The "Sir Hubert Wilkins" is a Class 1A  Ice vessel which her owners Ocean Frontiers use as a private Antarctic expedition support vessel.  She is based in Hobart, Tasmania from where she undertakes several Antarctic voyages each year as far as the Ross Sea and other areas of the Antarctic coastline as well as various sub Antarctic islands.

The following photos show the vessel arriving at Lyttelton (The Port of Christchurch) on Monday 16th October, 2000 on her delivery voyage from Finland. She had arrived from Papeete and was scheduled to stay in the port for a month during which she was overhauled,  painted and had many modifications done.  The vessel has an interesting background as the Finish State Yacht and has as such carried several famous persons including  US President Gerald Ford and the Russian Premier Kruschev.

We offer mail from the vessel here

For details of Sir Hubert Wilkins after whom the ship was named, visit this exellent website here

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The "Sir Hubert Wilkins" arriving in the outer harbour at Lyttelton


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Passing into the Lyttelton inner harbour


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Approaching her berth and clearly showing hull rust


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Berthed at number 3 finger wharf with her new name temporarily painted on bows


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This is how the vessel should look like when painted and refitted for Antarctica.


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A few days after arriving the "Sir Hubert Wilkins" was transferred to a finger wharf beside the Lyttelton Dry Dock where she was placed in the hands of ship fitters Stark Brothers who commenced an extensive refit and repaint. The above view shows her at the wharf prior to repainting.


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Here we can see on the stern the vessels previous port of registry given as La Paz in Bolivia. The vessel will shortly be re-registered at Port Vila in Vanuatu.


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Some of the refurbishment already underway. The first painting was the deck of the vessel painted grey.


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Here we can see a small barge used by the hull painters.


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Further painting of the hull with grey undercoat for the pictorial stern design.

This view was taken on November 4th 2000.


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A week later on November 11th, the hull painting was completed and even the mast is now resplendant in bright red.


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This view shows the attractive stern pictorial design plus the new helicopter pad erected over the stern. The vessel will have its own Hughes 300 helicopter (pilot and 2 passengers) which will join the vessel in Sydney.


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This stern view taken on November 12th 2000 shows the helicopter pad added


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A interesting view taken on the helicopter pad


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This view shows the day room with the ship's owners Don (at left) and Margie (seated at right) McIntyre.


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Don McIntyre on the vessels bridge which is in the middle of being upgraded.

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The view at left shows the galley of "Sir Hubert Wilkins"

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Don McIntyre at right signing special philatelic mail for Klaus Arne Pedersen of the Antarctic Protection Society at left.


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Another view of the bridge on a later date.


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An individual cabin on "Sir Hubert Wilkins"


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A view of a lounge on board


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The Radio Room situated behind the bridge.


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Final touches being done to the foredeck.


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The vessel showing her new port of registration - Port Vila in Vanuatu.


SHWCrest.jpg (20192 bytes) The "Sir Hubert Wilkins" sports this colourful crest on her bows.

The vessel left Lyttelton on Saturday 25th November 2000 on her inaugural voyage in her new role of Antarctic Support vessel.   She first sailed to Sydney for an official welcome and to load her helicopter and then down to Hobart to take on expeditioneers for her first trip to Commonweath Bay on the Antarctic continent.

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