The construction of Tara Polar Station started in Cherbourg

After 5 years of design, Tara Ocean Foundation program moved from plans to reality. Construction of the new vessel designed for Arctic observation and scientific research began. The shipyard has been entrusted to Constructions mécaniques de Normandie (CMN) in Cherbourg.

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The “keel” of the future drifting polar base was laid.

The moon-pool, the central part of the construction, was on the assembly table. This first symbolic moment confirmed the progress of the building site!


Prince Albert II of Monaco and Olivier Poivre d’Arvor visited the construction site.

On Friday, September 29 his Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco and Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, French Ambassador for the Poles and Maritime Issues visited the shipyard.


The Polar station is taking shape

Construction of Tara Polar Station is progressing on the Cherbourg construction site.


Tara Polar Station: Studying the Arctic to step up research on climate change and biodiversity.

“The Arctic Ocean recorded one of the lowest sea ice thickness at the end of winter. Time is running ut for its largely unknown biodiversity.”

— alerted Chris Bowler, CNRS research director at the Ecole normale superieure (ENS° and chairman of the scientific committee of Tara Ocean Foundation.

Timelapse of the first months of construction

After fitting the assembly table and the moon pool, the central piece of the construction, the 2cm-thick hull is being assembled. A real technical challenge is being met!

Construction : Step 1

The power of teamwork

The Tara Ocean Foundation teams had the opportunity to discover the Tara Polar Station construction site at Constructions Mécaniques de Cherbourg. It was a very inspiring moment. The team is more than ever ready to expand its actions: Tara + Tara Polar Station.



A drifting observatory and scientific laboratory

Once locked in sea ice, Tara Polar Station’s purpose will be to strengthen French and international research on the Arctic environment, among the most extreme on our planet, to better understand the impact of climate change on biodiversity and the adaptive abilities of endemic species.

Plan de coupe TPS
Tara Polar Station’s general arrangement drawing

Focus on the construction of Tara Polar Station

The drifting scientific polar base, Tara Polar Station, will embark scientists from all over the world on multiple successive drifts until 2045. Climatologists, biologists, physicists, glaciologists, oceanographers, artists, physicians, journalists and sailors will collaborate and live together aboard Tara Polar Station to conduct observations and in situ measurements in temperatures ranging between -45 and -20°C during the polar night in winter.

Technical challenges


Centerpiece of the construction of the drifting polar station, the moon-pool is an aluminum cylinder 1,5 meters in diameter designed to allow sampling of polar waters down to depths exceeding 2,500 meters. It serves as a reference for the entire construction. An error in its positioning would impact irreversibly the rest of the construction of the future Tara Polar Station.

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