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Fair Sailing Celtic Voyager

A bit of Irish maritime history has left our shores, heading to another community with a lot of its own history.

Celtic Voyager has sailed for Canada

Irelands first multi-purpose research vessel has served Ireland well over the past quarter of a century.

Now it is headed for a new life, continuing its research work.

The Marine Institute’s RV Celtic Voyager has departed Ireland, following its purchase by the Inuit birthright development corporation, Qikiqtaaluk Corporation of Nunavut, Canada. It will continue to be used for fisheries research and seabed mapping in Northern territories and Nunavut in Canada.

The Corporation works to strengthen the social and economic well-being of Nunavut and the 15,000+ Inuit it represents,

Michael Gillooly, Interim CEO at Marine Institute in Oranmore, who had a longtime connection with the purchase and operation of the Celtic Voyager  said he was pleased that it had been bought for this purpose and that it will continue to work in fisheries research and seabed mapping in the Nunavut Territory Canada.

The Celtic Voyager came into service with the Marine Institute in 1997 and has played a key role in the advancement of Marine Science and marine monitoring for Government in Ireland over the course of its 25-year service life, including delivery of extensive survey effort as part of the Irish National seabed survey and INFOMAR programs; Fisheries and relayed Underwater TV programs; biological, environmental and oceanographic and student training programmes

The vessel had a busy annual schedule and wide geographic range providing Ireland with important data and research outputs as the platform delivered a range of national monitoring programmes. It also helped develop a generation of marine scientists, researchers and crew members, giving them years of experience at sea.

There will be a lot of memories amongst those who sailed aboard.  

During its service with the Marine Institute the Celtic Voyager completed more than 600 surveys, enabled more than 6,500 science days and sailed in excess of 550,000 miles.

It has been replaced by the RV Tom Crean.

RV Tom Crean

The sale of the Celtic Voyager was facilitated by Ship brokers “Hanseatic Offshore Brokers.” The price for which it was sold has not been disclosed.

The RV Tom Crean cost the State and the Institute €25m. to build.

The Marine Institute is a State body, assigned the task of providing Government, public agencies and the maritime industry with a range of scientific, advisory, and economic development services that inform policy-making, regulation, and the sustainable management and growth of Ireland’s marine resources. The Institute undertakes, coordinates and promotes marine research and development with the aim of achieving

a sustainable ocean economy, protecting ecosystems, and inspiring a shared understanding of the ocean.

The Institute’s five-year strategy – ‘Ocean Knowledge that Informs and Inspires,’ sets a and identifies eight priorities for 2023-2027.

“Sustainability and climate is to the core of the organisational strategy and our Mission,  giving impetus, resourcing and oversight to the delivery of the Climate Action Roadmap,” the organisation says, claiming that “the combined efforts of staff have resulted in many positives for the Institute, including a 41% energy reduction in our Galway Headquarters at Oranmore since 2015, improvement in waste management, becoming a supporter of the All Ireland Pollinator Plan, promotion of Energy & Sustainability Awareness and the commencement of My Green Lab certification in 2022 and the implementation of many energy management measures across our research vessel fleet.”

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