Expedition 2021-2024

Expedition

The expedition postponed to 2022 due to the immobilisation of the Fleur de Passion following an incident in the Gulf of Aqaba

Expedition

Le Transnational Red Sea Center was forced to suspend its first expedition season along the Sudanese coasts

Expedition

A little more than a month after her arrival in the Gulf of Aqaba and sometimes tedious logistical preparations

Expedition

First days at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences in Eilat pier

Expedition

Watch the video of the official launch of the first expedition season

Expedition

It is now official: the Transnational Red Sea Center at EPFL will conduct its first expedition season

Expedition

Swiss sailboat Fleur de Passion arrived safely in Aqaba, Jordan, on June 10th after a six-week navigation

Expedition

Discover the ceremony organized in Seville at the Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation

Expedition

Fair winds to Swiss sailboat Fleur de Passion and her crew, who set sails from Seville towards the Red Sea

Expedition

The departure of Fleur de Passion for the Red Sea was the subject of a series of events organised in Seville

The first ever Red Sea-wide coral ecosystem and biodiversity «Baseline»

The Transnational Red Sea Center is planning a series of expeditions on board the Swiss sailboat Fleur de Passion, as the first phase of its long-term vision. The 33-meter long ketch will be the logistical platform for scientific programs and flagship for outreach activities at the regional and global level. These expeditions are scheduled to start in July 2021 and take place over the summers of 2021-2024, when the water temperature in the region is at its highest. Their ambition is to progressively cover the ca. 4’500 km coastline of the eight Red Sea countries: Egypt, Eritrea, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen, and Djibouti.

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Scientific priorities

The 2021-2024 expeditions will have the following scientific priorities:




The testing ground for new technologies

An important aspect of the planned expeditions will be the employment and testing of new technologies under challenging fieldwork conditions; i.e., on board a relatively small sailboat (see below). As an example, these expeditions will test the most recent eDNA analytical technologies, providing on-board genetic information on reef-biodiversity, which can support sampling strategy in quasi real-time. These technical advances will be directly transferable to future expeditions and contribute strongly to the introduction of relatively small vessels into coastal oceanography.




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The logistical platform

The 33-meter long Swiss sailboat Fleur de Passion will be the logistical platform of the Red Sea expedition 2021-2024. The boat is a former WWII German Navy minesweeper built in 1941 in Bremen, seized by the French Navy as war compensation then converted into a sailboat in the mid-70s. Entirely renovated from 2003 to 2009 by the Geneva-based not-for-profit Fondation Pacifique, she has since then been the logistics platform and flagship for multidisciplinary oceanographic expeditions including missions in the Red Sea (2011) and on the Great Barrier Reef (2017).




Technical features

Flag:Swiss
Type:ketch
Year of construction:1941
Overall length:33m
Average speed:7 knots (13km/h)
Draught:2.8m
Capacity:12 people incl. 4 crew members
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