RRS John Biscoe (1956)

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Namesake: John Biscoe
Operator: British Antarctic Survey
Builder: Fleming & Ferguson, Paisley
Yard number: 778
Launched: 11 June 1956
In service: 1956
Out of service: 1991
Renamed: Fayza Express
Homeport: Stanley, Falkland Islands
Fate: scrapped 2 March 2004 at Aliaga, Turkey
Notes: [1]
General characteristics
Class and type: Royal Research Ship; Survey Vessel
Displacement: 1554 grt
Length: 220 ft (67 m)
Beam: 40 ft (12 m)
Draught: 16 ft (4.9 m)
Propulsion: Diesel electric

The RRS John Biscoe was a supply and research vessel used by the British Antarctic Survey between 1956 and 1991.


An earlier vessel, RRS John Biscoe (1944) (1584 tonnes) operated from 1947-55.[2] Both were named after the English explorer John Biscoe, who discovered parts of Antarctica in the early 1830s.

John Biscoe II was replaced by RRS James Clark Ross in 1991. After decommissioning, she was sold and eventually scrapped in 2004 under the name Fayza Express.


Biscoe's first visit to Halley, in 1959/60 was under the veteran captain, Bill Johnston.[3]

From 1975 joint Masters of John Biscoe were Malcolm Phelps and Chris Elliott.[4] Chris Elliott had joined BAS as Third Officer on John Biscoe in 1967, becoming Second Officer in 1970. He established the successful Offshore Biological Programme cruises and helped superintend the building of replacement James Clark Ross.