RRS Ernest Shackleton

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RRS Ernest Shackleton BB.jpg
RRS Ernest Shackleton
United Kingdom
Name: Ernest Shackleton
Namesake: Sir Ernest Shackleton
Owner: GC Rieber Shipping
Operator: British Antarctic Survey
Builder: Kværner Kleven Leirvik A/S, Leirvik, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway
Yard number: 267
Launched: 1995 as MV Polar Queen
Homeport: Stanley, Falkland Islands
Status: In service
Notes: [1][2][3][4]
General characteristics
Class and type:
Displacement: 5455 tonnes loaded
Length: 80 m (262 ft)
Beam: 17.0 m (56 ft)
Draught: 6.15 m (20 ft)
Ice class: DNV ICE-05
Installed power: 2 x Bergen Diesel BRM 6 each 2550 kW
Propulsion: Thrusters : 816 Hp x 3 + 1088 Hp x 1 + 1 Azimuth 1088 Hp[1]
Speed: 11 kn (20 km/h), max: 14 kn (26 km/h)
Range: 40,000 nmi (74,000 km)
Endurance: 130 days
Complement: 72 (22 Officers/Crew, 50 expedition personnel)
Aviation facilities: Helicopter deck, max helicopter weight 10 tonnes

RRS Ernest Shackleton is a Royal Research Ship operated by the British Antarctic Survey. She is primarily a logistics ship used for the resupply of scientific stations in the Antarctic.


Launched in 1995 as MV Polar Queen for GC Rieber Shipping, she was operated in the Antarctic by other national programmes. The British Antarctic Survey acquired her on a long-term bareboat charter in August 1999 and renamed her RRS Ernest Shackleton after the Anglo-Irish polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.[5] She replaced RRS Bransfield. Known to users as the Shack, the ship was chartered to Crystal Cruise Line to escort its 68,000 ton liner Crystal Serenity through Canada's Northwest Passage in late August/September 2016.


RRS Ernest Shackleton is ice strengthened with a double hull construction and is capable of a wide range of logistic tasks as well as having a scientific capability. She has a cargo tender "Tula" on deck for ship to shore transfer of equipment when the ship cannot berth alongside.[5]


RRS Ernest Shackleton is primarily a logistic ship, used for the resupply of the Survey's Antarctic research stations. She loads cargo and science equipment in the Humber and sails to the Antarctic in September/October each year, returning in May/June. After annual refit/drydock, Ernest Shackleton is chartered out for commercial use in the northern summer.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mike Gloistein. "RRS Ernest Shackleton". Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 24 November 2007. 
  2. ^ "Technical Data - RRS Ernest Shackleton". British Antarctic Survey. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  3. ^ "BAS Public Information Leaflet - Ships". British Antarctic Survey. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  4. ^ "British Antarctic Survey Ships" (PDF). British Antarctic Survey. Retrieved 2017-08-25. 
  5. ^ a b "RRS Ernest Shackleton". British Antarctic Survey. Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
  6. ^ "BAS Research Ships". BAS. Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 30 August 2007. 

External links[edit]