Cousteau's Expeditions

Mediterranean sea

Cradle of many civilizations in the course of history, the Mediterranean is a wounded sea. Fifty years of adventure and oceanographic expeditions have allowed the Cousteau team to draw up a complete accounting of this nearly enclosed sea. From Monaco to Naples, Crete, Cyprus and Alexandria, Calypso spent more time in this sea than any other.

The crew of Calypso had to circumnavigate the Mediterranean to assess the status of its health. Even before starting out, the Cousteau team knew the findings would be catastrophic: they had watched the sea degrade since they first explored its depths. The garbage-can sea, the wounded sea… The expedition scientists studied each of the species found in it to develop proposed remedies.

Among the highlights of the work in the Mediterranean were five years of exploring a Greek shipwreck at Grand-Congloue (France), films, photographs and the discovery of ships, airplanes, submersibles and battleships submerged for centuries. In 1975, the Cousteau crew searched through the vestiges of Aegean civilization. From the Aegean Sea, they brought up vases, statues, ancient jewellery. The mystery of the hospital ship Britannica sunk during World War I off the island of Kea is solved thanks to the crew of Calypso.

The Mediterranean hosted Captain Cousteau’s first scuba dive and many of his films, including the most famous, The Silent World (1956), which was awarded the Palme d’Or at the Cannes International Film Festival.

Saving and protecting marine life for present and future generations since 1973