by Romano Lupi e G. Errico

MONACO. Monaco Explorations is an initiative of HSH Prince Albert II and operates with the full support of the Princely Government including human, financial, and material resources. Monaco Explorations is also supported and operated in collaboration with partner organizations. In particular The Scientific Centre of Monaco, the Oceanographic Institute, the Oceanographic Museum, the Prince Albert II Foundation, and the Yacht Club of Monaco. These entities have given their scientific and environmental coherence. Extracts from the Message of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco in the occasion of Monaco Explorations’ Launch in 2017: “The Explorations of Monaco are at the confluence of most of the themes which are dear to Me, and which in this respect resonates particularly in Me. It is an adventure that also echoes the most beautiful traditions of the Principality, and is addressed to all of Humanity.” SAS Prince Albert II said.

The Scientific Center of Monaco (C.S.M.) is an autonomous Monaco public body established in 1960 at the initiative of Prince Rainier III


Whatever our differences may be, we are all attached to the seas, where life emerged, which contributes to the balances of the planet we share, and on which our future depends….To achieve this goal, we face three challenges. These three principles – research, awareness-raising and innovation – I deeply believe are key to major change. And I believe it all the more since they are embodied in a great and rich tradition: that of the contribution of the Principality of Monaco to the environment….This tradition goes back to my great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert 1st, Prince-Scholar who one hundred years ago established the Oceanographic Institute of Paris and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, and who, throughout his life, was a rigorous scientist, an impassioned populariser and an inventor of genius. In launching these Explorations of Monaco one hundred years after him, I am aware that I am partly following in his footsteps. That is why I wanted to undertake this unique project, by the mobilisation of my Government and bringing together leaders, renowned scientists and the driving forces of the Principality of Monaco, in particular my Foundation and the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. We need you all, your energy, your support, your enthusiasm. For the oceans, the environment, your planet needs you.”

Then the Monégasque Sovereign concluded by thanking everyone, especially the owner of the Yersin François Fiat. Actually, Monaco Explorations is an ambitious project conceived around a unique ship – the Yersin – and a rigorous scientific programme, which aims to contribute to reconcile mankind and the sea. “The greatest ills the oceans suffer are the result of our ignorance. The key research subjects are, for example, environmental DNA, the exceptional wealth of biodiversity around submarine mountains and the effects of global warming on marine viruses.” Prince Albert also declared in his message. Actually, it is very important what the Principality of Monaco is doing, at the UN, on SDG 14, Sustainable Development Goal – Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development and in the negotiations on the BBNJ. (Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictions). “We have to go further, and mobilize local decision-makers, economic stakeholders, NGOs, ordinary citizens. In this respect, the Yersin will be a place to meet, an opportunity for debate, in the places it anchors, but also, more widely, via its communication and broadcast capability. We must show imagination, inventiveness. Qualities which will be present on this ship of a new type, crossing the seas without damaging them and providing a testing ground for new technological solutions.” The Sovereign also said. The Yersin is a versatile and modular transoceanic ship designed for travel and exploration. It offers the scientific community conditions of maximum comfort and safety. She carries the advanced technologies needed for research and communication. To limit the impact on the environment the shipowner François Fiat built an ecological “clean ship”. She abides by the Charter of the Belle Classe Superyacht of the Yacht Club of Monaco of which Fiat is the first Ambassador. This Charter places the protection of the sea and the environment at the heart of the development of yachting. The Yersin was built with technologies that allow it to perform exceptionally well: treated hull with silicone non-stick coating avoiding harmful chemical releases; resin-coated exterior bridges to replace teak; particulate phlters on exhausts; crushing, sterilization and waste storage for a period of 50 days for 40 people; membrane biological treatment plant for gray and black waters (Zero discharge for 10 days); optimization of energy consumption, etc. This 250 foot, 2250-ton ship accommodates 18 passengers plus crew. The Yersin has left the port of Monaco on 27 July, 2017 on a three-year voyage, which will see she cross many of the world’s seas and, above all, “contribute to reconcile mankind and the sea”, as Albert II said in his message.

