The Esperanza

Multimedia | March 21, 2005


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.


The ship is the fourth of 14 fire-fighting vessels ordered by the Russian government between 1983 and 1987 from Stocznia Polnocna construction yard in Gdansk, Poland. Heavy ice class and speed were one of the requirements.

The Esperanza was one of 14 similar vessels commissioned by the Russian government and used by the Russian Navy as a fire-fighting ship in Murmansk.

Lack of funds saw the ship laid up for some years in the late 80s, then sold a couple of times, finally working in Norway as a supply vessel.

At 72 metres length, and a top speed of 16 knots, the ship is ideal for fast and long range work.

The ship's ice class status means it can also work in polar regions.

It has taken many months to refit the ship in as environmentally friendly way as possible and these improvements include: the removal or safe containment of all asbestos; fitting a special fuel system to avoid spillage; newly fitted, more efficient, diesel electric propulsion; on board recycling of waste water, leaving only clean water pumped overboard; a waste based heating system; bilge water purifiers, 15 times more effective than current legislation demands; TBT-free hull paint; ammonia based refrigeration and air-conditioning rather than climate changing and ozone depleting Freon gas - the first Dutch registered vessel to be so fitted; and an environmentally and economically efficient propulsion system to reduce CO2 emissions.

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.

If you have a fast internet connection, you can click here to see a short video about the Esperanza.

Click here to take a virtual tour of the Esperanza.


The Esperanza first began working for Greenpeace in 2002 during the Ancient Forests Save or Delete campaign push.

For more information visit


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
Breadth: 14.3m
Draught: 4.7m
Maximum speed: 14 knots
Main engines: 5.876 BHP, 2*2.938 BHP Sulzer V12

Personal Account

David de Jong, Greenpeace chief engineer:
Finding the perfect Greenpeace ship... it has been on my mind since I joined Greenpeace nine years ago.

Two years ago the specifications were agreed for the replacement of the Greenpeace. It was an extremely difficult task. The Echo Fighter had the potential we were looking for, even if we were looking at a major refit.

Full of thoughts, excitement and questions I walked off the gangway after my first visit to the Echo Fighter [the ships original name] in Norway, when a rainbow appeared.

Rainbows are said to have appeared at crucial moments in Greenpeace history, guiding our ships to whaling vessels and nuclear test sites.

Perhaps in this case the rainbow guided us to the Esperanza - I certainly like to think of both as signs of hope for things to come.

For more stories from the Esperanza's first Greenpeace voyage visit the Forests Save or Delete website.

Greenpeace ship Esperanza demarcating the proposed 'Dogger Bank' marine reserve in the North Sea

Greenpeace ship Esperanza demarcating the proposed 'Dogger Bank' marine reserve in the North Sea