The Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island has 50 years of nearly continuous experience operating world-ranging and world-class research vessels. The first of these ships, RV TRIDENT, was a 180-foot, converted US Army coastal freighter (FS-206), which was launched in January 1945. TRIDENT was acquired in 1962 and operated successfully until 1976 when she was replaced by RV ENDEAVOR. ENDEAVOR was one of three purpose-built ships, designed from the keel up as a modern oceanographic research vessel. In 1993 she underwent a major mid-life refit that included lengthening the hull and significant modifications to the superstructure. (GSO took the lead in the design phase of the class mid-life refit).
Through 2014, ENDEAVOR has carried out over 530 cruises and steamed over one million nautical miles in support of science. She has carried literally thousands of scientists, engineers, technicians, and students on these expeditions. In her career ENDEAVOR has operated throughout the Atlantic Ocean, ranging as far north as Svalbard Archipelago (82°N) and south to Tristan de Cunha (38°S). ENDEAVOR has operated in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico and into the Pacific Ocean as far as Easter Island and Hawaii.
In recent years she has sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the Azores (Acores) and as far north as Iceland. ENDEAVOR has been a key research platform in the Gulf of Mexico, performing oil spill research both during and after the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon.