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Marion Dufresne II

Oceanographic Research Vessel

Marion Dufresne Oceanographic Research Vessel

R/V Marion Dufresne II
Oceanographic Research Vessel
(Photograph: courtesy of IFRTP)
click to view photo gallery

Named after the French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne (1724-1772), R/V Marion Dufresne II is a multi-purpose, 120½-meter (395.3 ft.) long, research and supply vessel having two main missions: logistics for the French Austral Islands and oceanographic research. Specifically designed for very severe weather conditions, she benefits from an exceptional sea behavior – allowing full performance in rough seas.

The vessel is equipped with the full suite of geophysical facilities (including multi-beam bathymetry and imagery) and has unique capabilities for raising long sediment cores, up to 60 meters (her record core being 58 meters). With a capacity for 110 passengers, the Marion allows large scientific parties to embark on multidisciplinary programs.

The Marion Dufresne (IMO 9050814) is chartered by the TAAF (Territoire des Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises) on an annual basis from the shipping line CMA-CGM (Compagnie Maritime d'Affrètement - Compagnie Général Maritime). The ship was constructed by Ateliers et Chantiers du Havre (Normandy) and delivered on 12 May 1995; it is registered out of the port of Marseille, France, but its base of operations is the island of La Réunion.

[Ed. notes: The slightly smaller Marion Dufresne I (IMO 7208388) served the TAAF from 1973 to 1995 – replacing her predecessor, the Galliéni (1956-'73). After being decommissioned by the TAAF, she sailed under a Maltese flag as the Fres (possibly by painting over the other letters in 'Marion DuFRESne'?), in the capacity of a cable- and pipe-laying vessel. On 22 June 2004, she was taken to a marine salvage yard in Alang (India) to be broken up.]

The ship's power plant

The Marion Dufresne's smooth, vibration-free propulsion is provided by three 8,125-hp Cegelec electric motors – one forward (750 kW bow thruster) and two aft (AC synchronous electric propulsion motors: 2,650 kW ea) – manufactured by GEC Alsthom Moteurs* of Nancy, France (Meurthe-et-Moselle department of Lorraine). Power for the motors is generated by one 6-cylinder (6R32D) and two 8-cylinder (8R32D) diesel engines, manufactured by Wärtsilä (Helsinki, Finland).

[*Ed. notes: GEC Alsthom, whose history dates back to Compagnie Générale Électrique (1898), was renamed Cegelec Moteurs in 1989, then ALSTOM Moteurs in 1998 (dropping the 'h' from 'Alsthom'). The factory moved to Champigneulles (Meurthe-et-Moselle) in 2001-2002 and was renamed Converteam Motors in 2005, when it was acquired in a leveraged buyout by Barclays Private Equity. General Electric Co. of Fairfield, Connecticut (USA), agreed to purchase most of Converteam from Barclays in 2011.]

The Marion Dufresne\'s Eurocopter Ecureuil AS 350 B2 F-ODLI on Kerguelen, flown by Pascal Brun

The Marion Dufresne's Eurocopter
Ecureuil AS 350 B2 F-ODLI
on Kerguelen, flown by Pascal Brun
(Photograph by Jean-Michel Bergougniou)

Service in the Indian and Southern Oceans

While the TAAF also includes Terre Adélie in Antarctica and five islands near Madagascar, the Marion Dufresne is used to service the districts of Crozet, Kerguelen and the little islands of Amsterdam and St-Paul – delivering supplies, fuel, and personnel to the three permanently manned bases: Alfred-Faure, Port-aux-Français, and Martin de Viviès, respectively. (see route map)

Because some of the island ports are too shallow, or there are no ports at all, the Marion utilizes one of a series of helicopters to ferry provisions and personnel to and from the bases. These may include the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin, Eurocopter Écureuil AS 350 B2, and Aérospatiale Alouette II or III. They are leased from HeliLagon on Réunion.

The Marion also carries a complement of several boats on board – which can be used for rescue missions, deployment of personnel and cargo to islands equipped with a dock or pontoon, access to undeveloped shoreline areas, repairing buoys, and a multitude of other purposes. The largest of these vessels is the container barge Gros Ventre ("Fat Belly"); others include a small utility boat, a semi-rigid rubber raft, and a zodiac.

