Free 3-day public event, Greenwich, London: Ice Worlds Festival of Polar Science 28-30 October 2021

Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Watch recording of live on board RRS Sir David Attenborough

Join us in London or online for a dazzling showcase of polar environmental science, engineering and technology.  On the eve of the UN COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, British Antarctic Survey is partnering with Royal Museums Greenwich to bring you a festival that is guaranteed to enthral and inspire.  Discover why Antarctica and the Arctic matter to you, experience a live virtual tour of the RRS Sir David Attenborough, enjoy a great day out for all the family.

Book free tickets

[UPDATE: We have reached our advance ticket capacity, but don’t worry! You can still visit Greenwich for the Ice Worlds festival, see the RRS Sir David Attenborough moored on the Thames and access the public big screen near the Cutty Sark without a ticket. 

Some Ice Worlds activities are included with general admission tickets to the National Maritime Museum, still currently available.

A limited number of walk-up tickets for Ice Worlds will be released each day subject to availability. Please speak with a member of the museum visitor team when you arrive.]

28 – 30 October 

  • Live talks and virtual tours of the RRS Sir David Attenborough.
  • Ice Worlds – meet polar scientists and experts in the National Maritime Museum and learn what it’s like to work in the polar regions.
  • Explore what it really means to do extreme polar science and engineering.
  • Discover how robots unravel the mystery of the oceans – catch a glimpse of the infamous Boaty McBoatface.

New polar research ship makes its London debut

Love ships? The RRS Sir David Attenborough is making a special visit to London. COVID-19 precautions prevent us from opening the ship to the public – but a BIG MOMENT on Thursday 28 October is a special live virtual tour of this amazing state-of-the-art ship. Discover how its science missions will help us live with and adapt to climate change. A huge quayside video screen gives you a glimpse of life on board. If you can’t make it to London then enjoy the tour from a PC or smartphone anywhere in the world.

A large red ship with a green deck, sideways on, in the ocean
New polar ship RRS Sir David Attenborough during sea trials off the coast of Portrush, Northern Ireland (2021). Credit: British Antarctic Survey.

Commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), built by Cammell Laird for operation by British Antarctic Survey the RRS Sir David Attenborough is keeping Britain at the forefront of world-leading research in Antarctica and the Arctic.

Meet our science teams

Head inside the world-famous National Maritime Museum for exciting hands-on exhibits, including Antarctic fossils, a polar field camp and science equipment from RRS Sir David Attenborough, including the infamous yellow robotic submersible known as Boaty McBoatface. The event is a great chance for the whole family to meet leading polar scientists, engineers and support staff from British Antarctic Survey and other leading organisations; including the National Oceanography Centre, University of St Andrew, University of Edinburgh, BAM Nuttall, Hugh Broughton Architects, Ramboll and Sweco.

A group of people wearing costumes.
The first deployment of autonomous submersible ‘Boaty McBoatface’ in the Weddell Sea (2017). Credit: National Oceanography Centre.

Come and see how polar science and engineering improves our understanding of the impacts of climate change, learn why what happens in the polar regions affects us all, and explore what can be done to make things better.

Polar Exploration: Past, present and future

The polar regions have been a focus for scientific enquiry and exploration for centuries. As we confront the consequences of climate change, understanding that legacy is more important than ever.

The National Maritime Museum is home to some of the most significant records and artefacts in British polar exploration history.

During your visit, explore the National Maritime Museum’s Polar Worlds Gallery, including relics from HMS Erebus and Terror and items belonging to Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

A group of people that are standing in the snow
‘Endurance’ in the ice, photographed in spring 1915 by James Francis Hurley (P1 © National Maritime Museum)

Book free tickets

Taking part online

Watch the live feed from the RRS Sir David Attenborough and talks in the National Maritime Museum here:

Explore the virtual RRS Sir David Attenborough here:


For further information and to explore online resources, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich Ice Worlds Event page.

The riverside video screen at Greenwich is open freely to all throughout the festival, with no tickets required.


Event updates and virtual content will be shared on the British Antarctic Survey website and our social media channels. Follow us to keep up with the latest news, and join the online conversation with #IceWorldsGreenwich!

Twitter – @BAS_News

Facebook – @BritishAntarcticSurvey

Instagram @britishantarcticsurvey

LinkedIn @british-antarctic-survey