Launched in February 2002, the Esperanza is the latest and largest vessel in the Greenpeace fleet, replacing the now retired Greenpeace. Esperanza (Spanish for "hope") is the first Greenpeace ship to be named by visitors to our web site.
Built in Gdansk, Poland, in 1984 the Esperanza — one of 14 vessels commissioned by the Russian government — was used by the Russian Navy as a fire-fighting ship in Murmansk. At 236.2 feet, with a top speed of 15 knots, Esperanza is ideal for fast and long-range work, such as chasing the Japanese whaling fleet! It is equipped with a first-class communications system and its ice-class status makes it suitable for work in the polar regions.
The "Greenest" Ship
After chartering Esperanza in early 2002, Greenpeace spent many months refitting it to the highest possible environmental standards. First we removed and contained the asbestos onboard, then we added:
- a more efficient diesel engines;
- onboard recycling of waste water;
- a waste-based heating system;
- bilge water purifiers;
- TBT-free hull paint;
- ammonia-based refrigeration and air-conditioning;
- and an environmentally and economically efficient propulsion system to reduce CO2 emissions.
Esperanza now sails as a proud example of a truly "green" ship!
In addition, standard Greenpeace operating equipment has also been fitted. A new helicopter deck has been added, as well as special boat cranes to launch the inflatables.
The Esperanza first sprang into action for Greenpeace to protest imports of unsustainably logged wood, in the run-up to the Ancient Forests Summit. Since then, it has also protested against deadly plutonium shipments and worked to protect our oceans through direct action and scientific research.
In the summer of 2007, the Esperanza toured the Bering Sea to bear witness to what is happening not only to the beautiful ecosystem of water, fish, mammals, birds, and plants, but just as important, how change is impacting an ancient people.
In early 2008 the Esperanza returned to port after two weeks of successfully preventing the Japanese whaling fleet from hunting in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. By chasing the factory whaling ship, the rest of the Japanese whaling fleet were unable to operate — bringing the entire whaling program to a halt. During the two weeks Greenpeace spent with the fleet more than 100 whales were saved. Check out some blog posts by the ship's crew to read about the actions that took place.
In August of 2009, the Esperanza embarked on the Defending Our Pacific 2009 tour, and has already had many successes in defending a two-month ban on the most destructive fishing practices that are further endangering the already beleaguered Pacific tuna populations.
Port of registry: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Former Name: Echo Fighter
Date of charter: 2000
Number of berths: 33
Inflatable boats: 2 large rigid hull and 4 small inflatables
Helicopter capable: Yes
Type of ship: expedition/research
Call sign: PD 6464
Built: 1984 Poland Gdansk
Gross tonnage: 2076 BRT
Length o.a: 72.3m
Maximum speed: 14 knots
Main engines: 5.876 BHP, 2*2.938 BHP Sulzer V12