Rescue missions

From time to time, the Marion will play a role in saving mariners from the plights of seafaring. As recently as 15 December 2008, the ship was involved in rescuing Bernard Stamm, whose boat ran aground near the islands of Kerguelen during the Vendée Globe, a prestigious round-the-world single-handed yacht race. The monocoque "Cheminées Poujoulat" (named after its sponsor, a French manufacturer of residential chimneys) had embarked on the race from Sables-d'Olonne (La Vendée) in France on 9 November 2008, but ran into trouble during high winds in the South Ocean. Having sustained significant hull damage, it was hoisted on board the Marion and brought to La Réunion. (see photo gallery)

TAAF crews prepare to remove refuse from the Scattered Islands to the Marion Dufresne.

TAAF crews prepare to remove
refuse from the Scattered Islands
to the Marion Dufresne.
Photographer: Benoit Gysembergh
(click to view photo gallery)

Taking out the trash... hundreds of tons at a time

Where humans go, rubbish tends to follow – and the small scientific communities of the TAAF are no exception. Given their remote island settings, keeping the delicate ecosystems pristine can pose somewhat of a logistical challenge. After all, their connection to recycling and disposal facilities requires ferrying material by one tiny helicopter or a utility boat to the Marion Dufresne, which then hauls it all back to La Réunion for processing.

On 13 May 2009, Le Quotidien de la Réunion (daily newspaper) reported that the Marion Dufresne had just completed a massive reclamation project: removing nearly 500 tons of rubbish (fr. déchets) from three of the Scattered Islands (fr. Îles Éparses) in the Indian Ocean: Europa, Juan de Nova, and Les Îles Glorieuses (Glorioso Islands).

A later TAAF report puts the total of collected waste somewhat higher: 600 tons of ferrous metal, 14 tons of batteries, 2 tons of oil, 6½ tons of kerosene – much of it abandoned more than 50 years ago – including the remains of a rusted 1966 lighthouse on Juan de Nova. The report also added a fourth island to the reclamation effort, Tromelin. (see map)

The ambitious project, which lasted from 18 April to 13 May, 2009, also included a secondary mission: the implementation of a floating scientific platform containing 17 different oceanographic applications. According to the TAAF, "This exceptional operation, which was both a logistical and technical challenge, fully completed its objectives. It confirms the strategic and ecological importance of these islands, sentinels of world biodiversity."

Marion Dufresne II – General characteristics & Facilities
4,900 tons (empty)
10,380 tons (full load)
  Speed (knots):
13.5 (low consumption speed)
15.7 (cruising speed)
17.0 (full speed)
120.50 meters (395.3 ft.)
2 months
20.60 meters (67.6 ft.)
10 officers, 20 seamen, 20 Malagasy day laborers
6.95 meters (22.8 ft.)
Aircraft landing:
1 heliport on aft deck
+ 1 helicopter hangar
three Wärtsilä diesel engines,
8,250 kW electrical production capability;
three Cegelec electric motors;
two propeller shafts, two flap rudders, one bow thruster
110 passengers in 59 cabins;
cargo: 2500 tons, 5600m³ (197,760 cu. ft.) or 110 standard 20-ft. containers;
fuel: 1170m³ (41,318 cu. ft.)
three GPS navigation systems & SkyFix differential correction; doppler speed log, gyro compass, time server; Applanix "Pos MV 320" attitude control and navigation; Posidonia USBL (ultra-short baseline) underwater acoustic positioning; Simrad Albatross dynamic positioning system (DPS)
Aanderaa central weather station and acoustic anemometer; two distribution circuits of "clean" sea water to laboratories; two continuous thermosalinographs (TSGs); two Teledyne RDI Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP); three bathymetric sounders, one CTD rosette/ carousel (24 bottles)
dual-frequency (3.5 &/or 12 kHz) sea bottom profiler coupled with Thomson "TSM 5265B" (SF11 rev. 2) multibeam echosounder (MBES); analog echo sounder (3.5, 12 and 18 KHz); ODEC "Bathy-2000" monobeam echo sounder (3.5, 12, 18 and 34 KHz); Geometrics "G886" marine proton magnetometer; LaCoste & Romberg "S77" gravimeter (Rev. 2: digital and laser gyros); two Luchard seismic compressors
Information Technology and

