The Belgica leaves on a scientific mission
The Belgica has set sail under the grey skies of the Zeebrugge naval base. In addition to its crew of 16 people, several scientists have slipped on board...
It should come as no surprise that the brand new Belgian research ship is setting sail: the government has made it available to a community of nearly a thousand Belgian scientists from all our universities.
This is a very modern ship with many advantages for these scientists - whom it can accommodate in greater numbers - compared to its predecessor. It is larger (70 m x 16 m), automated and precise, and also more respectful of the environment.
During its next missions, the ship will sail between the North Sea, the Northeast Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and... Greenland! In 2023, Belgian marine scientists will study the impact of climate change on the oceans.
Before then, the crew will focus on microplastics, tsunami and earthquake risk mapping, marine life studies and oceanography. Scientific research yes, but much more besides. The Belgica will also have to meet our country's national and international obligations in terms of monitoring Belgian marine space (impacts of offshore wind turbines, fishing activities, etc.).
If you would like to visit, the ship will meet you in Ghent on 25 June to mark its christening!