Icebreaker interior fit-out nears completion as the vessel prepares for harbour acceptance trials

Published: 15 May 2019

The commissioning of Australia’s new icebreaker, RSV Nuyina has reached a key milestone, with the vessel currently being readied for harbour acceptance trials in Romania next month.

The harbour acceptance trials will involve about 190 procedures to test propulsion, bilge, ballast and other auxiliary systems. The Nuyina will then go into ‘special sea trials’ designed to ensure the ship can operate in the unique Antarctic environment. These special sea trials will include deep water testing for scientific research deployments, measurement of acoustic noise – to see whether the ship achieves its ‘Silent R’ rating – and whether it is suitable for operating in ice and low temperatures.

The RSV Nuyina is a scientific research platform, icebreaker and resupply ship rolled into one. And just like any multidisciplinary specialist, the new ship will be able to undertake each role at the highest level.

Construction of the ship is well underway with the ship receiving a final coat of international orange while the internal fit-out is progressing. Once final construction is complete, the Nuyina will be able to carry 32 crew and 117 expeditioners comfortably on board for expeditions lasting up to 90 days.

Combining cutting-edge technology with functional design to ensure the ship's safety in the unpredictable Southern Ocean, the navigation bridge is one of the most important parts of the ship and where the central conning (driving) console is located.

A chief function of the icebreaker is supporting the scientific requirements of the Australian Antarctic Division. This has been a primary driver of the ship’s design. Operational onboard labs include a marine science ‘wet lab’ for processing samples and specimens from the deep sea.

To make the long sea journeys as comfortable as possible, special rooms include a 96-seat theatre, a library, and an observation bridge/deck, which sits just below the navigation bridge. This area will be used to undertake observations for such things as sea ice, wildlife and weather, and will double as a recreational and meeting space. In addition, there are 32 crew cabins, 60 special crew VIP cabins, a conference room, dining room (known as the mess) and lounge.

Final construction of the Nuyina will be completed in the Romania shipyard before the vessel is transferred to its home port of Hobart, Tasmania in 2020. When complete, the RSV Nuyinawill be more than one-and-a-half times longer than the current icebreaker, the Aurora Australis, and around three-times heavier, which will enable the vessel to conduct longer and more extensive voyages to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

Construction of the observation bridge/deck is underway.

A render showing how the observation bridge/deck will look like when finished.