18 December, 2020

Britain’s new polar ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough, has been registered on the British register of ships at Stanley, Falkland Islands.

This continues the long tradition of registering British Antarctic Survey ships and aircraft in the Falkland Islands, and underpins the ship’s role in delivering scientific excellence in the South-west Atlantic and Antarctic region. In her science and logistics missions, the RRS Sir David Attenborough will regularly visit the three Overseas Territories of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and British Antarctic Territory.

Commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council and operated by British Antarctic Survey, the new polar ship will transform UK research in the polar regions. Its missions will be critical for understanding and making sense of our changing climate.

The RRS Sir David Attenborough is currently berthed at Holyhead Port where the crew is undergoing intensive training. The ship will make its maiden voyage to Antarctica in November 2021 after an extensive programme of operational, scientific and ice trials.

Nigel Phillips CBE, Governor Falkland Islands and HM Commissioner South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands said:

“The connection between the British Antarctic Survey and the UK Overseas Territories in the South West Atlantic is mutually beneficial and the launch of the RRS Sir David Attenborough will continue that association long into the future. Science is key to evidence-based decision making and it must underpin how we protect our precious environment. The importance therefore of this incredible science platform cannot be understated. We look forward to welcoming the RRS Sir David Attenborough to her home port of Stanley and further strengthening our relationship with the British Antarctic Survey.”