Who are we?

The Monaco Explorations are at the confluence of most of the themes which are dear to me and which in this respect resonate particularly in me. It is an adventure that also echoes the most beautiful traditions of the Principality, and is addressed to all humanity. H.S.H. Albert II, Prince of Monaco.

Monaco Explorations: reconciling humanity and the sea

Monaco Explorations are a platform dedicated to the commitment of H.S.H. Prince Albert II with regard to the knowledge, sustainable management and protection of the Ocean.

Albert II of Monaco, a committed sovereign

On 6 June 2017, at the United Nations Ocean Conference, H.S.H. the Prince Albert II of Monaco delivered a foundational speech at the UN, in the context of the implementation of the sustainable development goal 14 :Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

An initiative of the Princely Government

Created on the initiative of the Government of the Principality of Monaco, the Monaco Exploration Society brings together the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Oceanographic Institute – Prince Albert I of Monaco Foundation, the Monaco Scientific Center and the Monaco Yacht Club. It supports these institutions and coordinates international collaborative missions involving partners from Monaco and partners outside the Principality all around the world.

Monaco, a predestined place to work for the Ocean

Facing the Mediterranean, the Monegasque Rock is turned towards the sea and large maritime areas. The current commitment of Prince Albert II of Monaco for the Ocean strengthens the powerful link that unites the Principality and the marine environment and increases its international influence. In the last 150 years, Pince Albert I (1848-1922) and then Prince Rainier III of Monaco (1923-2005) have also forged and strengthened that link through their commitment and their strong actions for the Ocean.

Albert I of Monaco (1848-1922)

During my career as navigator, I have obtained some confessions from the sea about the laws that determine its role among the forces of the world, or that spread life to the depth of the abyss. And, while my eyes opened in admiration of the limitless fertility, a portion of the mystery which dominates creation, space and time, will become clear to give me a serene confidence in the destiny that the balance of the universe imposes to organisms with the eternal cycle of life and death. Excerpt from La Carrière d’un Navigateur / The Career of a Navigator, 1902.
H.S.H. Albert I of Monaco on the deck of one of his oceanographic vessels. Around 1899. © Oceanographic Museum of Monaco Collections.
The 'nasse triédrique' (three-sided trap), descended to a depth of 5 940 metres in the Atlantic, reveals forms of life yet unknown. The Prince directs the manoeuvre. 9 August 1909. © Oceanographic Museum of Monaco Collections
Prince Albert I fixes the holes in a weather balloon, launched for meteorological research in the upper atmosphere. Spring 1907. © Oceanographic Museum of Monaco Collections.
The 'Princesse Alice' Yatch in 1894. Used by Prince Albert I for his campaigns between 1891 and 1897. One of the first vessels in the world designed specifically for oceanographic research © Oceanographic Museum of Monaco Collections.
Prince Albert I of Monaco, in the foreground, explores the Grande Desertas island, in Madeira. 1912. © Henri Bourée. Oceanographic Museum of Monaco Collections.
Prince Albert I taking a photograph of a glacier. Spitzbergen. 24 August 1906. © Oceanographic Museum of Monaco Collections.
The 'Princesse Alice II', third oceanographic vessel of Prince Albert I, anchored in front of the Svartis Glacier. 1898. © Oceanographic Museum of Monaco Collections.
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The navigator prince, Albert I of Monaco, pioneer of modern oceanography.

A diver himself, Rainier III of Monaco listens to the explanations given by Jacques-Yves Cousteau on the new equipment of the divers of 'Calypso'. September 1972. © Robert de Hoe. Princely Palace of Monaco Archives.
Visit of the French oceanographic vessel 'Jean Charcot'. T.S.H. the Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III with Commander Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Around 1965. © G.Ventouillac. Oceanographic Museum of Monaco Collections.
Prince Rainier III and the young Prince Albert, future Albert II, are welcomed on board the 'Calypso' by Commander Cousteau, before his departure for an exploration campaign around the world. September 1972. © Georges Lukowski. Princely Palace of Monaco Archives.
21 November 1960. Prince Rainier attends, as Honorary Chairman, the opening of the 1st International Aquarium Congress at the Oceanographic Museum. © René Maestri. Princely Palace of Monaco Archives.
Visit of General de Gaulle to the Oceanographic Museum. He is welcomed by Prince Rainier III and Jacques-Yves Cousteau. 23 October 1960 © René Maestri. Princely Palace of Monaco Archives.
Speech by Prince Rainier III at a Conference on radioactive waste disposal, organised by Unesco and the International Atomic Energy Agency. 1959. © AIEA. Oceanographic Museum of Monaco Collections.
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Rainier III of Monaco: a long reign (1949-2005) marked in particular by a strong commitment against the pollution of the marine environment, particularly in the Mediterranean Sea.

Rainier III of Monaco (1923-2005)

Let us be careful of easy words and declarations of principe with no follow-up. Let us find the moral and political strength to apply the prescribed remedies so as to save the essential. It is up to us, Chiefs of State, to seize, together, this chance of long-term revival of our blue planet, and so allow our children and future generations to evolve in a healthier and more equitable world. Excerpt from the speech to the United Nations Conference on environment and sustainable developpement in Rio de Janeiro, June 1992.

Governance, our Board of Directors

  • President: H.E. Mr. Pierre DARTOUT, State Minister
  • Managing Director: Robert CALCAGNO, Director General of the Oceanographic Institute – Albert I, Prince of Monaco Foundation,
  • Directors:
    • La Société Nationale de Financement, represented by Mr. Pierre-André CHIAPPORI, Government Counsellor – Minister of Finance and Economy,
    • Mr. Bernard D’ALESSANDRI, Secretary General and Director General of the Monaco Yacht Club
    • H.E. Mr. Bernard FAUTRIER, Special Counsellor of H.S.H the Sovereign Prince, in charge of environmental issues, member of the Board of Directors of the Albert II of Monaco Foundation,
    • Professor Patrick RAMPAL, President of the Monaco Scientific Center,
    • Mrs. Armelle ROUDAUT-LAFON, Director of Maritime Affairs,
    • Mr. David TOMATIS, Consellor at H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince’s Cabinet,
    • Mr. Jean-Marie VERAN, Special Advisor to the Government Counsellor – Minister of External Relations and Cooperation,
    • Mr Olivier WENDEN, Vice-President and CEO of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation,
    • Mr. Gilles BESSERO, former Director General at the Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department, former Director of the International Hydropraphic Organization, former director of Monaco Explorations.
Board of Directors, 27 November 2020. From right to left: Mr. Veran, Mr. D’Alessandri, Mr. Tomatis, H.E. Mr. Fautrier, Pr Rampal, H.E. Mr. Dartout, Mrs Roudaut-Lafon, Mr. Calcagno, Mr. Bessero

Operational team


— Mr. Xavier PRACHE


— Mr. Didier THÉRON
Mediation Manager


— Ms. Océane GASQUY
Communication officer


Administrative Head


Coordination Assistant