data acquisition and archiving, video control room, 10/100 Ethernet network, intranet; workstations (Sun, HP, IBM), desktops (DOS/Windows & Mac), printers and plotters; software: MATLAB, Generic Mapping Tools (GMT), Ifremer CARAIBES RT-PP sea floor mapping software; two Inmarsat systems (M and B), one Iridium phone, one marine VHS transceiver; batched e-mail and data transmission via 64 kbps Inmarsat-B
Heavy lifting:
two fast 25-ton cranes (45 tons when coupled), one logistic/ oceanographic 18-ton crane, one 3-ton service crane
giant Calypso piston corer (Kullenberg type, adjustable 2- to 12-tons, round, 70m long; fr. carottier); CASQ square gravity corer (25x25cm x12m long)
31 laboratories with 650m² (6,997 sq. ft.) total surface area + possibility of additional lab containers on bridges and helicopter platform; video/conference center; library; gym; boutique; hospital with operating theatre; pharmacy.

Climactic conditions in the Southern Ocean

Traveling to the districts of Crozet and Kerguelen takes the ship through the Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties, latitudes in the Southern Ocean where much greater wind speeds are able to build – compared to the same region of the Northern Hemisphere – due to the relative lack of any land masses below the 40th parallel. Wind speeds of 62 mph (100 kph) or greater occur during 100 days of the year at Crozet. As a result, it is not unusual for the ocean waves here to whip up as high as three-story buildings, dwarfing all but the largest of ships.

Eco-tourism on the rise

Like its Australian counterpart the Aurora Australis, the Marion carries its quota of scientists, logisticians, construction workers, and a smattering of doctors (the ship has a hospital with operating room). In recent years, the Marion has also played host to a limited number of tourists (8-12 per trip) who book passage for a voyage lasting 25-29 days (15+ days on the water). The cost in 2019 is generally €8,670 pp double occupancy, €17,340 pp for an individual cabin – not including airfare, insurance, or incidentals. (See the TAAF web site; write to tourisme.info@taaf.fr or tourisme.boutique@taaf.re for up-to-date information.)

The ship's cabin appointments are austere but comfortable, and several forms of recreation are available on board: badminton, chess, darts, foosball, swimming (in an extremely small pool), table tennis, a variety of exercise equipment, and volleyball. There is also a lively and convivial bar (known as the 'Forum'), a video/conference room, library, boutique, and laundry facilities.

While the ship's sleeping quarters may rank somewhere between a hostel and a 1-star hotel, the gastronomical fare on board is a different matter entirely. Meals served on the Marion Dufresne are considered to be of excellent quality, receiving accolades from both tourists and scientific personnel. The ship's well-appointed dining room can seat up to 58 at a time (meals are served in two shifts).

A 9,000-km (5,590 mi.) passage includes guided tours of Crozet, Kerguelen, and Amsterdam Islands – with ample opportunities to view the local wildlife. (Since 2007, Saint-Paul has been declared a nature preserve, and landing there is no longer permitted except by scientists.) Bring plenty of warm clothing, and at least a 4-week supply of dimenhydrinate (common brand: Dramamine) to combat seasickness!

World-wide research projects

Facing an increasing scientific demand, the French Ministry of Research decided in 1999 to reduce the ship time devoted to logistical operations to 120 days per year and allow the French Polar Institute (IPEV: Institut polaire français Paul-Émile Victor) to conduct research in all oceans, world-wide, 245 days a year.

Therefore, the ship is no longer confined to the Indian Ocean (for example, several months in 1999 were spent coring for paleo-climatic purposes in the North Atlantic). This paves the road for new approaches and the development of integrated, multidisciplinary programs, as evidenced by the MD120-ANTAUS expedition.

Accidents & mishaps

As the calamitous toppling of the Costa Concordia off the coast of Isola del Giglio (Tuscany) on 13 January 2012 will attest, navigation mishaps can occur with any ship – and the Marion Dufresne is no exception. Unlike the cruise ship, however, there were no lives lost when the TAAF's supply and research vessel struck a shoal off the shores of Île de la Possession (Crozet) on the night of 13-14 November 2012, causing significant damage to its hull.

