Research expeditions

At any one time scientists and technicians from the UK community can be at sea on numerous vessels. Discover where they are and what they are trying to achieve.

Latest expedition

RRS James Cook

Cruise Principal Scientist & Institution Location Duration in days (begins) Aim


31 days

August / September


James Cook will undertake her 10 year special survey in 2016, this survey is conducted by the vessels Classification Society - Lloyds Register of Shipping & Flag State – Maritime and Coastguard Agency. This will be in dry dock for the bulk of this survey with a period alongside on completion.

Major items of note:

  • Inspection, survey, paint renewals & thickness measurements of the vessels hull plating, tanks and void spaces.
  • The rudders will be removed to facilitate removal of both propellers and propulsion tail shafts.  It is known that both tail shafts, which are 17 mtrs long, have been damaged since build as are the shaft stern bearings, all items are scheduled to be replaced.
  • Two of the vessels thrusters are due for a major overhaul, service and survey.
  • Upgrade to the vessels scientific winch system drive suite.
  • Renewal of the wooden working deck and thickness measurements of the steel structure underneath.
  • Renewal of the floor coverings in parts of the accommodation.
  • Renewal of benches etc within laboratories.
  • Installation of variable speed drives to sea water pumps, this will result in less erosion of system pipework, saving money on repairs and will realise energy savings.

RRS Discovery

Cruise Principal Scientist & Institution Location Duration in days (begins) Aim


August / September


This is the vessel planned refit period, during which annual statutory surveys will be carried out in conjunction with various vessel maintenance tasks and scientific system improvements/modifications.

Ship position

This map shows the positions of the NOC operated vessels RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook.  While every effort is made to keep this map up to date sometimes position updates are not possible.

Update from the ship (PIM)


Vessel: Discovery 
DTG: 160916  11:30
Zone: Z+1 
Subj: PIM DY056 

Pos: SST MMS Shipyard Repair Berth, Alexandra Dock. 
Wx: WNW force 4. Overcast with torrential rain. Sheltered waters.

Status: Refit work progressing well. Lloyds surveyor continuing with class survey.

Intentions: Continue with refit work and re-certification.

Fuel ROB: 147mt


Cruise ID: JC140
DTG: 260916 0800
Time Zone: UTC+1

Position: Queens Jetty, Falmouth

Status: Preparing vessel for profiling repair on Port Propellor. Shift ship along jetty this morning.


Intentions: Vessel shifting to Drydock 28/1400


Learn about the research expeditions that are taking place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2014. Read more about 2014's expeditions


Learn about the research expeditions that are taking place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2013. Read more about 2013's expeditions


Learn about the research expeditions that took place upon the NOC based research vessels during 2012. Read more about 2012's expeditions

Home | Back to top

Information for…


The outputs of research generate new knowledge about the oceans. Transferring scientific knowledge to support business and industry is an important part of our NOC remit.



Our research is intended to tackle the big environmental issues facing the world. Research priorities will include the oceans' role in climate change, sea level change and the future of the Arctic Ocean.



The University of Southampton and the University of Liverpool both offer a range of highly regarded undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Ocean and Earth Science.



For any media or press enquiries to the National Oceanography Centre follow the more link below. Please note the centre's press office is staffed from 0830 to 1730, Monday to Friday.



NOC Staff can access the Intranet and Webmail resources at the following URLS.


Follow what we are up to:

Follow NOCnews on Twitter Follow NOCSnews on Youtube Follow NOC on facebook

Subscribe to our email alerts service:
NOCMail logo

Delivery Partners

Delivery Partners helping to provide marine science national capability.


Marine Science Community

The creation of a wider association of Universities and research institutions to support wider engagement of the NOC with the marine science community is now underway.



The National Oceanographic Library is a national resource for the UK marine science community.


Principal scientists

All updated information for cruise participants can be found using the Marine Facilities Planning website: