The Marine Institute’s Research Vessel the Celtic Voyager departed Ireland, following its purchase by Qikiqtaaluk Corporation of Nunavut, Canada. The vessel will continue to be used for fisheries research and seabed mapping in Northern territories and Nunavut in Canada.
Qikiqtaaluk Corporation is the Inuit birthright development corporation for the Qikiqtani Region and seeks to strengthen the social and economic well-being of Nunavut and the 15,000+ Inuit it represents,
Speaking as the vessel departed Irish shores, Michael Gillooly, Interim CEO Marine Institute said “We welcome the purchase of the vessel by Qikiqtaaluk Corporation of Canada, and are pleased to see that it will continue its work in the areas of Fisheries research and seabed mapping in the Nunavut Territory Canada. The Celtic Voyager, as Irelands first multi-purpose Research Vessel has served Ireland well over the past quarter of a century. The Celtic Voyager 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. The Celtic Voyager also provided a generation of marine scientists, researchers and crew members with many years of experience at sea, creating abiding memories for a generation of researchers and crew and support staff and enabling Ireland to deepen its ocean knowledge and supported the increase in Ireland’s international marine research profile over the last 25 years. We bid her a fond farewell and wish her and her crew and all who sail on her – Fair Winds and Following Seas”.
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 programs.
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 since been replaced in the national marine research fleet by the RV Tom Crean.
In recent years, the vessel was operated by P&O Maritime Services Ltd and the excellent condition of the vessel is a testament to the crew and shore based personnel who have sailed and maintained the vessel over the years.