Cruise Planning
Outside Home Port

Planning for Cruises Outside of Moss Landing

Expeditions outside of MBARI’s home port of Moss Landing require extensive planning. Beginning with their project proposals, project managers should provide details concerning the mission, location, and tools and equipment to be used. Mobilization time will be scheduled prior to the ship’s departure, and again after the ship’s return. Scientists and associated personnel should be available on these days to ensure proper loading and unloading of science tools, computer and other related equipment. Transit time from port to the operations/dive site is charged to your project, as well as transit time to and from the foreign port. Logistics for the expedition (including docking, hotel, meals, vendor accounts and contact information) is coordinated by DMO, however science participants are  responsible for their own travel budgets and for making their own air and ground travel arrangements.

Foreign Clearances, Customs and Immigration

Planning for expeditions within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of foreign states should begin about two years in advance. A comprehensive inventory and personnel roster must be completed and submitted with the clearance application, as once in the foreign port the ship, all personnel and all equipment must pass a customs inspection. Difficulties can arise when details of an expedition change, either while a clearance request is pending or once it has been confirmed. Therefore any changes to cruise dates, location, personnel roster, or equipment lists must be kept to a minimum. All personnel should possess appropriate paperwork (visas, passports, etc.) for an immigrations inspection. Additionally, stringent postcruise obligations must be met, including sharing of samples, data, results, and copies of publications with the host country. Within 30 days of cruise completion, it is the Chief Scientist’s responsibility to formulate and submit a schedule to meet these obligations. Keep in mind that a foreign coastal state may deny access to any and all U.S. scientists if there are outstanding obligations from a single U.S. project. Additional information on foreign expeditions and clearances can be found at the U.S. Department of State’s Marine Scientific Research Content Overview and Guidance on Supporting Documentation.

At Sea

Research Vessel Western Flyer
R/V Western Flyer cruise planning
Checklist of Supplies
Cruises outside home port
Data and video: formats and specifics
Departure/arrival times
early departure
Hazardous materials
Precruises and postcruises
ROV dive time definitions
RHIB operations
ROV users checklist
Science party guidelines
Scuba diving
Ship to shore communications
Research Vessel Rachel Carson
R/V Rachel Carson cruise planning
Research Vessel Paragon
Emergencies and contacts
Onboard documents and logs
Policies and operating guidelines
Marine operations policies
Departure/arrival times
Early departure
Elevator payload limits
Equipment design guidelines
Hazardous materials
Homer beacon policies
Lab use and chemical safety
NILSPIN ™ oceanographic ropes
Push core policies and description
RHIB operations
Rigging policy
Science party size
Cruise planning
Marine operations policies
Remotely operated vehicles
ROV Ventana
ROV Doc Ricketts
Mini remotely operated vehicle (ROV)
Autonomous underwater vehicles
Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle
Seafloor mapping AUV
Long-range autonomous underwater vehicle Tethys
Investigations of imaging for midwater autonomous platforms
Benthic Rover
Autonomous surface vehicles
Wave Glider
Wave Glider-based communications hotspot
2020 Expeditions
2019 Expeditions
2018 Expeditions
2017 Expeditions
2016 Expeditions
2015 Expeditions
2014 Expeditions
2013 Expeditions
2012 Expeditions
Cabled observatory
About MARS
MARS contacts
MARS science experiments
Ocean Soundscape
Soundscape Listening Room
MARS hydrophone data
How to connect to MARS
MARS contacts
How to interface
MARS site description
MARS instrument deployment
MARS biology
MARS technology
MARS connector wiring
MARS node description
More ocean observatory resources
Local notice to mariners
Mooring data
Research tools
Administration & planning
Marine operations technicians