A much-anticipated journey to Antarctica is only days away, with formalities finalised ahead of RSV Nuyina's maiden voyage to the frozen continent.
The Nuyina, which arrived in Hobart in late October after a 24,000 kilometre journey from the Netherlands, was officially launched on Saturday morning by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley.
The 160-metre-long ship captured the minds of Tasmanians when it was first seen from the Hobart docks, as its potential began to be realised.
Its helicopter deck can accommodate four small helicopters and is as big as seven cricket pitches.
Mr Morrison said the $529 million dollar Nuyina was the "most advanced polar research vessel in the world".
The Nuyina has scope for 20 container laboratories for scientific research projects, has a "moon pool" in its hull which allows submersibles to be deployed from the ship and has a wet well that can grab specimens from the ocean.
"Already she is drawing the attention of the international scientific community and that means good news for jobs in Tasmania as the gateway to Antarctica," Mr Morrison said.
Ms Ley said the Nuyina has the potential to go on voyages for up to 90 days.
Those on board the voyage are set to be sustained by a smorgasbord of Northern Tasmanian foods from September through to April.
Ms Ley said the ship would transport expeditioners to Antarctica and resupply the four Australian Antarctic stations.
The ship was originally due to arrive in Tasmania in 2020, but those plans were felled by COVD-19.
Following Monday's maiden voyage, a two-month research trip is scheduled for February-March.
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