PlanetSolar Arrives in Miami, Begins Scientific Expedition

MS Turanor PlanetSolar, the world’s largest, solar-powered yacht ever constructed, made its first U.S. stopover on June 3 in Miami, Fla. The event marked the start of the boat’s scientific expedition along the Gulf Stream.

The scientific expedition to study climate change set sail from La Ciotat, France on May 23, 2013 and will dock in 16 different cities along its journey. In only 22 days, the vessel broke its existing Guinness World Record for completing the fastest transatlantic crossing with a solar boat, solely operated without any fuel or CO2 emissions.

The sun-powered, 102-ft. catamaran was welcomed to Miami with a private press conference, luncheon, and VIP tour with distinguished guests including Florida Senator Dwight Bullard, City of Miami Beach Commissioner Deedee Weithorn, City of Miami Beach Commissioner Jerry Libbin, representatives from U.S. Senator Bill Nelson and Florida Senator Gwen Margolis’ offices. Commissioners Libbin and Weithorn presented Captain Gerard D’Aborville and the onshore crew a certificate proclaiming June 3 as MS Turanor PlanetSolar Day.

The expedition kicks off the vessel’s second global tour and the launch of the 2013 “PlanetSolar Deep Water” expedition, where scientists from the University of Geneva (UNIGE) will collect data from air and water to study the key parameters of climate regulation, specifically atmospheric aerosols, phytoplankton and ocean eddies, whirlpools that carry large amounts of energy. In addition, the vessel will conduct environmental clean-up missions by collecting floating plastic waste and host educational events in port cities to raise public awareness of climate issues.

The MS Turanor PlanetSolar’s team along with Immo Stroher, owner of the vessel, will sail along the Gulf Stream’s ocean current, one of the most important regulators of European and North American climates, from May to August. The expedition will be led by Professor Martin Beniston, climatologist and director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences at University of Geneva.