Protector in Canada 22 

HMS Protector – the Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol Ship – is visiting Canada this Summer. 

The visit is an opportunity to celebrate the close strategic ties between our countries. The tour, which will include stops in Montreal, Quebec City, Sydney, Halifax and St John’s, will showcase our bilateral collaboration on everything from climate change and trade to defence and science.


The UK and Canada are the closest of allies, partners and friends. It’s a partnership based on shared history and values, and a determination to be an active force for good in the world. The arrival of HMS Protector in Canada is an opportunity to demonstrate this partnership in action showcasing the best of ‘Global Britain’ in a modern and dynamic age. Over the next 6 weeks we will be closely collaborating with Government counterparts, business stakeholders, academics, researchers and the public to discuss our shared priorities as well as some of the biggest challenges facing our world today. From trade to climate change, HMS Protector will provide a backdrop to important discussions on how our two nations are working together for shared prosperity and global security.


Among its many capabilities, HMS Protector is a research vessel equipped with state of the art scientific equipment providing support to UK and foreign research stations. The UK-Canada science and innovation relationship is one of our most important globally. It is vital to the 2020 ‘Integrated Review’ that prioritises science and technology as part of the UK’s Foreign and Domestic Policy. Throughout the tour we will be collaborating with academics and researchers on issues from climate change to emerging technologies like Hydrogen, Quantum and AI.


The UK has a rich history of Defence collaboration with Canada. Last year the Royal Navy signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Coast Guard to share operational expertise and Polar Training. HMS Protector’s visit is an opportunity to deepen our ties and explore new areas for growth and collaboration.

About HMS Protector

HMS Protector (A173) is the Royal Navy’s only Ice Patrol Ship. She sails the waters of Antarctica and the Southern Hemisphere and is deployed for 330 days a year. She is affectionately referred to as the Royal Navy’s ‘swiss army knife’ – red, versatile, and always there when you need her!

In 2011, she was chartered as a temporary replacement for the ice patrol ship HMS Endurance and was purchased by the British Ministry of Defence in early September 2013. As DNV Ice Class 05 the vessel can handle first year ice up to 0.5 metres (20 in).

HMS Protector’s crew includes a team of permanent divers who undertake exploratory surveys and ensure that environmental guidelines are being upheld.

This ice patroller is well-equipped with 2 cranes capable of lifting up to 60 tonnes of stores and equipment.

With permanent diving capability and a team of mountain leader-trained Royal Marines, Protector is ready for every mission the Frozen Continent might throw at her. Her missions include undertaking hydrographic surveys of the area to improve the safety of navigation; providing support to UK and foreign research stations; assisting the British Antarctic Survey. As well providing practical support. Protector is a symbol of the Royal Navy’s global reach and operational flexibility.

A Word From Your Hosts


A Message from British High Commissioner to Canada, Susannah Goshko

I have been looking forward to the arrival of HMS Protector in Canada since my own arrival in country last year. The ship is not only a remarkable research and survey vessel but she also represents the very best of Britain in a modern and challenging age. Her dual science and defence capabilities highlight two areas in which the UK and Canada are closely aligned. Our bilateral collaboration on climate change, joint research projects in the Arctic and the dynamic security and defence partnerships through the 5Eyes and NATO, demonstrate how much we value this trusted ally and friend.

Over the next two months HMS Protector will be travelling through the St. Lawrence and eventually up to the Arctic. I’m excited to get on board, see more of Canada and meet the people of this amazing country that make it so unique and welcoming.

Captain Milly Ingham

A Message from HMS Protector's Commanding Officer, Captain M K Ingham RN

As the Commanding Officer of HMS PROTECTOR, the Royal Navy’s Ice Patrol Ship, I am delighted that we are bringing the Ship to your wonderful country. This will be PROTECTOR’s first visit to Canada and the Canadian High North; we are more used to the Antarctic, where the Ship routinely spends the Austral Summer supporting the scientific research of the British Antarctic Survey, surveying uncharted waters and providing support and reassurance to British Overseas Territories.

We are very much looking forward to working and exercising alongside our brothers and sisters in the Royal Canadian Navy and the Coast Guard to further our collaborative goals on climate change and scientific research as well as demonstrating the interoperability between our Forces. It will also give us the opportunity to reaffirm bonds of friendships with Canadians with whom we have worked before and to learn more about this diverse and welcoming country.

#CaptainForADay Contest

Are you a young girl between the age of 12-16 with nautical know how? Enter our #CaptainForADay Contest for a chance to win a day on board HMS Protector with Captain Milly Ingham and her crew this Summer in Nova Scotia.

Learn more

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