Far Samson subsea service vessel has a gross tonnage of 15, 620t. Credit: kees torn / WikiCommons.
Far Samson can cruise at a maximum speed of 20k. Credit: BoH / WikiCommons.
The multifunctional subsea service vessel, Far Samson, entered service in 2009. Credit: BoH / WikiCommons.
Far Samson is operated by Solstad Offshore, a Norwegian shipping and offshore service company. Credit: kees torn / WikiCommons.
Far Samson vessel can cruise at a maximum speed of 20k. Credit: BoH / WikiCommons.

The Far Samson is a multifunctional subsea service vessel that entered service in 2009. The ship is one of the world’s strongest offshore vessel with a bollard pull of 423t.

Designed and equipped by Rolls-Royce and manufactured by STX Offshore Norway, the ship can perform a multitude of tasks, including pipeline trenching in the North Sea. STX Offshore Norway delivered the ship to the owner Farstad Shipping on 24 March 2009.

The ship is currently operated by Solstad Offshore, which merged Farstad Shipping with it in March 2017.

The Far Samson’s modern design, enormous pipeline trenching capacity, environmental performance and efficiency earned it the ‘Ship of the Year’ award in 2009.

Far Samson supported the construction of the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic Sea in 2011.

The vessel was contracted to support cable laying operations in January 2021. It supported the installation of four enhanced horizontal subsea tree systems (EHXT) for Neptune Energy’s Duva oil and gas development project in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea in March 2021.

Far Samson design

The Far Samson is 121.5m long, 26m wide and can carry a maximum weight of 6,130t without submerging. It has a gross tonnage of 15,620t.

The ship has a class notification of ICE-1B for hull, Delce class for operation in ice conditions, Dnv+1A1, Supply Vessel Basic, Tug, Clean Design, E0, SF, DynPos Autro, Comf-V(3)-c(3),Helidh-SH,Naut OSV A, TMON, BIS and DK(+).

The vessel is divided into two operating deck levels. The total cargo deck area is 1,450m² with a capacity of 2,300t. The main deck is open at the stern. A navigation wheelhouse is designed with a front-facing main control station that allows optimum sight lines for travel and navigation.

The ship has a draft of about 8m. The hull is equipped with a bow bulb that ensures a continuous supply of water to the propellers.

Far Samson features and facilities

The ship is equipped with two cranes supplied by National Oilwell Varco. The main deck crane has a capacity of 250t over a radius of 36m. There is a ROV support crane that can lift up to 20t.

The deck’s cranes and A-Frame are equipped with workshops and winches. The space above the ship’s main deck is equipped with a Rolls-Royce 600t pull hydraulic main winch. Towing pins, shark jaws and centering devices designed to control the tow wire are fitted inside the deck.

The second deck is fitted with an Axtech-make track system and transportation skids, used to deploy the ship’s ploughs offshore. Two new generation ploughs are fitted; one for cutting trench and laying pipelines and the other to back-fill the trench. An A-frame supplied by AxTech is mounted at the rear end of this working deck. Equipped with an active heave compensation winch, the A-Frame has a safe working load of 250t offshore.

A 7.2m x 7.2m moon pool assists the ship in deploying the equipment offshore. The moon pool comprises two hatches; an open hatch in the working deck and a close hatch at the bottom. For special operations, there is an option to install a tower on the working deck above the moon pool.

The ship has two hangers. When not operational, the main plough is parked in the plough hanger. An ROV hanger is placed in between the working deck and accommodation is ahead of the plough hanger.

The ship is also equipped with an active heel control system and passive roll reduction tanks, which balance the highly asymmetric loads of the ship.


The Far Samson is powered by two Bergen B32:40 V12P engines of Rolls-Royce make. Each engine has a hybrid propulsion system that combines diesel electric and diesel mechanical transmission. The dual propellers deliver a power of 35,900BHP. These propellers are supplemented by a number of thrusters at the rear and front, including two 1,200kW and one 1,800kW tunnel thrusters, two 1,800kW swing up azimuth thruster and a single 1,800kW combi-thruster.

The ship can cruise at a maximum speed of 20k. A dual input and single output gearbox is equipped with power take-off and take in for shaft generator and an electric motor. The ship has four auxiliary generator sets that are powered by a nine-cylinder Bergen C25:33 engine.

All the engines qualify clean design class rules without any exhaust clean up. Additional catalytic converters fitted on to the generators reduce nitrogen emissions by 95%. IMO requirements DP3 are met by dividing the machinery into two engine rooms. The engine rooms are separated by a watertight bulkhead.


A total of 100 people can be accommodated in the Far Samson. There are 22 single cabins and suites as well as 39 double cabins. The accommodation meets the rules set for the Comfort (V3) (C3) class. The ship is equipped with a central lobby, mess, cafeteria, day-rooms, gymnasium, hospital, offices and conference rooms spread over six decks.