The B.I.O. Hesperides oceanographic and research vessel is a ship managed jointly by the Spain’s Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Defense. The main mission of the ship is research and scientific campaigns related to the oceans and seas of the World, and as a secondary task it has to map the seabed for the Spanish Navy, a task that develops for one month a year. It also supplies the two Spanish Antartic bases, “Juan Carlos I” base on Livingstone Island and “Gabriel de Castilla” on Deception Island. Hesperides is equipped with several laboratories, including one that works at -20º and a wet laboratory with continuous sea water distribution. It has several storage areas and is equipped with two EM-120 multi-beam echo sounders, one for depths up to 11,000 meters and another for depths of 600 meters. Two more EK-60 single-beam echo sounders for biomass measurement, a seismic profiler (TOPAS) and an acoustic doppler complete the electronic equipment. The Hesperides crew is military but they have space on board for 37 scientists and their equipment. She entered service in 1991 and is one of the most active vessels in the Spanish Navy with an average of 240 days of navigation per year.

HESPERIDES gallery and more info


Información adicional

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Country of origin



Bazán, Cartagena


Oceanographic research ship

Entered service




Displacement, (full load)

2,830 tonnes

Dimensions (length x beam x draught)

82.50 x 14.33 x 4.80 meters


2 x MAN-Bazan 1220/27 diesel engines, 1,900 hp each + 2 x AEG electric motors + 1 bow thruster, 350 hp

Power, (total)

3,800 shp + 450 hp

Shafts - Screws

1 shaft – 1 screw


15 Knots (28 km/h)


12,000 n. miles (22,200 km) at 13 knots


1 medium type

Machine guns

1 x 5.56 or 7.62mm