RV Tom Crean Entering the Port of Galway
Photo: © Andrew Downes, xposure

Ireland’s newest research vessel the RV Tom Crean has arrived in Irish waters and is currently docked in the Port of Galway before embarking on its first survey towards the end of July and then making its way to Dingle in advance of its official commissioning due to take place in Autumn 2022. Ireland’s latest marine research vessel has been named the RV Tom Crean, after the renowned seaman and explorer from Kerry who undertook three ground-breaking expeditions to the Antarctic in the early years of the 20th Century.

The RV Tom Crean which will be based in Galway after its commissioning will enable the Marine Institute to continue to lead and support vital scientific surveys that contribute to Ireland’s position as a leader in marine science. The research vessel will carry out a wide range of marine research activities including expanded fisheries surveys, seabed mapping and marine spatial planning, climate change related research, environmental monitoring, deep water surveys, and support increased research in the Atlantic Ocean.


Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute speaking about the vessel’s arrival into Irish Waters said: “This has been an extremely successful project with the vessel arriving on budget and on time into Irish Shores. We are delighted that Galway, is the vessels first stop in Irish waters ahead of its official launch and commissioning due to take place in Dingle, Kerry in Autumn. The new vessel will be used by the Marine Institute, other state agencies and universities to undertake critical work to support fisheries assessment, offshore renewable energy, marine spatial planning, marine protected areas and addressing the challenges of climate change. After the official commissioning, the RV Tom Crean will be based in Galway, and it will greatly enhance our capacity to undertake collaborative research and acquire the data and knowledge essential to sustainably manage our ocean resources.”

RV Tom Crean
Photo: © Andrew Downes, xposure

The new research vessel is a silent vessel, capable of operating throughout the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and will replace the RV Celtic Voyager, which was Ireland’s first purpose-built research vessel which arrived in 1997. The RV Tom Crean will be at sea for 300 operational days each year – heading to sea for at least 21 days at a time – and aims to accommodate up to 3000 scientist days annually and is designed to operate in harsh sea conditions.

The vessel design incorporates the latest proven technologies to ensure that it operates as efficiently as possible, with reduced fuel consumption and minimising the vessel’s environmental impact and carbon footprint.

You can track the progress of the vessel in the lead up to its official commissioning in September on the Marine Institute website here. To get all the latest updates on the new vessel and find out about the exciting work of the Marine Institute follow us on Twitter @MarineInst Facebook @MarineInstitute and Instagram @MarineInstituteIreland.

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