use of RV POLARSTERN are accepted also from scientists who are employed at a research institution outside Germany. The decision on which research groups will be allocated access to the research vessels is made in the framework of an evaluation procedure based on scientific criteria.

The evaluation of cruise proposals is carried out by a joint evaluation process since autumn 2017. For further information, please refer to the subpage "Evaluation".

Short cruise of one to three working days aiming at the test of scientific equipment under development can be requested directly at the ship operators (see subpage "Contact").

News and Announcements

Research Capacities RV METEOR

M171/2

In connection with a necessary transit from Catania (Italy) – Walvis Bay (Namibia), there are unused research capacities available on RV METEOR in the time period from January 13, 2021 to February 06, 2021. The direct transit to Walvis Bay takes 21 days. Depending on the proposed research program and resulting deviations from the direct route up to 2 working days can be applied for.

M176/2

In connection with a necessary transit from Las Palmas (Spain) – Cape Town (South Africa), there are unused research capacities available on RV METEOR in the time period from August 17, 2021 to September 3, 2021. The direct transit to Cape Town takes 18 days. Depending on the proposed research program and resulting deviations from the direct route up to 2 working days can be applied for.

Research Capacities RV MARIA S. MERIAN

MSM95/2

In connection with a necessary transit from Barranquilla (Columbia) to Santos (Brazil), there are unused research capacities available on RV MARIA S. MERIAN in the time period from November 14, 2020 to December 3, 2020. The direct transit from Barranquilla to Santos takes 17 days. There are 2 additional workdays available.

The following conditions apply here:

  • It is very likely that the entire equipment has to be stowed in St Johns.
  • There might still be changes to the cruise schedule by a couple of days.
  • The cruise has to take place in international waters, as the GPF decision will only be announced after the diplomatic 6 month time-limit. 

MSM97/2

In connection with a necessary transit from Montevideo (Uruguay) to Walvis Bay (Namibia), there are unused research capacities available on RV MARIA S. MERIAN in the time period from February 18, 2021 to March 7, 2021. The direct transit from Montevideo (Uruguay) to Walvisbay (Namibia) takes 15 days. There are 2 additional workdays available.

Cruise Proposals in this context can be submitted until February 28, 2020 via the Submission System of the Portal Forschungsschiffe.

Announcement of the Status Conference Research Vessels 2020

From March 24 to 25, 2020 the Status Conference Research Vessels 2020 will take place at the Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment (ICBM) in Oldenburg. Two years after completion of the cruises with the research vessels SONNE, METEOR and MARIA S. MERIAN, the chief scientists are asked to give an account of the scientific success of their cruise. As part of the conference, three parallel sessions in the fields of biology, oceanography an geology will be held, in which the results of expeditions with the research vessels SONNE, MARIA S. MERIAN and METEOR will be presented. The program is complemented by a poster session - combined with a prize for the best poster, which is selected by an expert jury.

Online Registration Platform

Decommission of RV POSEIDON
RV POSEIDON will be decommissioned in December 2019. As of now, no cruise proposals for RV POSEIDON will be accepted anymore.

Future Call:
Submission deadline on German Research Vessels Portal: February 28, 2020 until 10:00 a.m.
GPF Panel session: June 04-05, 2020
Feedback to proponents: after July 03, 2020