The icebreaker Astrolabe is a French research vessel. Among its duties are bring personnel and supplies to the Dumont d'Urville research station in Antarctica.  The vessel has been making regular voyages between Hobart and the Dumont D’Urville research station for fifteen years.
The vessel has also traversed the Northeast passage. The European Space Agency reports a 1992 traverse "was the first civilian expedition through the NSR since the Russian revolution." Astrolabe was escorted on her transit by Russian icebreakers.
The vessel is frequently serviced in the Tasmanian shipyard Southern Marine Shiplift in Launceston. The yard's maximum ship displacement is 2150 Tonnes.
Astrolabe is among the smallest research vessels working in Antarctic waters.
Below: What's that blocking the street? The shouting and clanging? The REAL National Broadband Network (Labor infrastructure) is underway in Hobart.