GC Rieber Shipping has completed the process of redelivery and sale of the icebreaking research vessel Ernest Shackleton to the new owner Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS).
The redelivery of the vessel from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) marked the end of a nearly 20-year relationship between British Antarctic Survey and GC Rieber Shipping.
Ernest Shackleton was developed by GC Rieber Shipping based on decades of icebreaker experience and built at Kværner Kleven Leirvik in Norway in 1995. The vessel, initially named Polar Queen, traded from delivery to 1999 in the North Sea offshore market before starting its service with BAS in the second half of 1999. She was officially renamed the “RRS Ernest Shackleton” in May 2000 by the Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of the famous polar explorer.
“We have truly enjoyed the good relationship with BAS and our arrangements have been mutually beneficial. The Ernest Shackleton has been chartered back to GC Rieber Shipping during North Sea summer seasons, providing GC Rieber Shipping with flexible tonnage during periods of high demand and BAS with additional charter hire” said Christoffer Knudsen, Chief Commercial Officer at GC Rieber Shipping.
CEO of GC Rieber Shipping, Einar Ytredal commented: “We are pleased to see part of our legacy fleet finding a good home with OGS. The vessel’s unique capacities will serve her new owners in years to come. At the same time, a long-standing and solid working relationship with British Antarctic Survey comes to an end. It has been a pleasure working with BAS through two decades where GC Rieber Shipping’s ability to develop high-end assets has been tested. We wish BAS all the best in the future and extend the same wishes to OGS when they now take over this unique vessel.”
Based in Sgonico, Italy, OGS, Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e Geofisica Sperimentale (National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics) is an internationally oriented public research institution. This institution operates and develops its own mission in the European Research Area (ERA) and internationally, prioritizing the basic and applied research fields of:
• Oceanography (under the Physical, Chemical and Biological aspects);
• Geophysics and Marine Geology;
• Experimental and Explorative Geophysics.

OGS applies its own expertise in Earth Sciences, and in Marine and Polar regions to contribute not only to the spreading and widening of the knowledge, but also to the practical solution of environmental, economical and social issues in line with the National Program of Research (PNR) and strategic objectives set by the EU, with particular referral to Horizon 2020.
(Source: GC Rieber/OGS – Image: Ernest Shackleton at Kind Edward Point. South Georgia/John Dickens/British Antarctic Survey)