The ship functions as a multi-purpose vessel, serving, among other things, as a supply vessel, research vessel, icebreaker, expedition vessel, as well as a passenger ship.

The Polar Supply and Research Vessel is used to carry scientists and research equipment for the South African National Antarctic Programme in the sea area between South Africa, the Antarctic islands and the Antarctica. The ship can spend several months out at sea and it also acts as a mobile laboratory. Scientists can also conduct various marine research onboard. The ship is classified for carrying passengers. Furthermore, the vessel keeps continuous record of weather data for meteorological institutions around the world. The vessel has a shelter and landing area for two Puma class helicopters and it features laboratories, a gym, a library, and a small hospital.

Main Characteristics of the S.A. Agulhas II

Gross tonnage12 897
Length overall134.0 m
Breadth23.0 m
Draught7.7 m