The waters surrounding Crozet Archipelago, like those of many other remote islands in the Southern Ocean, are not particularly well-charted and therefore present certain navigation hazards for even the most experienced commanders – even during good weather. An investigation of the incident has not definitively established whether any operator error was involved in this case. A similar accident had occurred in 2005.

At the time, Marion Dufresne was conducting its re-supply mission called OP3 (opération portuaire #3), the busiest provisioning trip of the year when scientific personnel, food and other supplies are delivered for the austral summer season. OP4, scheduled for December 2012, as well as a number of planned scientific missions, were cancelled as a result of the mishap.

The France Telecom cable-laying ship Leon Thevenin.

The France Télécom cable-laying ship Léon
Thévenin moored in the Baie des Marins
(Crozet) near the Marion Dufresne.
Photographer: Franck Theron
(click to view gallery)

Damage to the ship involved an 82-foot (25-meter) gash in its port bow, filling two watertight compartments, and disabling the bow thruster. With no injuries reported, 97 passengers (including 9 tourists) and 25 of the 48 crew members were evacuated by helicopter to the Alfred-Faure station on Crozet, until a contingent of engineers could be dispatched on the Coral Sea from Mauritius to inspect the ship's condition and effect temporary repairs. A skeleton crew of 23 remained on board to assure the ship's safety while moored in the Baie des Marins.

The cable-laying ship Léon Thévenin, belonging to France Télécom Marine, was sent from South Africa to repatriate all passengers who were not part of Alfred-Faure's summer personnel; it took that ship four days to reach Crozet.

Following a determination of seaworthiness and with a temporary navigation certificate issued by Bureau Veritas, the Marion Dufresne departed on 24 November – escorted by the Coral Sea – to the Elgin Brown & Hamer shipyard in Durban, South Africa, for repairs. (Its home port on La Réunion is not equipped for such operations.)

Total costs for restoring the vessel – plus passenger repatriation, tourist refunds, ship escort and related expenses – were reported at nearly €3 million. Repairs were completed and the ship left Durban to resume its normal duties on 30 January 2013, arriving first at La Réunion on 5 February; re-supply missions to the TAAF resumed in mid-March 2013.

Track the ship's location in Google Earth

Using Google Earth, it is possible to retrace the recent ocean course and pinpoint the current location for both the Marion Dufresne and the TAAF's other ship, L'Astrolabe (which serves Terre Adélie). If you have not already downloaded this free application, you can do so here.

  • After installing the Google Earth application, click here to download the applicable plug-in (a "kml" file).
  • From within the Google Earth program, open ("File/Open") the "hrefgoogle.kml" file you downloaded.
  • In the left panel, under "Places" (or "Temporary Places"), click on the arrow for "Les bateaux", which will present two choices: Marion Dufresne (and) L'Astrolabe.
  • Double-clicking on your choice of ship will present a push-pin on the globe in the large right pane. Zoom in on that push-pin to view the ship's current location.
  • You can drag the cursor on the globe to track the ship's course; each of its previous locations are dated (day-month-year).

You can also view the current locations and recent course of both ships in this browser window by clicking here.

Related videos

The ship is nicknamed "Le Marduf" by her crew and veteran passengers. View the videos below to witness scenes from the ship's travels to various TAAF islands (narration in French only).

Retour des TAAF – Following completion of a 13-month mission to Kerguelen (April 2008), the workers let off some steam while angling for bluefish, swimming among sea lions, putting together a to-die-for barbecue (fr. slang: barbeuk) on Amsterdam, catching giant lobsters off St. Paul...   Video produced by Aurélie Heurtebize and Arnauld Hibon.

Videos: (replay)  |  En Route  |  Ship Tour  |  La Vie  |  Biodiversity  |  E. Lepage
TAAF  |  More videos to come. Suggest some, if you'd like.

Editing, translation, and portions written by Ian C. Mills © 2002-. All Rights Reserved.

