Mission for change: Owner of 183m expedition yacht REV Ocean leads by example



During a private tour of the 182.9m / 600ft expedition yacht REV Ocean, the YachtCharterFleet team got an exclusive insight into an owner’s mission to create a catalyst for change and establish a long-term legacy for the oceans that built him his fortune.

REV Ocean will soon become the world's largest yacht. Eager to get a closer look at the superyacht breaking new ground in design, function and technology, the YachtCharterFleet team headed out to Norway for a private tour of REV Ocean last year. 

The yacht is still under construction at VARD Shipyard, so we were expecting to come away with nothing more than a rough outline of what the yacht will look like in 2021. But we left the shipyard with something far more valuable.

Through talking to the Project managers and getting some first-hand insight into the yacht's owner, we learned that REV Ocean is a landmark in yachting that's hoping to usher in a new era of superyachts.

She is a catalyst for change that's set to ignite a revolution among superyacht owners; here's how REV Ocean's owner plans to do it. 

What is REV Ocean?

rendering of luxury yacht rev ocean
luxury yacht helipad on rev ocean
crane on research yacht rev ocean

REV Ocean is a state-of-the-art superyacht that will be committed to pioneering oceanographic research. 

The yacht will be equipped with specialist scientific equipment never before seen on a superyacht. She will play host to eight cutting-edge research laboratories, a fully-equipped dive centre and a crane attached to a trawl that will enable her to safely catch and release pelagic samples from 3,000 metres below the surface of the sea. 

She will also have a range of submersibles, both autonomous and remotely-operated, for extreme underwater exploration. They will be easily to launch to recover via a 7.7 x 5m opening in her hull known as a Moonpool. 

Alongside the research space, which equates to roughly 15 tennis courts, she will have all of the amenities that yacht charter guests would expect on a yacht of this calibre, including three pool areas, well-equipped gym facilities and a spa and wellness zone.

There will be a 36-person auditorium on board, plus 2 helipads, an on-board helicopter and its own hangar.

Who is the Owner of REV Ocean?

rev ocean luxury yacht in construction in norway
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Kjell Inge Rokke is the owner of REV Ocean. Rokke grew up close to the VARD facilities in Brattvag where REV Ocean is being built. He learned to fish in the waters of the region and he began his career as a deckhand on board a local fishing trawler. 

He went on to operate a fleet of fishing vessels and fisheries, and he has been a major stakeholder in several shipyards that specialize in fishing vessel ever since. He then moved into offshore drilling, and now owns an oil and gas company. In 2018, he was considered the richest man in Norway.

During our shipyard tour, we're told that Rokke's family has lived for many years in Molde, a small town just across the water from Brattvag. He is a well-known member of the local community. 

Juuni Vatne, Marketing Coordinator at VARD, comments;  “I think it’s a lot of pride to be here, back home, to build this vessel.”

What's the vision behind REV Ocean?

megayacht rev ocean in front of norwegian countryside

Building REV Ocean is philanthropy in its finest form- if the yacht encourages other owners go down a similar route, then Rokke’s legacy will live on for decades to come.

Kjell Inge Rokke superyacht rev ocean in brattvag at vard shipyard
Kjell Inge Rokke superyacht rev ocean aerial image at VARD shipyard in brattvag norway

Rokke’s mission is simple; save the seas.

His motivation to build REV Ocean comes from a lifelong reliance on the ocean.

Fishing is how he initially made his fortune; and now it’s time to give back. Building REV Ocean is philanthropy in its finest form- if REV Ocean encourages other yacht owners go down a similar route, then Rokke’s legacy will live on for decades to come. 

Fishing is also vital to Norway’s economy as a whole, with fish making up one of the country’s largest exports. Norway is also leading the way in the fight against climate change, with the country listed among the greenest on the planet and the second-most eco-friendly country in the world.

Mr Rokke has hired an impressive team to helm the REV Ocean research team. Nina Jensen, the former head of the World Wide Fund for Nature in Norway, has been appointed the Chief Executive of REV Ocean. Oxford University's leading marine conservation scientist Alex Rogers has joined the team as Science Director.    

Sparking a revolution among yacht Owners

yacht model of luxury yacht rev ocean with helipad
rev ocean luxury yacht under construction in norway

This yacht is not intended to be a one-off project; instead, it’s hoped she will pave the way for a new era of superyacht.

During our shipyard tour we had the chance to get some valuable insight from Lawrence Hislop, Marketing Director of REV Ocean.

“What we are hoping is that [REV Ocean] can provide inspiration for other wealthy people to reconsider how they're spending their money to some extent.” He explains. “We’d like other owners to go down this route.”

By redefining how superyachts are put to use and setting out to take serious action to save our seas, the owner of REV Ocean is putting a plan into motion.

This yacht is not intended to be a one-off project; instead, it’s hoped she will pave the way for a new era of superyacht. 

