R/V Blue Heron

The University of Minnesota's research vessel

R/V Blue Heron traveling on Lake Superior
You can tour the R/V Blue Heron during our Science on Deck events

The Large Lakes Observatory operates the largest university-owned research vessel (R/V) in the Great Lakes, the R/V Blue Heron.

Built in 1985 for fishing on the Grand Banks, the Blue Heron was purchased by the University of Minnesota in 1997, and converted into a limnological research vessel during the winter of 1997-98.

She is outfitted with state-of-the-art research equipment and has berthing for 11 crew and scientists.

The Blue Heron is part of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), and is the only UNOLS vessel on the Great Lakes. It can travel at 9 knots and be out on the lakes for up to 3 weeks before coming back to shore.

Equipment and Capabilities

Cruise Planning