REV Ocean is on a Mission
How to define REV Ocean
REV Ocean is a 183 meters state-of-the-art expedition superyacht that will be committed to pioneering the world for oceanographic research. She will be equipped with specialized scientific equipment never seen before on a superyacht. Onboard you will find eight cutting-edge research laboratories, a fully equipped dive centre and a crane attached to a trawl that will enable her to catch pelagic samples on a responsible and safe way and release the samples 3 000 metres below sea level. She will be equipped with a highly advanced range of submersibles, both autonomous and remotely operated, for extreme underwater exploration. They will be easy to launch and to recover via a 7.7 x 5 meters opening in the hull known as a Moonpool. Alongside the research space, which equates to roughly 15 tennis courts, she will have all the amenities that yacht charter guests would expect on a yacht of this calibre, including three pool areas, well-equipped gym facilities and a spa and wellness zone. There will be a 36-person auditorium on board, plus 2 helipads, an on-board helicopter and its own hangar.
The force behind REV Ocean
Kjell Inge Røkke is the owner and driving force behind REV Ocean. Røkke grew up close to the VARD shipyard in the little fishing town of Brattvag where currently the REV Ocean is going through her final assembly. He learned to fish in the Norwegian waters and began his career as a deckhand on board a fishing trawler in Alaska.
He launched his business career with the purchase of a 21 meters trawler in the United States in 1982, and gradually built a leading worldwide fisheries business owning his own fleet of fishing vessels and American Seafoods company. He became the largest stakeholder in Aker ASA and serves as chairman of Aker ASA, as well as a director of Aker BP, Kværner, Ocean Yield, Aker BioMarine and Aker Energy. Røkke's family has lived for many years in Molde, a small town just across the water from Brattvag and he is a well-known member of the local community. Juuni Vatne, Marketing Coordinator at VARD shipyard, commented: “I think it’s a lot of pride to be here, back home, to build this vessel.”
The vision of REV Ocean
Mr. Røkke’s motivation to construct and fund REV Ocean comes from a lifelong reliance on the ocean. Fishing is how he initially made his fortune; and now it’s time to give back. Building REV Ocean is philanthropy in its finest form. Also, with REV Ocean he wants to encourage yacht owners go down a similar route, then his legacy will live on for decades to come. Fishing is a vital profession to Norway’s economy as a whole, with fish being one of the country’s largest exports.
Norway is leading the way in the fight against climate change, with the country listed among the greenest on the planet and the second-most eco-friendly country in the world.
There is an impressive team to helm the REV Ocean research team. Nina Jensen, the former head of the World Wide Fund for Nature in Norway, has been appointed the Chief Executive of REV Ocean and Oxford University's leading marine conservation scientist Alex Rogers has joined the team as Science Director.
Creating the opportunity to give back
REV Ocean's primary function is oceanographic research and analysis. For many research teams and scientists, the cost of hiring research vessels with similar facilities is prohibitive. Lawrence Hislop, Communication Manager at REV Ocean, define the opportunity as “The idea is to get developing countries interested in the research work as well, [giving] opportunities to scientists in Africa, Asia, Latin America, who normally wouldn’t be able to [conduct research] on a yacht like this.” This unique funding model means that charterers can directly impact positive change. By chartering REV Ocean, they will be making these research missions possible.
However, she will also be available to charter to companies like ours, Voyages & Journeys, looking for an expedition adventure. These independent charters will fund directly the research missions, allowing scientists to undertake pioneering research free of charge. This is a unique opportunity for clients to accompany the research teams, participating in research and observing the work being carried out in front of them. “The main point of having this vessel is to go out and do scientific research work. And the business model is to get people to [charter REV Ocean] and follow the research work and going to beautiful parts of the world." explains Lawrence Hislop, Communication Manager at REV Ocean.
REV Ocean is planning to invite up to 400 marine scientists per year to spend three to four weeks each on board studying how to protect the ocean from climate change, overfishing and plastic waste. For the REV Ocean team, “healing the ocean with data” is a core part of their ethos. By allowing the most advanced oceanographic study tools to be accessed by research teams across the globe, the initiative hopes to create a global ocean data platform for the common good.
First expeditions to take place
When completed, REV Ocean will set sail on her maiden voyage to Svalbard for her first scientific mission in 2021. Then will be setting course to New York in the autumn, in a journey that will coincide with the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. It is thought she may be positioned outside the United Nations Headquarters on the East River throughout the course of the event. Heading further south towards clearer oceans of the Caribbean, she will be heading towards the Galapagos archipelago, where opportunities are optimal for studying marine life. This island chain is home to hundreds of fish species, and REV Ocean intents to put her eco-harvesting system for live catch and release of biomass and pelagic samples to good use. She is also expected to head to the Indian Ocean, cruising around the islands of the Seychelles and the Maldives. Part of her hydrographic analysis in this region will be cantered around hydrothermal vents, which are clustered around the Central Indian Ridge between the two archipelagos.
Voyages & Journeys will keep you updated on the progress of REV Ocean. If, at any time, you are interested in more information about our expeditions please get in touch with us.
Inspiration interview: Katia Damborsky, from YachtCharterFleet