Today Greenpeace has signed a contract to begin construction of a new green sailing ship. Now begins the task of raising the donations to fund it.

This new vessel will be more than a campaign tool – it has been designed to pioneer sustainable technology, showing in practice that long distance voyages at sea can be accomplished using different sources of renewable energy. 

The decision to begin construction comes after years of design work to ensure it will be on the cutting edge of sustainable shipping at launch. At a time where the maritime industry is under increasing pressure to get its act together in terms of emissions reduction, our 75m new ship will lead the way by showing how a smart combination of green technologies can power high seas shipping.

It will serve as both a source of inspiration and a challenge to an industry which is still far too reliant on fossil fuels. It is a sailing vessel at heart – but one which will be revolutionary. With more than 2000 sqm of sails supporting energy regeneration on board, battery packs and solar panels, our new ship will optimally harness the power of the wind and the sun. It will be as close to fossil fuel-free as possible at launch and it has been designed to transition to 100 percent green energy as soon as technically and logistically possible. 

The Rainbow Warrior and Witness in the Mediterranean
The Rainbow Warrior and Witness sail side-by-side in the Mediterranean. © Mariza Karidi / Greenpeace

For this ambitious project, Greenpeace International is partnering with Freire Shipyard, from Vigo, Spain. Freire Shipyard has been selected after an exhaustive tender process because of their ability and commitment to meeting the highest technical, environmental, sustainability, and human rights standards. Assuming our fundraising goes as hoped, we expect our new ship to start campaigning for a better world in 2027.

This is only the first step in what will be a long project, and we will be seeking visionary funders to help us make this dream a reality. While it is still very early days we are already incredibly grateful for the people who have joined with us to begin funding this ship. 

We trust that in the coming years more will join this small group to demand and to manifest a vessel which is radical today, but that we hope will one day become normal. 

We will use this revolutionary new ship to chase and confront looters and polluters on the high seas – in the places where few others can go. We will showcase the hidden beauty of a world worth fighting for and shine an unflinching light on those who put greed and profit before people and planet.

We will use it to hasten the end of the destructive fossil fuel era and to stand beside, and empower, communities who are paying the price for the climate crisis, while contributing the least.

We know that what we do in the next decade will shape the rest of the century. We know that every half-degree of global warming, every half-meter of sea level rise, every species that vanishes from the planet, will reverberate into the future. What we do now matters, for the lives of every person on our shared earth, for their children, and for every generation to come. 

That’s why we are building this new ship – it will be a call to go further, and to do more, than ever before.

Fabien Rondal is the Deputy International Programme Director at Greenpeace International