AWI researchers travel to North Pole on luxury ship

Caption: AWI researchers during an expedition last summer

The shipping company Ponant, which specialises in luxury expedition cruises, and the Alfred Wegener Institute are cooperating on Arctic research.

Last summer, scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) sailed to the geographic North Pole on board the “Le Commandant Charcot”.

The main objective was to collect scientific data on ice thickness. In addition, Ponant is continuously supporting the AWI throughout the Arctic season with data on ice thickness in the areas visited.

AWI staff have laboratories on board

According to the researchers, the Arctic sea ice and its changes hold the key to groundbreaking scientific findings on climate change and ecosystems and the possible consequences of this change for humans. The Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven is dedicated to precisely this subject area: it is a world leader in interdisciplinary research into the Arctic system. For more than 40 years, its scientists have been travelling on their own research icebreaker, “Polarstern”, to collect data.

For some years now, Ponant has been supporting this task with the luxury icebreaker “Le Commandant Charcot”. The ship has a hybrid liquefied natural gas-electric propulsion system. Thanks to its polar class PC2, it enables voyages far into the polar circles and regions with ice up to 2.5 meters thick and at times of year when conventional expedition ships do not have access to these regions. Ponant also actively supports science. The ship is equipped with two laboratories and the corresponding technical equipment for research.

AWI-Forscher während einer Expedition letzten Sommer
AWI researchers during an expedition last summer

Lectures on 20 years of Franco-German polar research

Franco-German cooperation in the field of polar research will be the topic of a lecture at the Institute Français in Hamburg on 28 February, starting at 6:30 pm. The speakers will be Nicole Biebow from the Alfred Wegner Institute, Stefanie Vollmuth from Ponant and Marianne Kerdelhué from the French Embassy in Berlin. Free registration is possible here.

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