The French surveillance frigate Nivose will be in Cape Town between 21 and 26 January this year on a routine stopover, and will be open to the public to view.
The vessel, arriving from Port des Galets in Reunion, is expected to arrive in Cape Town on the morning of Tuesday 21 January, according to the Consulate General of France in Cape Town.
Visits are open to the French community on 22, 23 and 24 January. Twenty people at a time will be taken on one-hour long tours (in French) at 9:30 and 10:30 on those three days. Passports will be required.
The Nivose is a regular visitor to South Africa and has stopped in Cape Town and Durban as part of its mission to patrol the French Southern and Antarctic Territories.
The Nivose is tasked with fisheries policing, surveillance of commercial traffic, control of illegal traffic and rescue at sea. The Nivose also contributes to the influence of France in the Indian Ocean through stopovers and joint exercises with foreign navies.
Nivose is the third of six surveillance frigates. Built in Saint-Nazaire, it left the shipyard in 1992.
93.5 m long, 14 m wide, the Nivose surveillance frigate displaces 2 950 tonnes. It is armed with a 100 mm gun and two 20 mm guns. A Panther type helicopter is also permanently on board.
The crew includes at least 11 officers, 63 petty officers and 18 quarter masters and deckhands. Additional personnel are placed on board for each mission.
The French Consul said the latest stopover could be an opportunity to embark a naval officer from South Africa for the continuation of the mission which will consist of patrolling French Southern and Antarctic Lands (TAAF). In 2014, Nivose took part in Exercise Oxide with the South African National Defence Force.