Research Vessels Overview
We manage, develop and promote the two national research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager and the deep-water Remotely Operated Vehicle Holland 1. Our research vessel operations team handles all aspects of scheduling and survey planning from ship-time application stage through to pre and post cruise preparation. Contact us with any queries by email: rv [at] marine [dot] ie.
Here, you can view the RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager’s current and past annual schedules with summary information on the type of research being carried out, the chief scientist and institution conducting the survey.
Interested in where the RV Celtic Explorer or RV Celtic Voyager are currently? You can track the vessels’ position using an interactive map to find out where they are, who is leading the survey and what type of activity they are conducting. You can also view the routes they have travelled all year.
The RV Celtic Explorer is a 65.5m multi-purpose research vessel. The vessel can accommodate 35 personnel including 20-22 scientists. The Celtic Explorer is suitable for fisheries acoustic research, oceanographic, hydrographic and geological investigations and can also accommodate the ROV Holland I as well as other ROVs. The Celtic Explorer can spend up to 35 consecutive days at sea.
The RV Celtic Voyager is the smaller of our two research vessels at 31.4m in length and can accommodate 6-8 scientists. Maximum number of consecutive days at sea is 14. The Celtic Voyager is suitable for coastal research and offshore survey operations and is used for a variety of applications including fisheries research, environmental monitoring, seabed mapping, oceanographic work, buoy maintenance and student training.
The Tom Crean, Irelands new state-of-the-art multi-purpose marine research vessel due for completion in summer 2022 will replace the RV Celtic Voyager. Tom Crean is a 52.8 m multi-purpose research vessel which can accommodate 26 personnel, including 14 scientists and can spend 21 consecutive days at sea. It will undertake fisheries research, oceanographic and environmental research, seabed mapping surveys; as well as maintaining and deploying weather buoys, observational infrastructure and ROVs.
The Marine Institute’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Holland I is named after John Phillip Holland from Co. Clare, Ireland who was an early inventor and builder of submarines. Purchased in 2008 with the support of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) the Holland I can reach depths of up to 3000 metres and is fitted with high definition video and stills cameras. It is capable of picking up delicate samples from the seabed and is also able to accommodate a wide variety of scientific equipment.
The Marine Institute operates two 1000m rated Teledyne Webb Slocum G3 gliders, Laochra na Mara and Aisling na Mara. The gliders are part of EirOOS – the Irish Ocean Observing System which is a component of the European Ocean Observing System (EOOS).
The call for ship time applications is announced in June each year with a closing date in September. Applications are submitted via an online Survey Planning System for which login details are required.
Scientists who are planning on going to sea on either the RV Celtic Voyager or the RV Celtic Explorer should read the information contained in this section. It covers information on the medical and safety certificates required and how to obtain them, necessary permits and where to apply for these as well as guidelines for life on board the vessels.
The SPS or Survey Planning System is an online application used in all areas of survey planning and scheduling. It is used from ship-time application stage through to pre and post cruise planning and reporting. If you wish to apply for ship time on our vessels you need access to the SPS.
View our survey blogs which date back to 2011.
Foreign vessels conduct a number of marine scientific research programmes in Irish waters each year. The Foreign Vessel Observer Scheme (FVOS) is a Marine Institute programme whereby Irish marine researchers can be placed on-board the vessels for the duration of the survey. Further information and summary details of the surveys are available here.
The RV Celtic Explorer, RV Celtic Voyager and the ROV Holland I are available for charter. Contact details for the Research Vessel Operations team who are responsible for their management and scheduling are available here.
P&O Maritime provide ship management, operation and maintenance services to the Marine Institute’s research fleet. Although an international company, the support services to the Marine Institute are provided locally from their Galway offices and workshop.
Daily charter rates for the RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager are available here. Commercial rates are available on request to the Research Vessel Operations team.