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

The global Covid 19 epidemic also has an impact on the allocation of ship time, ship operation and the Status Conference Research Vessels.

Status Conference Research Vessels 2020
Due to the potential risk of infection with the Corona Virus the Status Conference Research Vessels 2020 at the ICBM of the University of Oldenburg, scheduled March 24 - 25, 2020, will be postponed to a later date. Any new information will be given as quickly as possible.

Allocation of ship time
Alternative, electronic procedures to the usual decision-making meetings are currently being developed to ensure smooth assessment within the known deadlines.

Ship operation
Due to increasing entry restrictions worldwide, many of the cruises already planned can no longer be carried out. The research vessels METEOR and MARIA S. MERIAN have aborted their cruise program and are on their way back to Germany. If possible, cancelled cruises will be re-included in the cruise planning at a later date without the need to submit a new cruise proposal. Cruises that were granted in transit tenders and have now been cancelled are cancelled without replacement.

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