The Norwegian vessel RV Lance will replace the lost MFV Geo Searcher when it has been refitted in Denmark.

RV Lance bought for Tristan da Cunha

The Norwegian fisheries news outlet Fiskeribladet has reported that the Tromsø registered RV Lance has been sold for operations between Cape Town and Tristan da Cunha. The ship departed Tromsø on Wednesday 9th June 2021 for Hirtshals, Denmark, where she will undergo an extensive refit. She is expected to sail for the South Atlantic in about two months' time, and will operated by Ovenstone Agencies (Pty) Ltd. Ovenstone's Managing Director Andrew James is travelling to Hirtshals on Monday 14th June to meet the vessel.

The RV Lance pictured in Tromsø in 2019.

The RV Lance pictured in Tromsø in 2019. Photo: Geir Vinnes

The Lance was built in 1978 as a seal hunting and fishing vessel, with a specially reinforced hull to work in difficult ice conditions. In fact, the ship has been operated as a polar research vessel by the Norwegian Government for most of its career, mainly in the Norwegian Arctic, but also in the Antarctic. The fishing company Lance AS acquired the ship in 2018 for sealing. Its last seal hunt in 2020 was in the pack ice between Jan Mayen island and Greenland.

Andrew James adds, "As a team, we are very proud to be introducing a unique piece of Norway’s maritime history to Tristan, itself a unique community."

Andrew informs us that the main objectives of the refit in Denmark are enlarging the hold spaces and increasing the cargo hold hatch dimensions. The vessel already has ample space for passengers, but work will also be undertaken on the accommodation. Interestingly, the ship currently has a helideck above the stern, and a crow's nest on top of the foremast.


Displacement: 2370 tons fully loaded   Main Engine: MAK 453
Draught: 5.7 metres   Power & Fuel: 3200 bhp diesel
Length: 60.8 metres   Cruising Speed: 12 Knots
Beam: 12.6 metres   Maximum Speed: 14 Knots

More specifications, deck plans and numerous photographs of the vessel, both inside and out, as well as video deck tour, can been found on the Norsk Megling & Auksjon website. We expect to post further information about the refit and the plans for Tristan in due course.