Crown Prince Haakon joins One Ocean Expedition as goodwill ambassador

Crown Prince Haakon joins One Ocean Expedition as goodwill ambassador

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway has agreed to serve as a goodwill ambassador for Statsraad Lehmkuhl’s upcoming major expedition, the One Ocean Expedition 2025-2026. This expedition involves a voyage around the world aboard the Norwegian tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl. Supported by Kongsberg, one of the main partners, the ship will be equipped with the newest technology from Kongsberg Discovery, transforming the vessel into a floating training facility.

The primary objective of the expedition is to raise awareness and share knowledge about the essential role of the ocean in global sustainable development. Crown Prince Haakon, renowned for his dedication to ocean conservation, hopes that the One Ocean Expedition 2025-2026 will inspire a significant international commitment to improving the health of our oceans.

“Human life and the future of the planet depend on us taking care of the ocean. I hope the One Ocean Expedition 2025-2026 will contribute to a major international commitment to improving the ocean’s health,” said Crown Prince Haakon.

Floating university

Haakon Vatle, expedition leader and CEO of the Statsraad Lehmkuhl Foundation, expressed his gratitude towards Crown Prince Haakon, stating that his support is a strong motivator for their work and helps them to spread their message to a global audience.

The One Ocean Expedition, which is a recognized part of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, will visit 20 different ports in Europe, the USA and Central and South America.

The 98-metre-long ship is a floating university and training vessel combined, bringing students, scientists, trainees and professionals together on different legs. Everyone onboard works together to sail the ship and gain experience and knowledge about the ocean and each other. During port visits, the ship is used for conferences, diplomacy, high-level meetings and corporate hospitality.

The One Ocean Expedition sets sail from Bergen in April 2025. There will be different activities scheduled at some of the ports where the tall ship arrives. A working group within Kongsberg Discovery has started planning some initial ideas. Martin Wien Fjell, president of Kongsberg Discovery, is looking forward to being part of the next voyage. “Common challenges such as climate change and ocean acidification affect all parts of the ocean. That is why the idea of traversing the global ‘One Ocean’ with a vessel that invites and demands participants to work together seemed like a fitting way to showcase the essence of the sustainability challenge and the role of the ocean in overall global sustainability,” he explained.

Advanced technology

During the first global One Ocean Expedition, 2021-2023, the vessel was equipped with scientific instruments from many project partners. Wave and other meteorological instruments were mounted on the bow and mast. Water quality and chemical sensors continuously monitored global water quality and a range of acoustic instruments, both hydrophones and echosounders, monitored marine biology. Measurements were constantly captured and reported back to shore in real time, using Blue Insight and Vessel Insight, both to raise public awareness and for scientific purposes.

“For the next expedition, the ship will be equipped with even more advanced technology. Among other things, our latest ADCP (acoustic Doppler current profiler) measures the speed of ocean currents using sound pulses. That is, it emits a ping and listens for return signals in specific time intervals,” Fjell said.

The list of new equipment also includes an additional echosounder, hull-mounted hydrophones and the Seapath motion and positioning system from Kongsberg Discovery. There is also new technology, such as AI solutions from Blue Insight.

“We hope that Statsraad Lemkuhl’s expedition and advanced technology will inspire and educate new generations of seafarers and marine scientists,” Fjell added.

Carrier of history and knowledge

On 14 January 1914, a stately three-masted steel bark slipped into the river at the Johann C. Tecklenborg shipyard in Bremerhaven, Germany. The ship was named Grossherzog Friedrich August and was built as a training ship for the German merchant marine. The ship was great, but the timing was poor, which meant that for years it did not have a clear purpose. A Norwegian by the name of Kristofer Diedrich Lehmkuhl saw the ship in Newcastle and brought it to Norway, where it was soon used to train young seamen. Since 1923, it has been named the Statsraad Lehmkuhl.

Tall ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl, captured in this archive photo, enters the port of Bergen, Norway. (Image courtesy: Shutterstock)
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