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Benoit Hebert


Born in Le Havre, France

Based in Sydney, Australia

35 years at sea,15 in polar areas




French Merchant Navy Dual Purpose Officer Certificate

STCW Master's Certificate  (unlimited)

Nautical Institute Ice Navigator Level 2 Certificate


 Career Summary


I started my sea going career in the early  80's with yachts deliveries and as a skipper in sailing schools where I spent four fantastic years onboard PEN DUICK VI between Europe and The Caribbean.


At the end of the golden years in professional yachting, I shifted to the Offshore Industry and joined FERONIA INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING where I worked as Master on a wide variety of Supply Vessels. This was also my first opportunity to serve onboard L'ASTROLABE as Chief Officer.

I did my apprenticeship of ice navigation and gained a wealth of experience at a time where navigational aids for polar vessel (ice imagery) were very limited.


After another move to New Caledonia, where I spent ten years as Master on passengers ferries and coasters, I went back to the polar navigation. In 2007, I joined P&O Maritime Services, an Australian company which owned and operated Polar Supply Vessels L'ASTROLABE and AURORA AUSTRALIS, respectively chartered by the French Polar Institute ( IPEV) and the Australian Antarctic Division ( AAD).


Serving as Master on these two icebreakers allowed me to build up a solid experience in polar navigation along with a good knowledge of various Antarctic regions from Ninis and Mertz Glaciers, Terre Adelie (French base Dumont Durville), the Totten Glacier and Dayton Polynia areas,the three Australian bases (Casey, Davis and Mawson) off Wilkes Land, Queen Mary Land, Shakelton Ice Shelf, West Ice Shelf and Amery Ice Shelf.

The resupply of Macquarie Island, an Australian Sub-Antarctic island, was also regularly included in our voyages plans.

During my time working in the Maritime Industry, I mainly occupied the position of Ship Master but I also had to set up and implement maintenance and safety management programs along with drydocks or lay up works supervision.

I was also involved in ship replacement projects which gave me the opportunity to travel to Finland where I met with the worldwide renowned specialists of icebreakers and polar ships design and building such as Aker Artic Technology and STX Finland.