Polar research is in many cases dependent on available capacity on research icebreakers. However, only a limited number of these are available worldwide, making the places extremely coveted. Applications for ship time must usually be made at least five years in advance. In order to increase capacity, the Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium ARICE in cooperation with the French expedition tour operator PONANT has launched the program “Ships and Platforms of Opportunity”. Now, for the third time, researchers can submit applications for ship time: For the 2023/2024 Antarctic season and beyond on board PONANT’s tourist expedition vessel “Le Commandant Charcot”.
Proposals to conduct research projects are welcome from all areas of polar science, including marine and terrestrial sciences, including geology and biology. Applications from the social sciences are also accepted. Research activities can be carried out on the northern Antarctic Peninsula, in the Bellingshausen Sea, in Margarite Bay, in the Weddell Sea, on Snowhill Island, on Charcot Island, Peter 1st Island, as well as on Svalbard or the Canadian Peninsula.
The “Le Commandant Charcot” is a state-of-the-art Polar Class 2 icebreaker owned by the French expedition company PONANT. The ship is equipped with scientific laboratories and facilities and will offer up to four scientists the opportunity to participate in its regular voyages to conduct scientific projects, according to the request for proposals. The cabins are provided by PONANT free of charge, only the travel costs and expenses for shipping research equipment have to be covered by the researchers themselves.
One of the main goals of ARICE is to take advantage of the increasing shipping traffic in the polar regions to improve the availability of environmental data for research purposes. The dialogue with the maritime industry established under the project will support a Ships and Platforms of Opportunity program in this area. The cooperation with PONANT is the first joint initiative between ARICE and the maritime industry under the program.
Deadline for submission of proposals: December 20, 2022, 12:00 CET.
Julia Hager, PolarJournal
Link to the call for proposals:://arice-h2020.eu/ships-and-platforms-of-opportunity-call-antarctic-2023-2024/