The mission will be conducted from the polar research and logistics vessel, S. A. Agulhas II, which is owned by the South African Government’s Department of Environmental Affairs.
Built in 2012 in Finland, the Polar Class 5 vessel is one of the largest and most modern research ships anywhere in the world, able to break through ice of a metre thick at five knots. Fitted with a wide range of science laboratories and facilities on board, it provides a powerful and effective platform for multi-disciplinary research.
S. A. Agulhas II is registered in Cape Town and is managed by African Marine Solutions Ltd, with a fully South African crew, including experienced ice pilots. The vessel is 134 metres (440ft) long and 22 meters (71ft) wide and is powered by a diesel-electric system with 12,000 KW output capacity. The ship will conduct the annual resupply mission to South Africa’s SANAE base in Antarctica ahead of the expedition.