Japan’s Antarctic Research Expeditions has chartered the New Zealand owned Tangaroa for their first dedicated marine science cruise.

The voyage is the second of four to Antarctic waters south of Tasmania this Antarctic season, and is part of a cooperative Australian/Japanese program aimed at better understanding the Southern Ocean’s role in controlling global climate.

Earlier this summer the Aurora Australis undertook a 45 day cruise. The area is currently being visited by another Japanese ship Hakuho Maru and will be visited by the Japanese vessel Shirase in March.