Bibliography: ifremer – Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea). OCTA (Association of Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union). TAAF "Mission Éparses 2009" refuse evacuation project in the Scattered Islands. The Eggs E.G.U. Newsletter, Issue #34, 8 March 2011: The PACHIDERME cruise onboard R/V Marion Dufresne (Educational Cruise Log Book). IPEV – Institut Polaire Français Paul-Émile Victor (French Polar Institute). USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, "Coring and Gas Hydrate-Related Operations During the IMAGES VIII/PAGE 127 Gas Hydrate and Paleoclimate Cruise on the R/V Marion Dufresne in the Gulf of Mexico, 2-18 July 2002" Chapter 3 (pdf). Bureau Veritas "Rules for the Classification of Steel Ships" (pdf). Marion Dufresne brochure created by Sylvie Malo, published by IPEV and CMA-CGM. AMAPOF – Amicale des Missions Australes et Polaires Françaises (Friends of the French Austral and Polar Missions). Lighthouses of the French Southern and Antarctic Territories, a site hosted by Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fres - IMO 7208388 (formerly Marion Dufresne I) at ShipSpotting.com. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, French and English versions. Articles about the 14 November 2012 accident from Le Télégramme and Mer et Marine.

Images: R/V Marion Dufresne © Institut Français pour la Recherche et la Technologie Polaires. Marion Dufresne's bow: view of double crane system and Gros Ventre ("Fat Belly") container barge, photo taken in 2005 during MD 146 / BENGALE campaign, photographer: halucigenia (real name unknown), from deviantART. Utility boat, rubber raft, and helicopter all approach the anchored Marion Dufresne, from 2011 TAAF brochure (pdf), various images credited to photographers François Lepage, Amandine George (TAAF), Stefano Unterthiner, Lucia Simion. The Marion Dufresne's Eurocopter Ecureuil AS 350 B2 F-ODLI on Kerguelen, flown by Pascal Brun, photographer: Jean-Michel Bergougniou, from Pascal Brun aux Iles Kerguelen 2008 (site by Christophe Gothié). Écureuil AS 350 pilot approaches the helicopter deck on Marion Dufresne II, photographer: Stéphane "BoomBoom" Bommert, from Flickr Port aux Français, dernier jour... photo gallery. The Gros Ventre (Fat Belly) utility/container craft carried by the Marion Dufresne (and) A rubber raft and the Gros Ventre utility craft (in background) on the Marion Dufresne, photographers unknown, from "La marine marchande au jour le jour" (1 and 2), a site by Norman Kerr. The Gros Ventre (Fat Belly) utility/container craft in the water; Marion Dufresne in background, photographer: Marion Ripoche, from Au Paradis Austral, a site by Marion Ripoche. Map of TAAF posessions & Marion Dufresne provisioning route (and) Loading provisions on the Marion Dufresne in port (photographer: Mehdi Escoffier), from French-Polar-Team. Map of Scattered Islands (Bassas da India, Europa, Glorioso Islands, Juan de Nova, Tromelin), Madagascar, La Réunion, Comoros and Mayotte, from TAAF. Departure board for the Marion Dufresne at La Réunion, photographer unknown, from TAAF. Diagram of Marion Dufresne's middle decks (and) Diagram of Marion Dufresne's upper decks, from La Maud Fontenoy Fondation. A view of the bridge's instrumentation on Marion Dufresne II (two images), photographers: Mehdi Escoffier and Yann Libessart, from French-Polar-Team. Wärtsilä model 8R32D 8-cylinder 2,650 kW diesel engine/electric generator (on the Marion Dufresne), photographer unknown, from Marine Marchande: Le Marion Dufresne à Brest, juillet 2008, a site by Norman Kerr. Wärtsilä model 6R32D (1996) 6-cylinder 2,220 kW diesel engine/electric generator (not from Marion Dufresne), photographer unknown, from Flickr / Brothers Marine. TAAF crews prepare to remove refuse from the Scattered Islands to the Marion Dufresne, photographer: Benoit Gysembergh, from TAAF. Scrap metal pallets on Europa Island, prior to removal in May 2009, photographer: Don Parrish, from Year in Review 2009. Lighthouse on Juan de Nova, built in 1966, photographer unknown, from