The Rainbow Warrior

Publication - November 12, 2010
The Rainbow Warrior is perhaps the most famous Greenpeace campaign ship.

The vessel's name was inspired by a North American Indian prophecy which foretells a time when human greed will make the Earth sick, and a mythical band of warriors will descend from a rainbow to save it.

The current Rainbow Warrior was launched on 10 July 1989. The original vessel (Rainbow Warrior I) was bombed in 1985 by French government secret agents in an attempt to foil protests of their nuclear weapons testing in the Pacific. The plan backfired, sparking worldwide outrage, and the rebuilt ship proved that "you can't sink a rainbow." A new ship (Rainbow Warrior II) returned to battle, successfully ending the French nuclear testing programme.

The Rainbow Warrior has had a long and colorful history of campaigning for positive change for the planet. Its decks have been graced by celebrities, religious leaders, royalty and rock bands. She has challenged legal systems and won, confronted environmental crimes, relocated the population of a South Pacific Island contaminated by radiation, provided disaster relief to victims of the 2004 Tsunami in South East Asia, sailed against whaling, war, climate change and other environmental crimes on every ocean of the world.