The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) manages the RV Belgica (which includes, the planning of the scientific campaigns, the responsibility for the ship’s budget and the scientific instrumentation support).



  • Belgian Science Policy Office (BELSPO) is the owner of the multidisciplinary research vessel as representative of the Belgian State.


  • The private operator Genavir is responsible for the integrated management and operation of the ship (which includes, the crewing and the operational & maintenance support).


  • The long-term cooperation with the Belgian Naval Component (dating back to the 1960s) will be continued, in a slimmed-down form: the Belgian Navy provides the bridge personnel (Captain, Chief Mate, Second Officer) and the home port of Zeebrugge.


  • RV Simon Stevin and RV Belgica have complementary operating areas: RV Simon Stevin is deployed in coastal areas (in the Southern Bight of the North Sea) while RV Belgica will also be used for open ocean research. The optimal deployment of both ships will be regulated through a coordinated planning of the yearly campaign schedules.


  • Internationally, knowledge and experience with regard to research ship management and operations are exchanged through participation in ERVO and IRSO.