Her background story

Since her construction in 1958, Kinfish has gone through several episodes including upgrades and modifications to fit the demands of her various areas of operation. She has served as a sea rescue cruiser, mapped the oceans for the Norwegian government and sailed as a survey vessel all over Europe. In 2018 Kinfish entered the expedition market where she is currently in service under ownership and management of Northern Expeditions.

Transformation to enter the survey market


In 1985 the Ambassador Bay became P/R Geofjord and changed port of registry to Bergen, Norway. The new owner had other plans herl and in 1986 she was put back at the dock yard for some major re-modifications, this time at Båtservice Verft in Mandal, Norway. At the yard she was lengthened by 9 meters and had the aft deck replaced. The electrical system was modernized and the old main engine was replaced with the 750 bhp Grenaa Diesel that is still pulling her load today.

Her new area of usage was as a hydrographic survey vessel within the oil- and gas industry. During the following years she took part in most of the major mapping- and preparation projects for pipe-laying between the Norwegian offshore oilfields and the Norwegian coast. She also mapped the seabed in preparation for putting down the still-in-use gas lines to Germany, Belgium and England.

In between she did bottom surveys for sea chart mapping and in 1990 she was chartered by the Norwegian Hydrographic Service (“Sjøkartverket”) to take part in an extensive mission to update the navigational charts along the Norwegian coast and in Svalbard.

Back to her previous owner


In 2001 Sjømåleren was bought back from the government by her previous owner, Geoconsult. Her name was changed to Geosund and she was once again registered in Bergen, Norway.

The following year she was used on the Norwegian oil fields and in the rapidly growing offshore wind farm business as a supplement to her owner’s new, larger vessel.

In 2002 she was sold yet again, this time to a French company within the survey industry.

Back to her origin


As IX Blue placed the order of a new, larger survey vessel, the Ixplorer was put out for sale. In 2016 she was bought by Northern Research Shipping AS, a Norwegian company with extensive experience in ship building and specialization in the survey industry. She changed flag back to Norway and was registered in Grimstad under the name Kinfish.

During the following year her new owner put much effort into further improvements and modernizations. The Kinfish was put through an extensive upgrade on technical equipment including complete remake of the survey station into a new double purpose survey station and lounge. The bridge equipment was updated to modern standard with new electronic chart systems.

The cabins and interior spaces were upgraded to a decent living standard with the old surveyor cabins remade into five double ensuite and one tripe ensuite passenger cabins.

She was equipped with a bow- and stern thruster for integration with a brand new engine control system and a dynamic positioning system (“DP system”) for advanced survey and subsea operations.

While in dry dock the already ice-classed hull was further ice strengthened to ensure safe navigation in the Polar regions.

The idea from her new owner was to improve the ability of the vessel in the survey business while expanding her capability to also take passengers on exclusive expeditions worldwide.



The expected vessel prefix for Kinfish would be M/V, which stands for “Motor Vessel”, but in honor of her background, we have chosen to keep the prefix R/V, meaning “Research Vessel”.

To spice up her background story, recently released secret documents show that the her early years as sea rescue cruiser was not all about salvage and rescue. Turns out she had a double life and participated in several covert military operations as a spy vessel in-between her sea rescue missions.

Learn more about her vast background onboard or please send us an email with any questions you may have!

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