Who can participate to the CCGS Amundsen scientific expeditions?

The research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen is designed to accommodate a wide range of oceanographic research targeting the atmosphere, sea ice, marine, and seabed environment.  Scientists from the academia, government, or private sector, whose work is related to the Arctic or sub-Arctic, can get access to the vessel. A typical science contingent participating in a given segment (or Leg) of the expedition is composed of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and researchers/professors. Joint projects with the industry may involve consultants and engineers. Media, documentarists, and artists may also be present depending on berth availability. International programs and participants collaborating with Canadian scientists are welcomed and encouraged. The Amundsen can also host health surveys in northern communities of Canada and be transformed into a floating health clinic. The ship can accommodate up to 40 scientists at any given time. More information on the research programs that have used the Amundsen over the years is available in the Past Expeditions section.

How programs and researchers can apply for ship-time or berths?

The primary way to get access to the CCGS Amundsen for scientific purposes is to apply for ship-time as a research program using the following guidelines. Research programs applying for ship-time typically already have partial or full funding to cover the daily costs of the ship. Individual researchers and industry representatives may contact us directly to seek information on berth availability, collaboration with existing programs, and costs. Media, documentarists, and artists may apply using the procedure described in the Media section.

How the expeditions are funded, and what are the daily costs?

Through Université Laval and Amundsen Science, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Major Science Initiative Fund (MSI) represents the primary source of funding for the operation of the CCGS Amundsen for science and maintenance of its pool of scientific equipment. User fees from research programs boarding the vessel complete the necessary funding. User programs may have full or partial funding to cover ship-time and logistical/technical support from Amundsen Science. The CFI-MSI Fund can further support Canadian academic programs through the Amundsen Science Ship-Time Subsidies. Daily costs for the operation of the ship for science varies according to program requirements and fluctuate from year to year. Please contact us at for a quote.

What is the deadline for the Amundsen ship-time application?

The deadline for the ship-time application is 30 September of a given year to join the expedition of the following year. However, it is strongly recommended to contact us in advance (18 months preferably) to discuss your program requirements before submitting the ship-time application. Individual researchers may contact us at any time to seek information on collaboration with existing programs and costs.

How does Amundsen Science determine the cruise track and objectives of the expedition?

Annual CCGS Amundsen scientific expeditions typically last 110-130 days at sea, from May to October. Each user program occupies a given period of the expedition (from a few days to several weeks). Usually, the opportunity of scientific staff change occurs every 3-4 weeks. Multiple programs may overlap or succeed to each other during a given period depending on their geographical and scientific compatibility. Amundsen Science preliminarily assembles research objectives and cruise track for the various periods as part of the ship-time application review process in October-November. Finalization of the overall expedition goals and entire cruise track will be undertaken at a planning workshop gathering the Canadian Coast Guard and all user programs allocated ship-time for a given expedition. This workshop is usually held every year in February in Quebec City and is mandatory for all user programs. The workshop facilitates synergies and collaborations between the different programs to optimize operations at sea and to reduce costs.

What is the typical itinerary of the annual Amundsen Expedition?

The final itinerary of the Amundsen during a given Arctic season depends on the research scope of user programs. The ship usually sails north to the Labrador Sea, Baffin Bay, and Nares Strait when ice conditions allow. The CCGS Amundsen may continue its journey through the Northwest Passage and western Canadian Arctic in late summer. The Beaufort Sea has been frequently visited over the years, and the ship traveled as far as the Chukchi Sea. Once every few years, the ship may enter Hudson Bay. More information on cruise tracks of the Amundsen since 2003 is available in the Past Expeditions section.