Research Vessels Overview
We manage, develop and promote the national research vessels RV Celtic Explorer , RV Tom Crean , 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here, you can view the RV Celtic Explorer's and RV Tom Crean'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 and RV Tom Crean are currently? You can track the vessels’ position using an interactive map to find out where it is, who is leading the survey and what type of activity they are conducting. You can also view the routes it has 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 Tom Crean, Ireland's new state-of-the-art multi-purpose marine research vessel was delivered in 2022. The 52.8 metre vessel replaces the RV Celtic Voyager. RV Tom Crean can accommodate 26 personnel, and can spend 21 consecutive days at sea. The vessel can undertake fisheries, oceanographic and environmental research and seabed mapping surveys.
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 the RV Tom Crean and RV Celtic Voyager 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, the ROV Holland I and the RV Tom Crean 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 Tom Crean are available here. Commercial rates are available on request to the Research Vessel Operations team.