The Yersin is on a three-year voyage (2017-2020) that will cross many of the world’s seas

Monaco is and remains one of the most important hot spots of the yacht scene. The Yersin scientific yacht apart, other vessels make the glory of Monaco, like the Tuiga that Prince Albert acquired in 1995. Tuiga’s long life began in 1909 when she slipped into the cold Scottish waters at the boat builder William Fife’s yard. She was commissioned by the Duke of Medinaceli, a close friend of the King of Spain, Alfonso XIII. As we said, in 1995, captivated by the slender lines of this yacht – regarded by Eric Tabarly as “one of the world’s most beautiful yachts” – HSH Prince Albert II decided to purchase her, with the support of members in the Tuiga Committee. The Monaco’s Sovereign said: “For a long time I had wanted our Club to have a prestigious vessel that would be a demonstration of the faith and esteem in which we hold our maritime heritage and classic yachting. So, when I discovered Tuiga in the harbour in Cannes and the opportunity arose to purchase her in 1995, I was very happy to seize it. One could not have found a more beautiful or motivational boat to give our younger as well as older sailors a taste for classic yachting. Tuiga is a very enjoyable boat to helm but sailing her is a sport in itself.” The International 15 Meter Class (15M IR) yacht and Yacht Club de Monaco’s Flagship has been participating in the big classic yacht regattas ever since, crewed by YCM members who fiercely defend La Belle Classe values (preservation of our maritime heritage, and respect for etiquette and the environment) so dear to the YCM. Today she is the Rock’s finest maritime ambassador, and testimony to the Principality’s commitment to classic yachting. In 2018, Tuiga participated at Les Voiles d’Antibes, from May 30th to June 3rd, at the Semana Classica in Puerto Sherry from June 20th to 24th, and she will close the 2018 season with the Voiles de Saint Tropez from September 29th to October 7th.



Moreover,  as part of the sports policy led by its President HSH Prince Albert II, in early June 2018 the Monaco Yacht Club organized the first edition of the Monaco Globe Series, first stage of the new IMOCA championship (2018-2020) . The non-stop unattended race was a chance for the competitors to accumulate points for the Vendée Globe 2020 selection, the “Everest of the Sea”. Participating in a breathtaking and intense race until the last few miles for the winner and for the rest of the pack, the catamaran Malizia II skippered by Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Herrmann crossed the line in seventh place. In collaboration with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Monaco Globe series provides a platform for participants to report on the state of the marine environment. The race crosses the Pelagos Sanctuary and the pilots have the chance to meet the many marine mammals and cetaceans that roam this sea. In another initiative, this one of Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Hermann, the YCM has developed a pedagogical kit in collaboration with the Department of Education of Monaco and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Translated into French and German, the kit explains in a fun way the mysteries of the marine environment, as well as a contest entitled “Draw Me Malizia II” for schoolchildren of Monaco and young students (primary and secondary school) who can download the kit on the YCM website ( The name Malizia symbolizes the deep attachment of the Grimaldi family to the sea in this tribute to Francesco Grimaldi, a Genoese admiral arrived at sea in 1297 who managed to conquer the Rock disguised as a monk, thus founding the Grimaldi of Monaco House. He was nicknamed Malizia that in the Monegasque language means “the cunning”. For the Monegasque skipper, the name has a special meaning: “Given what Malizia represents for us in the Principality of Monaco, I have always wanted to give this name to a race boat.”

Pierre (left) and Boris presenting Malizia II challenges to YCM young sailors

The starting shotgun was fired Sunday, June 3, 2018 by HSH Prince Albert II of M / Y Pacha III, an elegant 36 m. -yacht built in 1936 at Camper & Nicholsons, owned by HRH Princess Caroline. Although it is not one of the largest luxury yachts in the Principality of Monaco, she is often the center of interest. Dozens of paparazzi photos show Caroline of Hanover and the Casiraghi with partners and friends on this legendary boat. Could she speak, Pacha III would have something to say. The yacht was purchased just before the death of Caroline’s second husband, Stefano Casiraghi, who died in an accident at sea in October 1990 off Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, near Monaco. Since then, “Pacha III” has a special meaning for Princess Caroline and her family. The name “Pacha” is composed of the initials of the three children Casiraghi, Pierre, Andrea and Charlotte.


The legendary Pacha III resting in the Monaco Harbour

It is a habit to the Monaco family to have the names of composite yachts: LSA Princes Rainier and Grace used to own the “Stalca”, (Stephanie, Albert, and Caroline), aftere having named “Albercaro”(Albert and Caroline), their first yacht. As for Princess Stephanie, she named her yacht “Louine”, of course after her first two children, Louis and Pauline. The support of the Sovereign for the Ocean Foundations, the Yacht Club, and the ships, perpetuates a century-old tradition of attachment to the sea. Indeed, the history of the Grimaldi boats dates back to the late 1800s, early 1900s, when Prince Albert I, great-great-grandfather of Albert II, was the owner of four impressive scientific research steamers : Hirondelle, Hirondelle I, Princess Alice, and Princess Alice I, named after her second and most loved wife, Alice Heine, Duchess of Richelieu.

HSH prince Albert III of Monaco onboard of his scientific research steam – yacht Hirondelle in 1913

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