The Science Ships


The CCGS Hudson is an offshore oceanographic and hydrographic survey vessel, based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, owned and operated by the Canadian Coast Guard, and deployed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), part of the Canadian Government. DFO and Nekton are partners in this research Mission.

  • Flag: Canada
  • Commissioned: 1964
  • Refit: 1990
  • Size: 90m
  • Max Speed: 10.5knots
  • Berths: 23 for scientists
  • Science: 4 laboratories
  • Equipment: ROV: 2000m; Lander: 5000m; Corers and other sampling and sensing tools.
  • Mapping: Multibeam (2000m depth)
  • Operations: 24/7

For over four decades, the CCGS Hudson has made significant contributions to knowledge about the oceans through hydrographic surveys and oceanographic research. In 1970, with over 100 scientists participating during different legs, she became the first ship to voyage around both North and South America. The expedition established many benchmarks in marine observations, and demonstrated that navigation through the Northwest Passage was fundamentally dangerous because of uncharted undersea mountain peaks.

In addition, the CCGS Hudson played an important role in searching for the debris of SwissAir Flight 111 that was lost in September 1998 and has been involved in several other search and rescue missions, most recently rescuing the seven man crew of the fishing vessel Ocean Commander which burned and sank on July 6, 2009.

The CCGS Hudson takes her name from the 17thcentury English sea explorer and navigator, Henry Hudson who famously made two attempts to find a Northwest Passage to China. Whilst searching for this route, he explored the region around modern New York city including the river that was eventually named after him.


The Baseline Explorer (BEX) is the Mission’s submersible deployment ship with science laboratories and technical diving equipment. She has been at the forefront of increasing awareness of Florida reef decline as well as monitoring the health index for nearly 70 marine and freshwater environments world-wide since 2009. 

  • Flag: USA
  • Commissioned: April 2015
  • Length: 45m (146ft)
  • Max Speed: 11 knots
  • Laboratories (containerized): i) Science lab; ii) Refridgerator (for sample storage)
  • Chief Scientist: Dr. Alex Rogers, Nekton Principal Scientist
  • Tenders: i) RHIB 9m (28ft) Protector Targa twin Yahama 115hp); ii) RHIB 8m (25ft) for diver support (twin Yahama 115hp); iii) SUB-TENDER NOVURANIA SOLAS 4m (14ft) (Honda 25hp)