The research vessel (R/V) Oceanus was owned by the National Science Foundation and was operated by Oregon State University.


R/V Oceanus served CEOAS and the broader oceanographic community well from the time it arrived in Oregon in 2012 until its final research cruise on November 21, 2021. Oceanus is now officially retired.

If you have photos or other memories of cruises aboard Oceanus, please upload them to this memory site!

Oceanus was a mid-sized research vessel designed for expeditions lasting two to four weeks. It was delivered to Woods Hole in November 1975, and its first scientific voyage was made in April 1976. In 1994, the ship underwent a major mid-life refit, which included the construction of a new deck house and new pilot house, along with increases in laboratory space and accommodations for scientists. Oceanus accommodated a crew of 12 and a scientific party of 13 for up to 30 days at sea.

Oceanus was transferred to OSU from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in March 2012 to replace its sister ship, R/V Wecoma.

The ship was designed by John W. Gilbert Associates of Boston and constructed by Peterson Builders of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Its name is drawn from Greek mythology. The Titan Oceanus, father of the river gods and sea nymphs, was represented as a great stream of water encircling the Earth. Oceanus was believed to be the source of all bodies of water.

While home-ported at Woods Hole, Oceanus spent most of its time working in the North Atlantic, with occasional trips to the Mediterranean, South Atlantic, and Caribbean. With her move to Oregon State University, Oceanus continued her scientific mission throughout the Pacific, with trips ranging from the Bering Sea in the north to the equator in the south, and as far west as Hawaii.