“If we do a good job and we start to save the oceans and allow wealthy people to come on board to see what it is that we are doing, we really hope that other owners will be inspired by that and want to do the same.” States Hislop.

Why build the world's largest yacht?

rev ocean yacht under construction in norway
pools on luxury yacht rev ocean
exterior decks on superyacht rev ocean

By redefining how superyachts are put to use and setting out to take serious action to save our seas, the owner of REV Ocean is putting a plan into motion.

By building the world’s largest yacht, Rokke and the REV Ocean team will create maximum exposure for their cause. The world’s largest yacht will generate a media frenzy far beyond the realms of the superyacht industry and this will create a vast platform for the REV Ocean team to share their message and elevate their mission.

An opportunity for you to give back

luxury yacht rev ocean sundeck with great views over norwegian countryside

REV Ocean's primary function is oceanographic research and analysis.

However, she will also be available to charter to individuals looking for an exploration vacation. These independent charters will fund the research missions, allowing scientists to undertake pioneering research free of charge.

For many research teams and scientists, the cost of hiring research vessels with this calibre of facilities is prohibitive.

“The idea is to get developing countries interested in the research work as well, [giving] opportunities to scientists in Africa, Asia, Latin America, who normally wouldn’t be able to [conduct research] on a yacht like this.” States Lawrence Hislop.

Charterers will be able to directly impact positive change through chartering REV Ocean.

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This unique funding model means that charterers can directly impact positive change. By chartering REV Ocean, they'll be making these research missions possible. 

Charterers can accompany the research teams, participating in research and observing the work being carried out in front of them. They can also charter the yacht privately.

“The main point of having this vessel is to go out and do scientific research work. And the business model is to get people to [charter REV Ocean] and follow the research work and going to beautiful parts of the world." Explains Hislop. 

Rokke plans to invite up to 400 marine scientists per year to spend three or four weeks each on board studying how to protect the ocean from climate change, overfishing and plastic waste. 

For the REV Ocean team, ‘Healing the ocean with data’ is a core part of their ethos. By allowing the most advanced oceanographic study tools to be accessed by research teams across the globe, the initiative hopes to create a global ocean data platform for the common good.

What's the next stage of construction?

model of superyacht rev ocean with helipad and pools
rev ocean superyacht model, with helipads
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REV Ocean is currently in the final stages of construction in Norway. The VARD shipyard is best known for commercial shipbuilding, so the facilities here are the premium choice for technical work and engineering. 

Once this stage of the build is completed, she will make her way to the specialist facilities of Lloyd Werft in Germany. It's here that she will be given the polished finish of a true superyacht, with exterior design from the multi-award-winning yacht designer Espen Oeino. 

At Lloyd Werft, she will have her interiors installed, her teak decks will be laid and all of her jacuzzis and swimming pools will be finished to the highest standards The specialist job of smoothing her hull, known as fairing, will be carried out by an army of highly-trained craftsmen, and she will then be painted. Her size means she will need an extra-large shed for this work to take place. 

The interiors meanwhile, come courtesy of H2 Yacht Design. Renderings are not yet available to the public, but YachtCharterFleet has previously spoken to founder Jonny Horsfield to get some insight into the interiors of REV Ocean.

Where will her first expeditions be taking place?

polar bear on the arctic ice in svalbad norway, first mission destination of superyacht rev ocean

Following completion at Lloyd Werft, REV Ocean will set off on her maiden voyage to Svalbard for her first scientific mission in 2021. 

She will then be setting course for New York in the autumn, in a journey that will coincide with the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. It is thought she may be positioned outside the United Nations Headquarters on the East River throughout the course of the event. 

Following which, she will be heading further south towards the clear oceans of the Caribbean. Early outlines of her itinerary suggest she will be chartering in central America and Panama. 

She will then be heading towards the Galapagos, where opportunities for exploring and studying marine life will be ample. This island chain is home to hundreds of fish species, and REV Ocean will be able to put her eco-harvesting system for live catch and release of biomass and pelagic samples to good use.

She is also expected to head to the Indian Ocean, cruising around the islands of the Seychelles and the Maldives. Part of her hydrographic analysis in this region will be centered around hydrothermal vents, which are clustered around the Central Indian Ridge between the two archipelagos.

katia damborsky on superyacht rev ocean
rev ocean shot of bowsprit

It was an honour be the first media organisation to step on board on REV Ocean and get first-hand information about REV Ocean and her owner's inspirational vision.  Nothing short of revolutionary, she is a yacht that will redefine the superyacht sector, open up a world of new possibilities for yacht owners and be integral in the mission to save our oceans.

YachtCharterFleet will be sure to keep you updated on the progress of REV Ocean, the world's largest yacht. Please get in touch with us if you are interested in using pictures or finding out more about this project and the initiative behind it.

You can also take a full tour inside superyacht REV Ocean.

If you're interested in expedition yachting vacations, you can take a look at all explorer yachts for charter.

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