Peru's 22nd scientific expedition to Antarctica set out Thursday from the Pacific port of Callao after a ceremony presided over by Foreign Minister Eda Rivas.

The ministers of defense, Pedro Cateriano, and production, Gladys Triveño, were also on hand for the departure of the research vessel Humboldt from the naval base in Callao.

The ANTAR XXII expedition will carry out studies of Antarctic ecosystems and perform maintenance tasks at Peru's Machu Picchu station in Antarctica.

"This represents a joint effort of the various national scientific institutions and the armed forces, which the foreign ministry has articulated as the controlling entity of national Antarctic policy," Rivas said Thursday.

The expedition "has received support from Argentina, Chile and Brazil" and the team includes U.S., Chinese and Ecuadorian scientists as well as Peruvians, she said.

The Humboldt is due back in Peru on March 14, 2014. EFE