Vessel Profile

Home port:
Zeebrugge, Belgium
Home port Coordinates:
Latitude: 51.3360 Longitude: 3.1986
Organisation & Address:

Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences – Operational Directorate Natural Environment (RBINS-OD Nature)

3de en 23ste Linieregimentsplein, B-8400 Ostend, Belgium

Normal Area of Operation:

80N – 28N & 55W – 36E

North Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Baltic Sea

Max No of EF+ Days:
Vessel details:




Gross Tonnage

Ice class


Service speed

Max No. Scientific


No. of EF+ Scientific Berths







11 kn



Technical Detail

Laboratory Facilities (fixed and temporary):

The ship will have 13 labs (e.g. 5 dry labs, 3 wet labs, one scientific coordination and a data acquisition room) with a total lab space of more than 400 m2. The fish lab will be fitted with a stainless-steel fish sorting system and different freezers (-20°C & 80°C) and refrigerators will be available. There will be deck space for seven gear and lab containers.

AUMS (Autonomous Underway Measurement System): An elaborate “ferrybox” system for measuring physical, biological and chemical seawater properties (temperature, conductivity, salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, chlorophyll, algae classes, fluorescence, dissolved organic matter, pCO2, etc.) with position-controlled automatic water sampler.

See: http://www.belspo.be/belspo/NewRV/specification_en.stm 

CTD/Plankton sampling:

CTD equipment: Sea-Bird SBE19 CTD (2x), Sea-Bird SBE9plus CTD (2x), Sea-Bird SBE21 thermosalinograph (2x), SBE 911 CTD (2x)

Water sampling equipment: Sea-Bird model 32 carousel for 12 10 liter Niskin bottles (2x) and for 24 10 liter Niskin bottles (2x), Various Niskin and Go-Flo water sampling bottles

Thermosalinograph Seabird, 2 x  SBE21, with 2 x temperature sensor SBE38;

Various plankton nets can be deployed.

Multi-Beam(s)/ Sub Bottom profiling:

* Deep Water Multibeam Echo Sounder Kongsberg EM304, 1×1 Degree System

* Parametric Sub-Bottom Profiler TOPAS PS18 System; 

* Shallow Water Multibeam Echo Sounder Kongsberg EM2040-04 Dual SX, Single Swath System;

Fisheries Echo Sounders/Sonar:

* Omnidirectional fishery Sonar Simrad SU90 System;

* Scientific Multibeam Echo Sounder Simrad ME70 System;

* Scientific Split Beam Echo Sounders Simrad EK80, 6 Channel System.


Kongsberg HiPAP 502 system

Coring/Sampling Capabilities:

Coring and sampling capability up to 5000 m water depth. MeBo70 drill rig & BGS RD2 rock drill can be deployed, as well as a 15 m piston corer. All smaller coring and sampling gear can be deployed as well.


3 Cranes (FWD, MID, AFT) – 1.5t, 4t, 8t

2 CTD Winches (STBD) – AHC – 5500 m

Multifunctional Winch (STBD) – 5500 m

Hydrographic Winch (AFT/STBD) – 5500 m

2 Trawl Winches – 40t – 5500 m

Net Drum Winch – 30t – 10 m2

Split Net Drum Winch – 30t – 8 m2 each

Net Sonde Winch – 4.2t – 5500 m

2 Gilson Winches – 10t – 200 m

CTD Gantry & LARS (STBD)

2 STBD T-frame Gantries – 15t

AFT A-Frame – 30t



Special features:

Silent (DNV-GL Silent-R) & ice-strengthened multidisciplinary research vessel that is purposely build to deploy all large (and small) existing European marine research equipment (ROVs, AUVs, drill rigs, etc.).

ICOS AUMS underway system

Suitable for:

Suitable for all kinds of research campaign from the shelf (10 m water depth) to “full” ocean depth (5000 m water depth):

  • Oceanographic surveys
  • Fishery surveys
  • ROV, AUV, USV & UAV surveys
  • Geologic incl. seismic survey
  • Biological surveys
  • Hydrographic surveys
  • Chemistry surveys
Scientific Limitations:

All systems up to 105 ton total deck load can be deployed.

Vessel capability to support ROV deployment:

All large EU research ROVs can be deployed (ROV Victor, ROV Quest, ROV Kiel 6000, ROV Holland I, etc.).

Support Offered to EurofleetsPlus Users:

All vessel equipment will be made available to EurofleetsPlus Users on request.  Technical support on vessel equipment will be available during the entire survey.

Vessel availability by location and by year/time of year for Eurofleets+:



Availability by Month

Ports of operation in the period of availability


See RV Belgica

See RV Belgica

See RV Belgica









Contact Details

Applicants are welcomed to discuss the initial feasibility of their work while they prepare their application with the operator of RV Belgica at e-mail address: Lieven.Naudts@naturalsciences.be

Medical certification required for joining the vessel and the list of acceptable certificates.

No certification required. Any possible health issues should be discussed prior to the campaign with the Coordinator RV Belgica and the Commander RV Belgica.

Are additional medical checks required

No medical checks required. Any possible health issues should be discussed prior to the campaign with the Coordinator RV Belgica and the Commander RV Belgica.

Survival training certification required for joining vessel

List of acceptable equivalent certification:

No certification requirements.

Additional certification required e.g. Ship security awareness / other

No certification requirements.

Diplomatic clearance required for area of operation

Yes, for operation in neighbouring EEZ’s e.g. UK, France, Netherlands, Spain, Ireland (and others as applicable).  Required to be submitted to MSO@naturalsciences.be  6 months prior to cruise

Additional clearances required for area or type of activity

Requirements for other jurisdictions to be addressed via the diplomatic clearance process.

RV Belgica is a silent multidisciplinary oceanographic & fisheries research vessel built in 2020. 

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