The traditional ceremony of smashing a bottle of champagne against a ship’s bow was performed by The Princess Royal when she named the new Royal research ship Discovery at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton on Oct 10.
The Discovery represents a £75mn investment by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills.
Commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and operated on its behalf by the National Oceanography Centre, the Discovery’s extensive capabilities will allow deep-ocean research in the remotest and least hospitable parts of the planet, from tropical seas to polar waters.
The Discovery joins the James Cook in the NERC fleet. Princess Anne also named the James Cook in 2007. At 99.7m in length, and with a displacement of 6,075 tonnes, the Discovery was built by CNP Freire, of Vigo, and is due to undertake her first research voyage next year. She has a crew of 24 and there is accommodation for 28 scientists and technicians.