PRV Polarstern

Research vessel for marine exploration
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research – AWI

The Research Vessel Polarstern is a polar vessels of highest class able to operate in the pack ice zone: a double-walled steel hull and 20,000 horsepower allow her to easily break through 1.5-metre-thick ice; thicker ice can be overcome by ramming.

Further, the Polarstern is equipped for sustained operations at temperatures down to -50 degrees Celsius, and can even overwinter in the ice of the polar seas. Polarstern operates an average of 305 days a year, typically cruising in the Antarctic from November to March and pursuing research in the Arctic during the summer months.

It can operate with a crew of up to 44, plus up to 55 researchers and technicians, that can work in nine scientific labs. The ship normally has two helicopters and inflatable boats on board. An onboard computer system ensures that the countless pieces of scientific data from various projects are regularly recorded, saved and, if need be, forwarded. Even if commissioned in 1982, from 1999 to 2001, the ship was refitted to implement the latest technologies available. The ship is owned by the Alfred Wegener Institute that assure its oal and scientific management.

Owner: AWI
Flag: Germany
Year of built: 1982
Place of built:
Polar Class: PC1 – Icebreaker
Lenght(LOA): 118 m
Breadth (mld.): 25 m
Draft: 11.2 m
Deadweight (DWT): 4.374 tons
GRT: 12.640 tons
Accomodation capacity:
43 crews
55 scientists/technicians
Cruise Speed: 12 knot (16 knot max)
Max Endurance: 80 days
IMO: 8013132
Cargo hold: 54 TEU

PRV Polarstern - ARICE

Length (LOA): 118 m / 387 ft
Breadth mld: 25 m / 82 ft
Gross Tonnage: 12.640 tons
Cargo hold: 8 m3 / 54 TEU

Max endurance: 80 days
Main engines power: 19198 PS (four engines)
Range: 19000 nautical miles / 80 days
Cruising speed: 12 Kn (16 max.)

Accomodation capacity:
21 cabins
43 crew
55 scientists/technicians

Public areas:
Messroom and laudry
Leisure areas
Gym and sauna
Changing rooms

PRV Polarstern


Scientific instruments

Virtual tour