Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

Replacement National Marine Research Facilities

NIOZ, the NWO Dutch Research Council and the Top Sector Water & Maritime work together on the renewal of the national research fleet and equipment.  Find more information on the replacement of the three national research vessels: 

Replacement RV Pelagia In November 2022 it was announced that RV Anna Weber-van Bosse- the successor to the RV Pelagia -will be built by shipyard Astilleros Armon in Spain. Read more...
Replacement RV Navicula Research vessel RV Wim Wolff will replace RV Navicula in 2023 and is now constructed at Thecla Bodewes Shipyards in Harlingen. Read more...
RV Adriaen Coenen In July 2022 the RV Adriaen Coenen replaced RV Stern. The new vessel has been build at Next Generation Shipyards in Lauwersoog. Read more...

Background information

The NIOZ-NMF fleet is ageing and has reached the end of its economic and technical lifespan. To facilitate continued marine research, the vessels are in urgent need for replacement. The fleet comprises of the ocean-going ship RV Pelagia, the coastal vessel RV Navicula, and the inland vessel RV Stern of which the last two are distinct for their operational capability in shallow water.

For this reason, in June 2018, investment plans for fleet replacement were submitted to the NWO executive board. These plans have been drawn up in consultation with all (prospective) users and stakeholders of the fleet on a national level.  Mainly universities, scientific organizations as well as representatives of the maritime industries and the NIOZ organization.

Subsequently NWO-NIOZ established a Taskforce Fleet Replacement which has been tasked with the preparation of an outline specification. In this document all the pre-requisites, requirements and possible research modes have been specified. After approval, this documentation formed the main pillar to the concept design which has been drawn up for each vessel. Finally, the concept design documentation has been completed with a building specification. The entire documentation package has been, or is, in use for the tender process with prospective builders.

In the summer of 2022  RV Adriaen Coenen replaced RV Stern as the first new ship of the fleet. RV Wim Wolff, the replacement of RV Navicula is currently built by Thecla Bodewes Shipyard, and will be delivered in 2023. 

Here you can find more background information, the Frequently Asked Questions here or the 2018 flyer (only in Dutch).


Read more +


Here you can find the newspages of RV Wim Wolff and RV Adriaen Coenen with more press releases, reports, photos and videos. 




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