RV Tangaroa

RV Tangaroa is New Zealand’s only ice strengthened and dynamically positioned deep-water research vessel.

Equipped for ocean science, oil and gas exploration and marine engineering, Tangaroa provides a sophisticated environmental survey and ocean science platform throughout the South Pacific, Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

Key features

DP2 – dynamic position system

Fitted out with a Dynamic Positioning (DP2), Tangaroa can remain stationary or track a precise path,  even in the often challenging Southern Ocean environment.

Find out more about the dynamic positioning system (DP2)

RV Tangaroa’s hull-mounted multibeam echosounder and sub-bottom profiler

RV Tangaroa’s multibeam echosounder can survey the seabed to hydrographic quality. The sub-bottom profiler can produce high-resolution imagery of the geology up to 200m below the seabed.

Watch this video to see how Tangaroa's multibeam system is used for bathymetric (seabed) mapping:

Further specifications and principal features

The vessel is equipped with a range of modern and sophisticated equipment enabling sampling and measurements to be taken from the sea surface, through the water column to the seabed and below.

View detailed specifications & principal features


Please click here for a list of key contacts


From the tropical waters of the pacific to the icy waters of Antarctica, read about RV Tangaroa's latest voyages.   


RV Tangaroa [Dave Allen]
Birds eye view of RV Tangaroa as it came into to Wellington Harbour, 2019. [Dave Allen]
RV Tangaroa, Dunedin Open Day 2019. [Stuart Mackay]
Barry Fleming (left) and Michael Michie (right) ready the seamount sled for re-deployment after it has been emptied on deck (rocks on left). The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 'Sentry' is in the foregorund. Photo taken by Kareen Schnabel.
Property of NIWA LTD 2005 all rights reserved (reference 11-20859.tif).