The research vessels POLARSTERN, METEOR, SONNE, MARIA S. MERIAN, ALKOR, HEINCKE and ELISABETH MANN BORGESE were built to meet the specific demands of marine research. They are equipped for projects in the fields of biology, geology, geophysics, glaciology, geochemistry, oceanography, and meteorology, and their operating areas are as diverse as the field of marine research itself.
The research vessel METEOR, which was commissioned in 1986, is expected to be replaced by a new vessel of the same name in early summer 2026. Cruise proposals for the new ship will be accepted from July 2024. From this point onwards, no more cruise proposals tailored to the current ship should be submitted.