Photo © Rob Childs, our Southampton correspondant.


The Royal Research Ship (RRS) DISCOVERY celebrates her 50th birthday this year, having originally been delivered to the National Institute of Oceanography on 17 December 1962 by Hall Russell Shipyard in Aberdeen, UK. Although having a major rebuild which involved lengthening by 10 M in 1992 and a further extensive refit in 2003 she is now on her last deployment.

She is 90.2 meters long and is 4,310 displacement tons.

She will be replaced in 2013 by the new Discovery, currently being built at the Spanish

shipyard C.N.P. Freire, S.A.

The total project cost of bringing the new vessel into service is £75 million. Whilst this vessel will be delivered in June 2013 she is not thought to be ready for active service until 2014