Lighthouse Explorer. Hospital and operating theatre on the Marion Dufresne II, photographer: Dr. Xavier Beyer, ship's physician (2012); presently a specialist in geriatric medicine at the Centre Hospitalier Louis Pasteur de Dole (Jura department, Franche-Comté), France. Hospital and operating theatre on the Marion Dufresne II, photographer unknown, from an Interview with Martin Oudet (doctor on the Marion Dufresne during 2012), published in Sauv'GARDE, Le magazine de l'étudiant en Médecine – Vol. #2, April 2013 issue, pages 2-3. A modest double-bunk cabin with porthole, for crew of the Marion Dufresne II and Cabin bathroom on board the Marion Dufresne II, photographer: Philippe Saget a.k.a. Philweb (14 June 2008), from Wiki-Brest. Austere but functional cabin with double-sized bed and window, for Mar'Duf passengers and Wooden bars on library cabinets keep the doors from flying open during high seas and Conference & video room on the Marion Dufresne II, photographer(s) unknown, from Marine Marchande: Le Marion Dufresne à Brest, juillet 2008, a site by Norman Kerr. Dining room on board the R/V Marion Dufresne II and The diminutive swimming pool on board the Marion Dufresne II, photographer: Philippe Saget a.k.a. Philweb, from Wiki-Brest. Alternate view of the dining room on board R/V Marion Dufresne II, photographer: Stéphane "BoomBoom" Bommert, from Flickr Port Jeanne d'Arc (PJDa) photo gallery. Jean-Charles Hervé flanked by his dining room staff on board the Mar'Duf and Foosball (fr: babyfoot) table on the Marion Dufresne II, photographer: Sophie Lautier (AFP), from an Agence France Presse article Cap sur les TAAF: cinq jours de mer avant Crozet. Some of the Marion Dufresne's kitchen staff in 2008: Loïc Le Bechec, Claude Cornet (head chef), Jérôme Nivard and A game of 4-on-4 volleyball in one of Marion Dufresne's cargo holds., photographer: Vincent Pasquero (March 2008), from IPEV – Institut Polaire Français Paul-Émile Victor (French Polar Institute). Badminton court in one of Marion Dufresne's cargo holds, photographer: Stéphane "BoomBoom" Bommert, from Flickr En mer, 20 Décembre photo gallery. An impassioned game of darts (fr: jeu de fléchettes) on board the Marion Dufresne II, photographer unknown (November 2012), from Les copains d'abord, a blog by Rémi (last name unknown). Splashing around in the small swimming pool on board the Marion Dufresne II, photographer: Stéphane "BoomBoom" Bommert, from Flickr Entre 'Ams' et Maurice photo gallery. Table tennis (background) and gym on the Marion Dufresne, photographer: Sandra Blais, from TAAF. The lively bar on board R/V Marion Dufresne II, photographer: Jorge Sanchez, from GLOBOsapiens.net. The France Télécom cable-laying ship Léon Thévenin moored in the Baie des Marins (Crozet) near the Marion Dufresne, photographer: Franck Theron (November 2012), from Un (autre) Marseillais à Crozet... (blog). The France Télécom cable-laying ship Léon Thévenin near Buiten Ratel sand banks, off the Belgian coast, photographer: Hans Hillewaert, from Wikipedia. Hull repairs underway at Elgin Brown & Hamer shipyard in Durban, South Africa and Marion Dufresne II dry-docked at the EB&H shipyard in Durban, South Africa, photographer: Willem Kruk, from Daily Collection of Maritime Press Clippings, Sunday 13 January 2013, published by Maasmond Maritime. Mattresses and blankets ready for transport to Base Alfred-Faure for Marion Dufresne's evacuees, photographer: Franck Theron (November 2012), from Un (autre) Marseillais à Crozet... (blog). Map of current positions and recent itineraries of the Marion Dufresne and Astrolabe ships, from IPEV: Institut polaire français Paul-Émile Victor. All Rights Reserved.

Bureau Véritas certification

Bureau Veritas logo.

Marion Dufresne II classification: Véritas I 3/3 E (Class 1, Validity of certificate ≤ 5 years) special purpose vessel / resupply and oceanographic vessel, deep sea (unrestricted navigation), ACA (now LASHING), AUT-PORT, RMC-V (now REF-STORE), CNC-1-V (now SYS-NEQ-1), ALM (side A-frame, aft crane, double coupling crane), ALS (aft A-frame).

