Operation Area of the Vessels

German Research Vessels Portal

In the field of basic marine research, Germany has a very efficient fleet of research vessels at its disposal. As universal platforms, the vessels facilitate research in all marine science disciplines and in the waters of all oceans.

This portal provides a platform for scientists working at publicly funded research institutions (universities, institutions of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, institutions of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Scientific Association, institutes of the Max Planck Society, and subordinate federal authorities) to submit cruise proposals for the research vessels POLARSTERN, METEOR, SONNE, MARIA S. MERIAN, ALKOR, HEINCKE, and ELISABETH MANN BORGESE. Proposals for secondary use of RV POLARSTERN are accepted also from scientists who are employed at a research institution outside Germany.

The decision on which research groups will be allocated access to the research vessels is made in the framework of a uniform evaluation procedure based on scientific criteria. For further information, please refer to the subpage "Evaluation".

Important note: The "Cruise Proposal Preparation Instructions" are updated consistently and the ship proposals must be composed in accordance with the current version.

Short cruises of one to three working days aiming at the test of scientific equipment under development can be requested directly at the ship operators (see subpage "Contact").

Information for potential secondary users:

All cruises recommended by the GPF to be included in the scheduling process that could not be scheduled yet by the ship operating institutions are listed in the following overview:

> Overview table of approved but not yet scheduled cruise proposals

News and Announcements:


The previous submission system was decommissioned. Cruise proposals can now be submitted via DFG's elan Portal.

Please note that using the elan Portal requires a one-time registration, which must first be confirmed by the DFG. Confirmation usually takes place within 24 hours on weekdays. No new registrations can be processed on weekends.

Users of the research vessels who are already registered in the elan Portal for other purposes can use their existing account and do not have to register again.


Current GPF Panel sessions:

13th GPF meeting: January 31 / February 01, 2024
Feedback to proponents: from March 04, 2024

14th GPF meeting: June 20-21, 2024
Feedback to proponents: from July 29, 2024