300m Floating Research Lab EARTH 300 Unveiled

By Jenna Mehdi

Traditionally, superyachts were all about extravagance. But modern yacht design calls for a more substantial fabric - a purpose that goes beyond pure hedonistic pleasure vessels. Iddes Yachts and the team at Earth 300 heard that call, and ran with it. Meet the 300m floating ‘opera of science’, equipped with 22 laboratories and run on Molten Salt Reactors, which is about to change the game of superyacht design as we know it.

The specification of Earth 300 is like nothing that has ever come before. Building on a platform first popularised by the likes of REV and OceanXplorer, Earth 300 will bring not only scientists but world leaders and decision-makers on its research missions, with the aim of inspiring the individuals who are capable of making real change. ‘We’re going to make science sexy,’ Ivan Salas Jefferson, Founder of Iddes Yachts, tells Superyachts.com. ‘We’re going to spread the word and take ocean conservation where no one has been before.’ Add to this cutting-edge AI and Robotics systems, a host of submersibles and semi-submersibles and an atomic propulsion system and the result is a more sustainable and state-of-the-art vessel than any other ever conceived. 

But it is not just the sheer size of the project that makes Earth 300 so remarkable, though at 300 metres she would easily become the largest superyacht ever built. It is the network of the project itself, bringing together an international array of collaborators and experts all united by one common vision. So - where did it all begin?

Ivan Jefferson first met Aaron Olivera, CEO of Earth 300, in a small village in northern Sweden. The two instantly clicked over a shared vision - to ‘unite science and exploration to confront face to face earth’s greatest challenges, and solve these’.

Such an ambitious goal called for something remarkable of course. Aaron had a clear brief for the team - he wanted a vessel that looked completely foreign, a simplistic design with a geodesic dome on the aft.

‘The ship will introduce features found on cruise, expedition, research and luxury yachts but she will be none of them,’ Aaron Olivera comments in a statement. 

Sustainability being the goal, the topic of propulsion was to be of paramount importance. After some deliberation the team decided the only suitable propulsion to power a vessel of this size would be atomic, and so Core-Power joined the mission. Core-Power is a leading figure in the design and integration of Molten Salt Reactors in the marine industry, and will facilitate Earth 300’s journey to become the first vessel to be equipped with this next-generation propulsion system. 

Polish naval architecture firm NED has worked alongside Iddes Yachts in finessing Earth 300’s out-of-this-world design. NED’s expertise in implementing cutting-edge green technology into exploration and Arctic units, together with EYOS Expeditions’ insight, will prove crucial to Earth 300’s long-range autonomy and exploration capabilities. 

World-leading tech firm IBM has also joined the partnership, providing high-performance computing to Earth 300 with the potential to grow the vessel’s suite of cutting-edge systems. 

A concept of this scale, with a truly futuristic design and mission to match, would typically remain just that. A concept. But Earth 300 is well on the way to acquiring RINA Approval in Principle, confirming that the design and engineering is feasible for construction.

After that, it will be seven years until MSR technology is expected to be available and operable on this scale. Like climate change though, the Earth 300 team will not be waiting around. Iddes Yachts is actively investigating alternative propulsion systems, with retro-fitting an MSR reactor in mind for when this becomes a reality. 

Earth 300 is on a journey to shake up the superyacht world. More to come...

"We’re going to spread the word and take ocean conservation where no one has been before."

Ivan Salas Jefferson, Founder of Iddes Yachts


"We’re going to spread the word and take ocean conservation where no one has been before."

Ivan Salas Jefferson, Founder of Iddes Yachts
By Jenna Mehdi
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