Yacht Class n°10 (sept-oct-nov 2017)

On July 27th, the Yersin, under the Monegasque flag, set sail for a three-year scientific journey. Aboard, multi-disciplinary missions will be carried out to “reconnect humanity and the sea”, as her owner, François Fiat, pointed out. And prolonging the Princely commitment regarding environment.

Written by Romain Chardan – Photos : Eric Mathon, Axel Bastello, Gaetan Luci / Palais Princier, Michel Dagnino / Musée Océanographique de Monaco

Many explorers sailed the seas and oceans in search of discoveries, new lands or civilizations. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Columbus, Vespucci, Cartier, Prince Albert Ist… All have their name in history books. The crew of the Yersin may one day join them. “Monaco Explorations” was officially launched with a departure ceremony held by the Yacht Club de Monaco. The crew was there, as was François Fiat, the owner. “This is a dream that I have had since childhood when I read The Adventures of Tintin. Designing and building the Yersin have been a 10-year project. And this is only the beginning of the adventure which I am more than honoured to share with Prince Albert II and the Principality”, explain François Fiat, adding the Yersin is “the vessel of Monaco Explorations. It is time to reconnect humanity and the sea. To this end you decided, Monseigneur, to launch Monaco Explorations. Reconnecting Humanity and the Sea, this is thus the mission of Monaco, and the Yersin will be the instrument”.

Princely patronage

Accompanied by Princess Charlene and their children, Hereditary Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, the Sovereign, who is deeply committed to the defence of the oceans and ecology, also took the floor. In attendance of Serge Telle, State Minister, Karmenu Vella European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Erick Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Prince Albert II declared that “this magnificent, innovative, ecological, with outstanding scientific facilities, vessel is joining this new adventure. An adventure to protect our planet and our seas, unfortunately so badly treated. This adventure is shared by the whole Principality, marking in concrete its commitment to this great ambition. The scientific programs selected for this campaign will have several objectives, notably a better knowledge of the oceans and the threats they face, in order to contribute to the search for local and international solutions, both from practical and political points of view. We are witnessing a moment that will remain in our memories, in those of the Principality of Monaco, and in those of all the defenders of the seas.”

Family legacy

A lithograph of Sainte-Dévote, the patron saint of Monaco, was given François Fiat while Prince Albert II handed over to Captain Jean Dumarais the Monegasque flag. Personalities present then witnessed her departure, surrounded by fireworks on Port Hercules. Her first destination, Macaronesia (a collection of islands composed of Azores, Madeira, Canaries and Cabo Verde archipelagos) is highly symbolic, since Prince Albert II’s great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert Ist, went there in his own time. Known as “the Scholarly Prince” and “the Sailing Prince”, this pioneer in maritime exploration conducted more than thirty expeditions, with notably an interest for deep sea biology. They started early 1870’s, two decades before he created the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco and the eponymous museum. Today, almost 120 years after the ancestor of Prince Albert II’s reported on the status land and marine ecosystems there, the Yersin will follow in his footsteps in September. In Cabo Verde for instance, the scientist team will search for a lizard species observed by Albert Ist but nearly impossible to find now. By reviving this tradition of exploration, the Principality pursues its fight against pollution. And here again, the Yersin is some kind of white knight, or rather a clean knight.

A unique tool

During the 36-month-expedition, the crew and the many successive scientists on board will explore protected spots, usually inaccessible by boats to avoid any pollution. To reach them, the Yersin was conceived to be completely “clean”, with no emission nor discharge. Pumps have been set up to collect salty water, then treated to make it drinkable and avoid loading up litres of bottled water on board. Waste are crushed, sterilized and stored for a period of 50 days for 40 people. Fitted to provide a maximal comfort, the Yersin can accommodate 18 passengers plus the crew. She carries advanced technologies, including research laboratories, a scientific HQ plus a complete diving station that will allow divers to reach 30 metres while deeper ones will be ensured by a ROV underwater drone… All the equipment needed to conduct the many missions awaiting the boat of the first Ambassador of the Charter of the Belle Classe Superyacht of the Yacht Club of Monaco.

Around the world

Until her return in June 2020, the Yersin will carry out multi-disciplinary missions. Among these, studies will be conducted on a large variety of natural habitats: from conserved ones to those affected by human pollution, the seamounts. Marine biology, molecular biology, biodiversity, mega fauna, protection of endangered species, ocean acidification, global warming, pollution… With more than 100 stops in nine selected geographical areas, their purpose will be to learn, understand and testify of the health of the seas. After conducting sea trials from the Mediterranean to the High North, the Yersin confirmed that she can sail in all types of weather over time. And to share their findings, the facilities were equipped by Monaco Telecom. A satellite connection will then ensure her security plus the communication means required for Monaco Explorations to share its advances and discoveries on social networks.


  • Length : 76,6 m.
  • Beam : 12 m.
  • Draft : 4,2 mètres
  • Fuel : 350 000 l.
  • Water : 50 000 l.
  • Sleeping capacity : 44 pers.
  • Max speed : 16 nœuds
  • Cruising speed : 12 nœuds
  • Range : 12 000 milles à 11 knots
  • Weight : 250 tonnes

La mission étape par étape

  • September 2017 – Monaco – Macaronesia
  • November/December 2017 – Caribbean (Dominican Republic, Martinique)
  • January/February/March 2018 – East Pacific Corridor (Malpelo – Galapagos)
  • July/August 2018 – Polynesia (Marquesas Islands, Millenium Island)
  • November/December 2018 – Coral Sea (New Caledonia, Torres Strait)
  • March/April 2019 – Coral Triangle (Banggai, Palaos, Tubbataha, Manado, Sulawesi)
  • November/December 2019 – Indian Ocean (Chagos, Seychelles, Maldives, Oman)
  • April 2020 – Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean
  • May/June 2020 – Western Mediterranean

The current magazine