Pride on the Wirral – We share our best bits from the new polar ship naming

27 September 2019
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Sir David Attenborough, and those pivotal in the design, engineering and preparations for the new polar ship, descended on Birkenhead docks, as drummers drummed, and 200 children dressed as penguins paraded to mark this special occasion.
The magnificent RRS Sir David Attenborough.

The magnificent RRS Sir David Attenborough.


Dave Grove. Ramboll

Dave Grove

Director, and government lead
T: +44 7841 498 236

Among the thousands of people who attended the event were the project team busy preparing for this magnificent ship. As Technical Advisors to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) we have been working on the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme since 2016. Alongside construction partners BAM/Sweco, we are delivering the programme of work to modernise BAS research stations and upgrade their wharfs to ensure they are large enough to accommodate the 129m ship, a staggering 30m longer than its predecessor, the RRS James Clark Ross.

In both their speeches Prince William and Sir David Attenborough emphasised the importance of this ship in helping to understand our planet for the benefit of us all.

David Attenborough said “We all need this ship. Our world is changing and it’s clear that people around the world – especially the young – are becoming more and more concerned about a climate catastrophe. But human beings are resilient and skilful. If we pay attention to the scientific knowledge that those who will sail in this ship will gather, then we will stand a much better chance of finding a way to deal with what lies ahead”.


The official engagements concluded with The Duchess of Cambridge naming the ship the RRS Sir David Attenborough as a bottle of champagne smashed against its hull. For the crowds the entertainment continued in ‘Ice Worlds’, an immersive three-day exhibition that celebrates science and engineering, providing a unique insight into working and operating in the harshest climate on our planet. 

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