Take a tour of Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior

Greenpeace brought its new ship to San Francisco. Let's take a quick tour.

In the Bay

Greenpeace brought its Rainbow Warrior to the San Francisco Bay this week. This version is the first campaign ship built specifically for Greenpeace and was launched in 2011.

It has towering, 53-meter A-frame masts that allow it to carry more sail than other ships its size, and the helicopter pad at the stern is highly unusual for a sailing vessel.

Let's look around.

Greenpeace describes itself as an organization that uses peaceful protest to expose global environmental problems.

Full sail ahead

The A-frame masts, which are about 175 feet tall, allow the Rainbow Warrior to carry five giant sails, more than most ships this size use.

The ship can travel at 14 knots under sail.

To the rescue

This is one of Greenpeace's fast rescue boats that is ready to be deployed for operations.

These boats are used to pull people from the water or obstruct the path of whaling vessels.

Always watching

The Rainbow Warrior is one of a few sailing vessels with a helicopter pad. The helicopter is used as an "eye in the sky" to monitor illegal fishing and get close to rough coasts. (The tent covering isn't used when the ship is at sea.)

Operations hub

The captain controls the ship from the wheelhouse. The Rainbow Warrior also has a communications room with a constant satellite Internet connection, which is used for videoconferencing and other campaign work.

Stay the course

The crew uses an electric-drive engine when there's not enough wind to sail. Here's the steering wheel, with the throttle at the right.

A high perch

An electric-powered crow's nest can shimmy up and down the outside of the A-frame mast.

On a mission

A crew member attaches a banner to the ship that says "Free the Arctic 30." This refers to 28 activists, a photographer, and a videographer who were arrested during a protest at a Gazprom oil rig in the Russian Arctic. They were hoping to draw attention to the topic of climate change.

Those arrested have been charged with piracy and hooliganism and are being held at a Russian detention center.

Rainbow Warrior III

The bow of the ship is shown here with the San Francisco Bay Bridge in the background.

This is the third Rainbow Warrior. The first was bombed and sunk by the French in 1985, the second was retired two years ago.

Looking forward

A carved dolphin on the bow of the ship is a reminder of its mission.


The Rainbow Warrior III's logo is painted on side of the ship.

Livable spaces

Visitors get an idea of the ship's interior by looking at photos on deck.

Take a look around

Greenpeace's Bonnie Barclay gave the San Francisco visitors the tour.

Visible presence

The Rainbow Warrior's masts tower over piers on the San Francisco Embarcadero.

Like us

Stay up to date with the ship by following Greenpeace on Facebook.

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