The icebreaker Laura Bassi sets course for New Zealand

The icebreaker Laura Bassi left Naples today, where it completed the loading phases with scientific instruments and materials in preparation for the new scientific campaign of the National Antarctic Research Program (PNRA).

This year, the ship left the port of Naples and not Ravenna as usual, as it was undergoing a series of refurbishment works at the Cantieri del Mediterraneo.

The Laura Bassi will take part in the 39th Antarctic campaign: It will arrive in New Zealand in early January 2024 and then begin its journey to Antarctica with 38 Italian researchers and technologists on board and a sailing crew of 23 members. For the first time, the mission will be carried out jointly with the New Zealand Antarctic Project, which involves 12 researchers. The ship will circumnavigate the entire Ross Sea and complete its Antarctic mission in Lyttleton (NZ) in March 2024, returning to Italy at the end of April.

The Italian missions to Antarctica are funded by the Ministry of Universities and Research as part of the National Antarctic Research Programme (PNRA). They are led by Cnr for the scientific coordination, by ENEA for the planning and logistical organisation of the activities in the Antarctic bases and by OGS for the technical and scientific management of the icebreaker Laura Bassi.