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.