CHINA'S self-developed icebreaking research vessel Xuelong 2 (Snow Dragon 2) will make a call at Shekou Cruise Homeport from Oct. 13 to 15 before its maiden voyage to Antarctica.
The Xuelong 2 (Snow Dragon 2) icebreaker returns to Shanghai Port after successfully concluding a trial voyage in South China Sea this August. Courtesy of China Marine Ecomomy Expo
An important sideline event of the 2019 China Marine Economy Expo, Snow Dragon 2 will be open to the public on Oct. 14 and the morning of Oct. 15.
Shenzhen residents were required to make reservations for a free trip to the ship by logging onto https://www.cimee.com.cn, the official website of the marine expo. Each visit will last about 50 minutes. There were 1,200 reservation slots on offer, which were fully booked within hours yesterday, according to the city's planning and natural resources bureau.
A scene of the 2018 China Marine Economy Expo held in Zhangjiang City, Guangdong Province.
On the afternoon of Oct. 15, Snow Dragon 2 will leave to carry out China’s 36th science research expedition in Antarctica along with the Snow Dragon vessel.
Snow Dragon 2 is China’s first domestically built polar research vessel and icebreaker. It was put in water in July after nearly a decade of construction. The construction of the ship, which was jointly designed by China State Shipbuilding Corp. and Finland-based Aker Arctic Technology, was initiated by Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) in 2008.
A computerized image of Snow Dragon 2's voyage to Antarctica.
The new vessel is 122.5 meters long and will be able to break through 1.5-meter-thick ice at a maximum speed of three knots, according to the Polar Research Institute of China.
It is teaming up with Xuelong to form a polar research fleet, conducting scientific research missions and supplying resources to polar regions.
The China Marine Economy Expo will be held at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center from Oct. 14 to 17, displaying the achievements of China’s marine economy and showcasing the outstanding construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The Xuelong (Snow Dragon) icebreaker brings supplies to a bootcamp of an expedition team in Antarctica. File photo
Xuelong, China’s first icebreaker, was built in Ukraine and put into service in 1994.
China first sent an expedition team to the Antarctic in 1984. Since then, it has set up four scientific research stations in the Antarctic.