Rules for the Classification of Steel Ships

Complete document can be downloaded (208-page PDF, 5.6 MB).

Pt A, Ch 1, Sec 2 – 6.12.5 Container lashing equipment (no survey requirement attached to such notation)

The additional class notation LASHING may be assigned to ships initially fitted with mobile container lashing equipment which has been documented, tested and checked.

This notation is assigned only to ships having the service notation container ship or the additional service feature equipped for carriage of containers.

The requirements for the assignment of this notation are given in Pt F, Ch 9, Sec 5.

This equipment, however, will not be verified any longer at the periodical class surveys to which the ship is submitted.


1 General


1.1.1 The requirements of this Section apply to ships which have been assigned one of the following additional class notations related to automated machinery systems, as described in Ch 1, Sec 2, [6.4]:


2 Annual survey


2.1.1 The Owner or his representative is to declare to the attending Surveyor that no significant modifications have been made without prior approval by the Society.

2.1.2 The annual survey is to include:

  • an examination of the engineers' log-book to verify the proper operation of automation systems in the period subsequent to the last survey and measures taken to avoid repetition of any malfunctions or failures which have occurred during the same period
  • a general examination of the control systems covered by the notation, including a random check of the proper operation and calibration of main measuring, monitoring, alarm, and automatic shut-off devices
  • a check of the fire detectors
  • a check of the bilge flooding alarms
  • a running test which may be also performed by a spot check method.

3 Class renewal survey


3.1.1 The requirements given in [2] for annual survey are to be complied with. An additional program of examinations, checks and tests is to be devised in agreement with the Owner and based on the operational data and experience of previous surveys. This program is to include verification of the calibration of instruments and testing of control and safety functions of the machinery. The Owner is to produce evidence that all these checks and tests have been carried out and this will be verified by the Surveyor at random. In addition, the proper operation of the control system of propulsion machinery is to be checked during sea trials.

Pt A, Ch 1, Sec 2 – 6.4.4 Automated operation in port (AUT-PORT)

The additional class notation AUT-PORT is assigned to ships which are fitted with automated installations enabling the ship's operation in port or at anchor without personnel specially assigned for the watch-keeping of the machinery in service.


1 General


1.1.1 The requirements of this Section apply to ships which have been assigned one of the following additional class notations related to refrigerating installations, as described in Ch 1, Sec 2, [6.9]:

REF-STORE (formerly RMC-V)

as well as the following specific notations:


2 Annual survey

2.1 General

2.1.1 The annual survey of refrigerating installations (plants and spaces) is to be carried out with the installation in running condition and, whenever possible, during unloading operations or without cargo in refrigerated spaces.

2.1.2 The refrigeration installation log-book (or other similar record) is to be made available to the Surveyor for examination of the records since the last survey, and checking any unusual consumption of refrigerant, breakdown or defective items.

2.1.3 Decks, bulkheads or ship sides adjacent to refrigerated spaces are to be checked as far as practicable in order to verify the absence of cold spots.

2.1.4 The Owner or his representative is to declare to the attending Surveyor that no significant modifications have been made to the installations that could affect the class notations without the prior approval by the Society.

2.2 Refrigerating plant

2.2.1 Refrigerating machines and related accessories, including compressors, condensers, pumps and piping are to be examined externally and in running condition. Insulation of insulated parts is to be checked for possible signs of humidity or wear. The tightness of the system is to be ascertained.

2.2.2 The electrical installation is to be generally examined, and the insulation resistance of the installation is to be checked as deemed necessary by the Surveyor.

2.2.3 If independent from the electrical installation of the ship, the generators supplying electrical power to the refrigerating installation are to be examined to the same extent as described in Ch 3, Sec 1, [3.3].

2.3 Refrigerated spaces

2.3.1 Refrigerated spaces are to be generally examined to ascertain the condition of:

  • insulation lining; removable panels or covers may be dismantled for examination of insulation, as deemed necessary by the Surveyor
  • hatch covers, doors, access panels (including gaskets and securing devices) and dampers of ventilation ducts
  • air coils, coolers, fans, air ducts, brine piping systems and associated equipment; cleanliness of grids
  • bilge wells
  • protection of fans and other rotating machinery, battens for air circulation within the space.

