The Bulgarian research ship “Saints Cyril and Methodius” will set sail for its first mission to Antarctica at the end of the year, the head of the Naval Academy Boyan Mednikarov announced today.
This statement was made at the opening of a photo exhibition organized by the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute and the Union of Young Researchers of the (South) Pole. It is hosted in the Maritime Museum of Varna and one of its main points is the ship that will be used by the Bulgarian researchers.
In a video message, Professor Hristo Pibirev, director of the Bulgarian research program, recalled that a modern research laboratory is being built at the Bulgarian base on Livingston Island. However, he pointed out that it is much more important that the Bulgarian researchers will have a vessel, managed by a consortium.
Mednikarov added that repairs on the vessel are nearing completion and the ship will be tested and equipped. He reminded that the flag of the Bulgarian Navy was raised on the vessel in the summer of 2021 and thanked the Navy for its cooperation.
The maiden voyage will start from Varna and via Istanbul, Cartagena, Las Palmas, Buenos Aires, Ushuaia and Drake Passage will end at Livingston Island, said the ship’s captain Nikolai Danailov.
He said the crew will include 21 military personnel and a military doctor. For the cadets who will be included in the trip, the mission will be of a practical training nature.
No Bulgarian military research vessel has passed Gibraltar, Danailov said. He explained that the journey to Antarctica would take 40 to 50 days including loading and unloading. The vessel is expected to bring to the Bulgarian base almost 50 tons of cargo, which will be unloaded by boats and rafts on a landlocked coast.
Crew preparations are underway, Danailov said. He added that the equipment on board the ship allows research activities to be carried out throughout the voyage.
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