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Research vessel Sikuliaq arriving in Alaska; First Stop Ketchikan

Ketchikan Ship Tours and Reception Feb. 10th



February 10, 2015
Tuesday AM

(SitNews) - The research vessel Sikuliaq is being welcomed home to Alaska waters with a series of public events and tours as it makes its way to its homeport in Seward. The first stop for the Sikuliaq will be in Ketchikan, Tuesday, Feburary 10th.

A community reception is scheduled in Ketchikan today from 4:30–6:30 p.m. at Fish Pirate’s Saloon located at 76 Front Street. Ship tours will be held from 1–4 p.m. starting at the Berth III visitor information center at 417 Water Street. The University of Alaska Fairbanks asks that you join them in celebrating the Sikuliaq's homecoming to Alaska.

jpg Research vessel Sikuliaq arriving in Alaska; First Stop Ketchikan

The research vessel Sikuliaq sails across the Great Lakes on June 6, 2014, when UAF took delivery of the vessel.
UAF photo by Val Ihde

The Sikuliaq — pronounced see-KOO-lee-auk and translated from Inupiaq as “young sea ice” — is a new 261-foot oceanographic research vessel. The ship is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a leader in Arctic research.

Sikuliaq can cut through 2.5 feet of first-year sea ice and is the only ice-capable vessel in the United States academic research fleet. The ship is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment to bring scientists to previously inaccessible ice-choked polar regions of the globe. The Sikuliaq will be a powerful vehicle for advancing polar and subpolar research when it begins scientific operations this summer.

University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists conducting ocean research in Alaska have been advocating for a vessel specifically designed for Arctic operations since the first proposal was submitted in 1973. Those years of preparation paid off in 2009 when the NSF announced it would construct the vessel with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Sikuliaq will allow researchers to collect sediment samples directly from the seafloor, host remotely operated vehicles, use a flexible suite of winches to raise and lower scientific equipment, and conduct surveys throughout the water column and sea bottom using an extensive set of research instrumentation.

The ship will also be able to transmit real-time information directly to classrooms all over the world. The vessel design strives to have the lowest possible environmental impact, including a low underwater radiated noise signature for marine mammal and fisheries work. The Sikuliaq will have accommodations for up to 26 scientists and students at a time, including those with disabilities.

The vessel is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, as part of the U.S. academic research fleet. It will be used by scientists in the U.S. and international oceanographic community through the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System.

On Feb. 17, the Sikuliaq will visit Juneau. Ship tours will be from 1–4:30 p.m. at the AJ Dock, 1110 Jacobsen Drive. A community reception will be held from 5:30–7:30 p.m. at the Twisted Fish, 550 Franklin Street.

A commissioning ceremony and community reception in Seward are scheduled for March 7 beginning at 11 a.m. at the Dale R. Lindsey Terminal. Ship tours in Seward will be available the afternoons of March 6, 7 and 8 starting at 1 p.m. each day.

To sign up for a ship tour or RSVP for a community reception, visit the Sikuliaq website,

To sign up for a ship tour in Ketchikan or RSVP for the Ketchikan community reception, go to


Source of News: 

University of Alaska Fairbanks

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