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Marion Dufresne was commissioned in 1995 to carry out global oceanographic research and to re-supply the French Austral islands of Crozet, Kerguelen, Amsterdam and Saint-Paul.

It is one of the world’s largest scientific vessels, measuring 120 m in length and with a dead weight of 4,900 tons.   She is shown at left berthed in Wellington on January 30th, 2006.

It carries a wide range of advanced oceanographic, geophysical and geological equipment. Among its arsenal of research tools are two that place this vessel at the forefront of global marine research: its giant piston corer ‘Calypso,’ capable of recovering deep-sea sediment cores 60 meters long and weighing up to 10 tons; and its multi-beam sonar mapper, which produces high-resolution images of the seafloor. She carries 3 helicopters and can carry 110 passengers.

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MARION 1  1995 (September 4th) Cover posted at the Port Post Office, Reunion Island.  Price US$8

The above envelope was carried on the inaugural voyage of the "Marion Dufresne" to TAAF.   It has another Inaugural Voyage cachet on the back.

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MARION 2  2000 (July 7th) cover posted Alfred Faure Base, Crozet Island.  Price US$5

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The cachet at left is on the back of the above cover.

It shows that the cover was carried by Helicopter from the vessel to Crozet Island.

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MARION 3  2000 (August 5th) Cover posted Port aux Francais, Kerguelen Island.  Price US$5

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The above cover has the cachet as shown at left applied on its back.

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MARION 4  2000 (September 26th) cover posted paquebot Carnarvon, Western Australia.  Price US$5

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MARION 5  2001 (May 8th) WEPAMA Cruise cover posted paquebot Kupang, Malaysia.  Price US$5

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The picture at left shows the captain and crew on board the Marion Dufresne organising and stamping expedition mail.

Each person has a separate cachet to apply. Some cachets are self-inking while others need a separate ink pad.

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MARION 6  2001 (May 30th) WEPAMA Cruise cover posted paquebot Keelung.  Price US$5

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MARION 7  2001 (June 28th) WEPAMA Cruise cover posted Sakaide, Japan.  Price US$5

Note: The WEPAMA cachet is on the back of this envelope.

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MARION 8  2001 (July 10th) WEPAMA cruise end cover posted Le Port, Reunion Island.  Price US$5

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MARION 9  2001 (July 11th) Cover posted Port Louis, Mauritius. Price US$5

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MARION 10  2001 (November 11th) Cover posted Alfred Faure Base Crozet Island.  Price US$5

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MARION 11  2006 (February 9th) Expedition postcard posted Auckland.  Price US$5

The cachet at right is on the reverse of the above postcard.

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The Marion Dufresne is shown at left in Wellington on 30th January, 2006.

She was undertaking a research project along with New Zealand scientists from the National Institue of Water and Air (NIWA) looking at climate change, sediment deposits and the history of underwater avalances on the New Zealand sea floor off both the West Coast of the South Island and the East Coast of the North Island.

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MARION 12  2006 (February 9th) Expedition postcard posted Auckland with MD stamp.  Price US$6

Note: The above postcard is franked with a New Zealand Post $1.50 stamp which has a design depicting the Marion Dufresne. The vessel called into Auckland at the conclusion of her New Zealand expedition.

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