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

Future Call:
Submission deadline on German Research Vessels Portal: August 31, 2020 until 10:00 a.m.
Important note:
The "Cruise Proposal Preparation Instructions" have been updated and the
ship proposals must be composed in accordance with the current version.
GPF Panel session: January 12 - 13, 2021
Feedback to proponents: after February 16, 2021

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
The Status Conference Research Vessels 2020, originally scheduled for March 24-25, 2020, at ICBM Oldenburg, will not be held this year due to the corona pandemic and the continuing contact restrictions. The scientific contributions of the conference were summarized in a conference proceedings, which can be downloaded here.

Ship operation
Due to worldwide travel restrictions, many of the cruises already planned for 2020 can no longer be carried out. The research vessels SONNE, METEOR and MARIA S. MERIAN have returned to Germany and are currently standing by at the port of Emden. From mid-May to mid-June 2020, the research vessels SONNE and MARIA S. MERIAN will be deployed to support the MOSAiC expedition. During this period, planned repair and maintenance work for the FS METEOR will take place at the Emden Dockyard GmbH. If possible, cancelled cruises will be included in the cruise planning again at 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.

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.