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OceanXplorer rebuild completed

The extensive rebuild of cutting-edge research vessel OceanXplorer has been completed at Damen Shipyards Group facility, Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam.

OceanXplorer is now arguably the most advanced exploration, research and media vessel in the world. As OceanX’s new flagship, she builds on the legacy of the organisation’s first vessel, Alucia, taking things to the next level. Equipped with a series of submersibles, sonar arrays, manned submarines, an ROV and AUV, OceanXplorer is able to explore and map the depths of the oceans.

OceanXplorer’s outstanding research facilities are paired with Hollywood quality filming and media studios – developed in partnership with renowned filmmaker James Cameron; discoveries can be live-streamed to audiences worldwide in real-time. The vessel’s facilities include state-of-the-art laboratories, enabling scientists to collect live samples for analysis including DNA sequencing.

The former offshore survey ship  has been rebuilt from the main deck upwards, stripping the existing accommodation and adding a complete new and much larger accommodation to house new laboratories, workshops and submarine hangar.  A fully integrated heli hangar has been added to the superstructure as well as extensions on both sides of the accommodation decks to house new cabins over the (increased) full beam of the vessel.

Damen served as main contractor in this complex and challenging project, fulfilling an extensive scope of work that brought together various disciplines from across Damen Shipyards Group – including offshore and survey newbuild, repair & conversion and yachting specialisms. Following the structural rebuild, the work included overseeing the complete integration of all ship’s systems including specialist hydrographic and laboratory systems and an innovative IT infrastructure to facilitate the combination of state-of-the-art research facilities with the on board Hollywood standard cinematography and media studios.

Tjarco Ekkelkamp, project director for the OceanXplorer project at Damen said, “This has been a challenging project, the result of which we are very proud of. On the one hand, this shows the extensive capabilities of Damen as a group – the powerful synergies within our group, covering both newbuild and repair & conversion capabilities and spanning commercial vessels and superyachts. On the other, this is a vessel that represents a force for good in the world – one that will enhance human involvement, understanding and ultimately conservation of our oceans. With our strong commitment to maritime sustainability, we are delighted to have played our part in the development of OceanXplorer.”

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