The ‘ARC Simon Bolivar’, a Colombian Research Vessel set sail this Thursday from the Buenaventura Port Society to begin the 10th Expedition to Antarctica 2023-2024, this being the first marine scientific research ship manufactured in Colombia.
Frigate Captain Jahir Andres Robledo Leal, commander of this innovative vessel, joined a prestigious list by leading this expedition—an honor that took him by surprise, but one he assumes with great responsibility. His focus lies in enhancing Colombia’s capacity for studies in Antarctica, providing valuable contributions not only for the country but for the entire world.
First Colombian Research Vessel
The ARC ‘Simon Bolivar’ is a masterpiece of engineering and strategic planning. Its construction addresses the need to renew Colombia’s fleet of oceanographic vessels, some of which had exceeded their lifespan.
With a length of 83 meters, a beam of 16 meters, and a displacement of 3,250 tons, the ARC ‘Simon Bolivar’ boasts exceptional marine geological research capabilities, allowing for various oceanographic and hydrographic studies. Its polar hull design enables operations in extreme climates, offering cutting-edge technology and safety to gather valuable data.
This vessel boasts unique features such as its ICE class 1C hull design, an adaptable flight deck for day and night operations, and a hangar for helicopters. Additionally, it is equipped with advanced systems to measure water columns and sound submarine depths of up to 9,000 meters, featuring high-resolution echo sounders and state-of-the-art laboratories for sample analysis.
Expedition to Antarctica
The ARC ‘Simon Bolivar’ begins its voyage with a clear mission: to pioneer polar exploration and contribute crucial scientific discoveries for understanding our planet. This vessel represents a significant step in Colombia’s maritime and scientific development, positioning the country as a leader in marine research regionally and internationally.
This expedition to Antarctica is much more than a trip; it’s the culmination of years of planning, effort, and determination by a country aiming to make an impact on ocean science and exploration. The departure of the ARC ‘Simon Bolivar‘ marks the beginning of a new era for scientific research in Colombia.