All aboard Yersin for the launch of Monaco Explorations!

Three-year expedition for the protection of our ecosystem

Thursday, July 27, 2017 will remain a historic date, as the day M/V Yersin, Francois Fiat’s transoceanic mega-yacht, hoisted anchor in the presence of Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene and their 2 and-a-half year-old royal twins Jacques and Gabriella, and departed from the Yacht Club of Monaco to start the 3-year exploration voyage. (Photo insert: Yersin seen from the sky @MC-CLC – Thierry Apparu)

HSH Prince Albert presented Yersin’s Captain Jean Dumarais with the Monaco flag, with Prince Hereditary Jacques also participating in the vessel’s benediction. After descending from the vessel Prince Albert gave a brief presentation on the Monaco Explorations project, created under his initiative following on the steps of his great-great grandfather Albert I, a consummated explorer, a man ahead of his time.

Royal twins on board Yersin

Hereditary Prince Jacques, in white pants and white polo with the Monaco Explorations logo, and Princess Gabriella, in a navy blue dress, accompanied their parents on board the Yersin on this special ocassion, charming everybody present.

Bon voyage! 

When night fell, at exactly 22:30, Yersin lifted anchor and started to move away from the dock. Really moved by the historic moment, YCM members joined Prince Albert branding Red & White Monaco flags to salute the departure of the Yersin. It was truly a memorable ocassion that will forever be remembered.

Monaco Explorations is based on an international and multidisciplinary campaign combining natural and human sciences, descriptions of places and environments that are rarely explored as well as the study of the behavior of the species present, their interactions, ethnology and relationships with the atmosphere and the Earth. The first stage in Yersin’s expedition will be Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean, for a project around monk seals in danger of extinction, by establishing cartography of the animals migration to help the local researchers.

“The Yersin is an exceptional vessel, a boat for cruising also designed for research purposes, and an impressive autonomy of several days or even several months. She keeps alive the tradition of Prince Albert I and Captain Cousteau’s boats and other explorers who left from Monaco. It is quite moving and extraordinary to think that thanks to Mr Fiat and his family, and his attachment to the Yacht Club de Monaco, this great adventure, where science and education take centre stage, can be revived,” said HSH Prince Albert II.

François Fiat, the owner and a member of the Yacht Club de Monaco, is also the first La Belle Classe Superyachts ambassador. This prestigious label unites owners determined to safeguard maritime heritage and promote new technologies towards sustainable development. It is a philosophy very much in line with three Monegasque Institutions that have encouraged the Yersin project: the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Oceanographic Institute and the Monaco Scientific Centre (CSM).

“It is a flawless vessel, zero emissions, without carbon imprint into the atmosphere”, assures his Captain Jean Dumarais. “On board Yersin, 70% of the space is dedicated to technology, 230% to dwelling and comfort, the inverse of a yacht,” continued the Captain. However, in the leisure areas, the cinema room with fifteen armchairs, cozy salons, and a sports area guarantee a comfortable stay.

About Yersin

The Yersin is a versatile and modular transoceanic ship designed for travel and exploration, offering the scientific community conditions of maximum comfort and safety, carrying the advanced technologies for research and communication. (Photo insert: Yersin at YCM  @CelinaLafuentedeLavotha)

The vessel, that has a complex laboratory on board, was named in honor of Doctor Alexandre Yersin (1863 – 1943), French-Swiss doctor, bacteriologist and explorer celebrated for discovering the pest bacillus and the elaboration of the first serum to cure the disease.

Created by Pierre Jacques Kubis Naval Design in collaboration with the in-house team, Piriou Engineering, the motor yacht has been designed for world cruising in extreme conditions (-20°C/+50°C). Built to passenger ship standards (hence the term Motor-Vessel), the construction of Yersinwas entrusted to French shipyard Piriou in Concarneau. No agent, no naval architect and no designer: François Fiat, his wife, his Captain, Jean Dumarais, and his Chief Engineer, Yordan Hristov designed her, monitored the whole construction process and selected the equipment and fittings themselves.

Francois Fiat explains that the M/V Yersin has been built around the A.S.E. project, with three key objectives in mind as to how the vessel will be deployed: Adventure, Science and Education.

A for Adventure: “It has been a dream of mine since childhood – inspired by Tintin, Prince Albert 1’s Hirondelle and Captain Cousteau’s Calypso – which within three years has become a reality. I wanted a boat that could sail anywhere, in any weather, with a reinforced hull for the ice. As her vocation is exploration we wanted to set aside 70% of the space to communal and technical areas.”

S for Science: The vessel is packed with eco-friendly technology. “We have electric propulsion, supplied on demand by generators as one still cannot store energy in batteries. At a cruising speed of 11 knots we consume 380 litres of diesel, half of what we would consume with diesel engines. At a slow-steaming speed of 9 knots, our total consumption (electricity, heating / air conditioning included) falls to 180 liters an hour, giving us autonomy for 12,000 miles and 40 days at sea with 40 people on board. Nothing is discharged into the sea: we recycle grey water for washing the boat for example, and produce freshwater for all our needs. But we only do oil changes in ports equipped for this, and then there’s no question of introducing foreign particles to an environment hundreds of miles from where we have taken water on for the desalination system.”

E for Education: “We can take children on board to educate future generations on protecting the environment. This is also what we did at the event with HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco. The broad smiles and messages they retained after a day on the water convinced us that this mission for the vessel is a very valid one.”

Technical specifications:

  • Shipyard: Piriou in Concarneau (France)
  • Length: 77m
  • Beam: 13m
  • Displacement: 2,300 UMS
  • Capacity: 18 passengers and 18 crewmembers
  • Bureau Veritas: ICE Class IC
  • Electric propulsion with Schottel Azipod system
  • Cleanship certification

Today’s Quote

“It’s not a life to not move.” Alexandre Yersin

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