BaltArctic Research Cruise - r/v Oceanograf will set sail for the Arctic Circle!


The University of Gdańsk's ship r/v Oceanograf will once again sail beyond the Baltic Sea, this time on an expedition of more than a month to the Arctic Circle. Also involved in the BaltArctic Research Cruise is the Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and its ship r/v Oceania, the universities of the European SEA-EU alliance, and the well-known novelist Zygmunt Miłoszewski, who will keep a logbook of the voyage.


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'Two years ago, our ship r/v Oceanograf brought together four coastal universities - the University of Gdańsk, the University of Kiel, the University of Brest, and the University of Cádiz. Thanks to excellent cooperation, we were able to coordinate three scientific projects on a very wide geographical scale, from the Baltic Sea to the Gulf of Cádiz,' said University of Gdańsk Rector prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski. 'On June 3, we are turning the ship's bow to the North, towards the Arctic, where, together with the SEA-EU universities and the PAS Institute of Oceanology, we will once again carry out three major research tasks. I am delighted that r/v Oceanograf will - for the second time - become a symbol of European cooperation and unity!’

The joint cruises of the two Polish research vessels - OCEANOGRAF and OCEANIA - are a unique opportunity to combine the scientific activities carried out by both institutions and utilise the full potential offered by both vessels.

The scope of research involves tracing water masses flowing from the Baltic Sea to the Arctic Ocean and tracking chemical substances (e.g. microplastics, heavy metals) and living organisms present in them. During the cruise, research and observations will be carried out in parallel on both ships. It is planned to measure the properties of seawater and aerosols and to take samples of water and marine organisms for further laboratory studies. This will provide answers to questions about the extent of Baltic-derived brackish-water organisms distribution in the Nordic Seas characterised by full salinity, as well as the information on the nature of the northward outflow of Baltic waters and how far north they are still detectable.

The unique perspective on the scientists' activities, life on board, and all the events of the voyage will be provided by Zygmunt Miłoszewski - the author of several crime novels and winner of the 2014 'Polityka' Passport, who will keep a ship's logbook.

Zygmunt Miłoszewski

Zygmunt Miłoszewski

‘I think what scientists and writers have in common is that we seem to spend our lives bending over some papers, but we do have the spirits of globetrotters and adventure seekers in us. Go into the unknown, see, discover, tell the story, and amaze the world. Due to that fact - and because I am a sailor totally in love with Scandinavia - without a moment of hesitation, I agreed to join r/v Oceanograf research cruise to the far North and serve as its chronicler. I warned the authorities that I write adventure novels, so it may happen that one day everyone will read a story of Oceanograf - thorn by sinful passions from the inside, and an enormous Kraken from the outside - flows down majestically to the bottom of the fiord. They said: ok. So, there we sail.’

During the expedition, the r/v Oceanograf will visit the partner universities of the SEA-EU alliance of coastal universities, to which the University of Gdańsk also belongs. Scientists from these universities will not only welcome the research unit of the University of Gdańsk to the ports of Kiel (Germany), Bodø (Norway), and Malmö (Sweden), but will also board the r/v Oceanograf to support core research works and carry out their own scientific projects.

Rektor UG prof. Piotr Stepnowski i Zastępczyni Prezydenta Miasta Gdańska Monika Chabior oficjalnie zamykają kampanie oceanograficzną z 2022 r. 

UG Rector  prof. Piotr Stepnowski and Deputy Mayor of the City of Gdańsk Monika Chabior oficially close the oceanographic campaign of 2022, photo by Alan Stocki

It is worth mentioning that this is not the University of Gdańsk's first major international oceanographic campaign. In 2022, the r/v Oceanograf sailed from Gdynia to Cádiz, located in southern Spain. During this expedition, an international team of scientists carried out three major research projects and conducted several one-day educational cruises for students from European universities.

As early as June 3, the r/v Oceanograf will become a space for strengthening European academic cooperation, continuing the tradition of Polish polar research together with the PAS Institute of Oceanology, and spreading the women's view of the sea through the 'Women view of the Sea' exhibition to be staged in Bodø. The vessel is scheduled to return on July 5.