Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

Ice ship in Iceland as HMS Protector cements ties with Reykjavik

Sailors on Protector's upper deck admire the Reykjavik skyline as the ship enters harbour
30 June 2021
Fresh from sailing within 1,050 kilometres of the North Pole, Royal Navy icebreaker HMS Protector cemented UK ties with Iceland with a short visit to her capital.

The Devonport-based icebreaker/survey/scientific research ship was crunching through the Arctic ice field nearly 2,000 kilometres north of Reykjavik just a week ago.

Seven days on and she became the first Royal Navy vessel to pay an official visit to Iceland since the lockdown – and also the first to visit since the hosts joined the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force.

To highlight the important and enduring relations between the two like-minded countries on issues such as environmental science in the Arctic - especially hydrographic surveying which Protector conducted on her foray north – and the security of the frozen region, the ship invited dignitaries, led by the country’s Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson and the UK’s Ambassador to Iceland, Michael Nevin, aboard for a look around the unique vessel.

“The ship’s company have been exceptionally well hosted by the people of Iceland and have had some wonderful experiences exploring this fascinating country; we hope to return in the future,” said Commanding Officer Captain Michael Wood, who also presented Mr Nevin with a souvenir ship’s crest.

Protector is now due to leave Iceland for the (slightly) warmer waters of Teesside (13.5C compared with just 9C off Reykjavik) and maintenance/final preparations for her voyage south at the end of the summer, and her first spell among the Antarctic ice since early 2019.

The ship’s company have been exceptionally well hosted by the people of Iceland and have had some wonderful experiences exploring this fascinating country; we hope to return in the future

Captain Michael Wood

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.