2.4 Instrumentation and safety devices

2.4.1 Thermometers used for measurement of temperature in refrigerated spaces, air ducts and other elements of the installation are to be examined and checked for their accuracy. The Surveyor may require the calibration of one or more thermometers and one or more automation devices to be checked in his presence or, failing this, a certificate of calibration is to be presented to him.

2.4.2 The following alarm and safety devices are also to be checked, as required or fitted:

  • alarm and emergency shutdown devices
  • CO2 detectors, if any
  • refrigerant leakage detectors
  • access to spaces, with regard to possibilities of escape and prevention of personnel being trapped within spaces.

Pt A, Ch 1, Sec 2

6.5.5 Integrated ship systems notation (SYS)

When ships are assigned the notations SYS-NEQ (or SYS-NEQ-1), SYS-IBS and SYS-COM, the three separate notations are superseded by the cumulative additional class notation SYS.


1 General


1.1.1 The requirements of this Section apply to ships which have been assigned one of the following additional class notations related to integrated ship systems, as described in Ch 1, Sec 2, [6.5]:


1.1.2 When the SYS notation is assigned, the survey requirements stipulated for the notations SYS-NEQ, SYSNEQ- 1, SYS-COM and SYS-IBS are to be complied with.

2 Annual survey

2.1 All notations

2.1.1 The Owner or his representative is to declare to the attending Surveyor that no significant modifications have been made to the relevant installations without the prior approval by the Society.

An examination of the log-books is to be carried out to verify the proper operation of systems in the period subsequent to the last survey and measures taken to avoid repetition of any malfunctions or failures which have occurred during the same period.

2.2 Notations SYS-NEQ and SYS-NEQ-1

2.2.1 The annual survey is to include:

a) general:

  • general examination of the bridge layout, with regard to the field of vision, window wipe and wash system, wheelhouse lighting and heating/cooling systems, and arrangements for the safety of navigators

b) propulsion and steering controls:

  • test of the steering gear to confirm the proper operation of the various remote controls from the wheelhouse
  • test, as far as practicable, of the propulsion control, including propeller pitch control, where fitted
  • check of the relevant indicators such as rudder angle, ahead/astern position, propeller rpm or pitch

c) navigation aids:

  • test of the satisfactory operating condition of radars
  • test of the functions available at quay side of the ARPA and collision avoidance system
  • test of the position fixing system
  • test of the gyro compass system
  • test of the echo sounding device, using appropriate scale of depth
  • test of other available alarms (sounding equipment, self-checking device, etc.), as far as practicable

d) communications:

  • test of the whistle control device from the relevant workstation
  • check of the different communication systems (internal communication, VHF radiotelephone installation, NAVTEX)

e) bridge safety and alarm system (notation SYS-NEQ-1)

  • test, as far as practicable, of the vigilance system and related alarm/warning transfer system.

Pt A, Ch 1, Sec 2

6.11 Lifting appliances

6.11.1 Ships fitted with lifting appliances meeting the requirements of the Rules for the Classification and Certification of Lifting Appliances of Ships and Offshore Units (NR 184 DNC) may be assigned the following additional class notations:

  • ALP for lifting appliances intended to be used in harbours or similarly sheltered areas
  • ALM for lifting appliances intended to be used in offshore conditions
  • ALS for lifting appliances intended to lift underwater units.

6.11.2 The additional class notations (ALP), (ALM), (ALS) may be assigned by the Society in lieu of of the notations ALP, ALM, ALS respectively, when the corresponding lifting appliances meet the requirements of specific National Regulations under the conditions defined in Rule Note NR 184 DNC.

6.11.3 The additional class notations ALP, ALM, ALS, (ALP), (ALM) or (ALS) are optional. However, the Society may require the compliance of lifting appliances with the assigning conditions of one of the above mentioned additional class notations for the classification of ships or offshore units, when one or several lifting appliances are of a primary importance for their operation, or when such appliances significantly influence their structure. As a rule, such is the case for the shear leg pontoons, crane pontoons, crane vessels, supporting ships for diving devices and when the lifting appliances concerned have special high capacities, for example in case of ships specially equipped for handling very heavy loads.

6.11.4 In compliance with [6.1.3], these notations are assigned a construction mark as defined in [3].

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