Princess Elizabeth officially christened the oceanographic research vessel Belgium on Saturday. The ceremony was held in Ghent, the godfather of Belgium.
Shortly after 4pm, Princess Elizabeth smashes a bottle into the arc of the scientific masterpiece, which will conduct marine research using advanced technology for decades to come. Thanks to the new ship, marine scientists will be able to continue and expand their voyages of several days or weeks in Belgian waters and beyond.
RV left Belgica on a mission to the Mediterranean in April, after King Philip’s first visit to the ship. Its construction cost 54 million euros. It is equipped with the latest scientific equipment, such as a “dynamic positioning system”, which can keep the ship stationary within half a meter. This is an asset when taking soil samples.
It is also quieter than its predecessor, causes less turbulence at sea, and is important for studying marine life at sea.
The Belgian state, represented by the Federal Office for Science Policy (BELSPO), owns the ship. The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) will be responsible for the management in cooperation with the defense and the private operator.
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