Damen shipyard renovates French research vessel

By Vessels

France’ famous research vessel Marion Dufresne II has completed its renovation in Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque in northern France. Lately after the completion of the upgrade, sea trials were conducted to measure the vessel’s performance on water.

The Marion Dufresne II was delivered according to the schedule and it was bounded for the port of La Reunion, where the ship will start again its logistic and scientific journey to the French Southern and Antarctic sea regions.

Khalil Benjelloul, at Damen Shiprepair Dunkerque, said:

“The excellent cooperation between the yard and the vessel’s crew was important in this project’s successful planning, coordination and execution. We rebuilt a large part of the vessel within four months to extend its life by 20 years. The client was satisfied with our performance, cooperation and the end result.”

The ship’s renovation included installation of a new gondola and control room, rebuilding of the hull and the most important task was the installation of new multi-beam sonar, which was replaced. The multi-beam sonar is the most important scientific equipment on board the research vessel.

Another change that has been made is the replacement of the ILOT capstan with a new equipment. The system is used to take sea water samples. Ship’s hull and the ballast tanks were blasted and repainted. Some improvements in the accommodation areas have also been done, according to the requirements and needs for use of the client’s subcontractor, such as laboratory facilities that can be used by IPEV scientists.


The Marion Dufresne is a multi-purpose vessel, built in 1995 Snach (Societe Nouvelle Des Ach Le Havre). The vessel is owned by the French administration “Les Terres australes et antarctiques françaises” (TAAF) and managed by CMA CGM.

Four months of the year, the research vessel supplies French southern islands. Approximately 217 days per year the ship carries out oceanographic research under the responsibility of the Institut Polaire Paul-Emile Victor (IPEV).