Istituto Idrografico operates three survey vessels – MAGNAGHI, ARETUSA and GALATEA.
Magnaghi, the flagship, is the largest among the “white ships”, so called because of their colour, typical of those Italian Navy units in charge of auxiliary services, such as search and training.

Delivered to the Italian Navy in 1975, the Magnaghi  has been in service for 30 years. Fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and regularly upgraded, the vessel is still used for hydro-oceanographic surveys, seafloor research, data collection and water column monitoring – also in research projects involving universities, National Research Centres and Ministry of the Environment.
The Magnaghi carries three fully equipped survey motor boats, ensuring simultaneous operation in more than one areas.

The other two Ninfe-class vessels – Aretusa and Galatea - were commissioned in 2002.
Both catamarans, they were designed to be used for hydro-oceanographic surveys in harbours, in shallow waters and at high sea.

The main features of the Ninfe-class units are the high-manoeuvrability and the accurate position keeping guaranteed by dynamic positioning. A DP system automatically maintains a vessel’s position and heading, which is essential during oceanographic surveys and depth sounding.
The Aretusa and Galatea are further equipped with a modern platform automation system for the remote control of the equipment on board and with motor boats for surveys in shallow waters.