Share article:
Share article:

Suggestions wanted for name for new Belgian research ship

© 2018 Science Policy PPS
The new research ship as it will look
© 2018 Science Policy PPS

Members of the public are being invited during the month of March to register their suggestions for a name for the new Belgian scientific research ship, due to replace the RV Belgica. The new research vessel (RV) will come into service at the end of 2020, the federal office for science policy said, and has to last for 30 years. The Belgica was constructed in 1984 and has served 35 years, and has reached retirement age.

But for anyone who may have been thinking of voting for Boaty McBoatface, forget it. There are six names in the running: Belgica 2, BELSORA, IMPACT, Lab Mare, Odyssea and Stella Maris. At the beginning of the year, pupils from the first to fourth years of secondary school entered home-made videos to support the name chosen by their class. The six names above were selected for the second phase, which runs until 27 March.

The class who proposed the winning name will be awarded a trip on the Belgica itself.

Visit the online voting website (in Dutch, French and English) and cast your vote.

Design of the new RV, by Freire Shipyards of Vigo, Spain and Rolls Royce Marine started in June last year and has now been completed. The photo shows a designer’s impression of what it will look like. Construction started last month in Vigo, and will be completed in October next year.

The 1984 Belgica was the second of the name, after the vessel brought into service a century earlier, a steamship built in Norway originally as a whaling vessel. It was converted into a research ship in 1896 and the following year set off on a Belgian expedition to the Antarctic, where it became the first ship to stay over the polar winter.

In 1984 the new Belgica was built in Temse on the banks of the Scheldt in East Flanders and went on, manned by naval personnel, to carry out oceanographic research, mainly in the North Sea, with a total of 900,000km on the clock to date.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...