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About RSV Nuyina

The icebreaker, RSV Nuyina, is the main lifeline to Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic research stations and the central platform of our Antarctic and Southern Ocean scientific research.

Nuyina enables us to cross thousands of kilometres of the world’s stormiest seas, navigate through Antarctica’s formidable sea ice barrier, and live and work for extended periods on the coldest, driest and windiest continent on earth – some of the harshest conditions in the world.

Nuyina, pronounced noy-yee-nah, means ‘southern lights’ in palawa kani, the language of Tasmanian Aborigines.

Nuyina is the Australian Government's centrepiece of the Australian Antarctic Strategy and 20 Year Action Plan launched on 27 April 2016. The $1.9 billion package covers the design, build and 30 year operational and maintenance lifespan of the icebreaker, representing the single biggest investment in the history of Australia’s Antarctic program. The ship itself cost $528 million to design and build.

Nuyina at a glance

Length overall: 160.3 metres

Maximum beam: 25.6 metres

Maximum draught: 9.3 metres

Displacement: 25,500 tonnes

Icebreaking: 1.65 metres at 3 knots

Speed: 12 knots economical, 16+ knots maximum

Range: > 16,000 nautical miles

Endurance: 90 days

Cargo fuel capacity: 1,900,000 litres / 1671 tonnes

Container capacity: 96 TEU

Cargo weight: 1200 tonnes

Passengers: 117

Crew: 32

Graphic illustrating cargo and passenger capability of Nuyina.
Logistic capabilities of RSV Nuyina. Photo: Rob Bryson
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