Solution seeker

REV Ocean, the world’s largest and most advanced research and expedition vessel has hit the water after a complex construction period over the past 18 months.

Photography by Bogdan Vasilescu & Guillaume Plisson

28 August 2019


Designed by Espen Oeino, REV Ocean was launched at the VARD Tulcea shipyard in Romania and is 182.9 metres, with the capacity to accommodate up to 55 scientists and 35 crew.

Equipment onboard includes scientific trawls, sonar systems, laboratories, auditorium and classrooms, moonpool, AUV and submarine, an ROV with 6,000 metres depth capacity and advanced communication equipment.

REV Ocean will be equipped for conducting missions that cover the entire marine ecosystem.

It will be used by scientists and innovators for ‘solutions-oriented’ research that explore issues such as the impact CO2 emissions have on the ocean, plastic pollution, and unsustainable fishing.

REV Ocean will be an inclusive global vehicle for testing and proliferating ocean solutions.


Nina Jensen, CEO of REV Ocean, commented at the launch: “This is an especially exciting day, our state-of-the-art research vessel has achieved a major milestone and we are now one step closer to realising our vision of safeguarding the ocean.

“We look forward with great anticipation to REV Ocean’s journey to Norway and seeing the next stage of progress towards our ambitions of developing ocean solutions.”

“REV Ocean will strive to fill critical knowledge gaps, develop innovative solutions, and bridge science, business and policy sectors to achieve positive change. Taking on the role of ocean trailblazers the goal is to create positive, measurable impact; provide a pathway for others to follow and motivate the next generation of ocean leaders. Our vision of ensuring – One Healthy Ocean – forms the core mantra of the whole organisation.”

George Gill, Project Director and Owners Representative, said: “It is an emotive experience launching REV, to have developed and overseen REV from a blank piece of paper three and half years ago has been a challenging, educational, rewarding experience, the project evolved into something far more complicated and ambitious than I ever assumed and it has been a personal career highlight.

“Our Build Team, VARD Group and our Partners have worked and are working incredibly hard realising Mr Kjell Inge Røkkes wishes to create this amazing vessel. We still have a long way to go and a lot of hard graft ahead, but I cannot wait to get her to Norway and start the next phase. REV will be a truly inspiring vessel in looks and purpose when we deliver her to REV Ocean.”

Over the coming weeks the vessel will be towed down the Danube River, into the Black Sea, out through the dramatic Bosporus Strait in Istanbul, traverse the Mediterranean, exit around the Strait of Gibraltar, and finally arrive at the VARD shipyard in Brattvag, Norway. The journey is estimated to take 30 to 35 days depending on conditions en route.

Oystein Mikelborg, REV Ocean Operations Director, added: “Now that the initial build phase is complete, we anxiously await her delivery in Norway where we will focus on installing technical gear, scientific equipment, research labs, and all the exciting tools that researchers will use to achieve our core science goals.”

Designer, Espen Oeino said: “This was very much the brainchild of the owner, he called me to tell me about this project which is unlike any other vessel in the world – a yacht with a purpose, a noble purpose. The whole rhetoric is kind of a showcase of state-of-the-art marine equipment and I think it will be the best equipped scientific ship on the sea. It is probably the most important project we will ever have the chance to work on.”

REV Ocean is a not-for-profit company established and funded by Norwegian businessman Kjell Inge Røkke. The foundation was established as a result of Mr. Røkke signing the Giving Pledge campaign in 2017 vowing to give away more than 50 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes. Any profit generated from its activities will be reinvested into the organisation’s work program for a healthier ocean.


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