Greenpeace ship lands at Yarmouth for 'secret' mission

Esperanza Greenpeace

Esperanza, the largest and swiftest Greenpeace vessel, arrived in Great Yarmouth on Wednesday (February 10) sparking a flurry of interest. Photographer Jamie Goodman was on hand to capture this stunning shot of her entering the harbour at Gorleston. - Credit: J&G Ship & Maritime Photographic Collection

A Greenpeace campaign vessel has arrived in Great Yarmouth.

The Esperanza, meaning 'hope" in Spanish, is moored in historic South Quay close to the Seaman's Mission, having spent the winter in Germany.

Painted in the environmental organisation's identifying rainbow colours the ship is described as the largest and swiftest vessel in the Greenpeace fleet, and "a formidable force for good".

A spokesman said around 30 crew and campaigners were on board for what would her "first activity this year".

Greenpeace Esperanza

The Esperanza travelling along the River Yare as it arrived in Great Yarmouth. The Greenpeace ship is instantly recognisable and has sparked a flurry of interest. - Credit: Viv Sprason

However, he said he was unable to be any more specific about the plans for the coming weeks, confirming it was a secret mission.

Her role fighting "environmental emergencies" for Greenpeace had seen her involved in a pole to pole expedition, sailing from the Arctic to the Antarctic on a year long voyage to document the various threats facing our oceans, the spokesman said.

He added in the second half of last year she had been involved in "a lot of work on UK fisheries."

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She is likely to remain in port today (February 11) and may set sail tomorrow.

Photography and maritime enthusiast Jamie Goodman said he was delighted to catch the vessel on camera as she entered the port.

He said: "Seeing a Greenpeace ship come in to Great Yarmouth was an amazing sight.

"There has not been a Greenpeace ship in the port of Great Yarmouth for many years.

"I saw the ship was due on marine traffic so went down the pier braving the elements.

"The heavens opened but when the pilot boarded the ship was graced with lovely sky."

Esperanza is an ex Soviet Navy firefighting vessel built in 1984 as Vikhr 4.

The ship was recommissioned in 2000 and relaunched in 2002 after being renamed Esperanza by visitors to the Greenpeace website.

She is sailing under the flag of the Netherlands, where Greenpeace has its headquarters.

She moored in Yarmouth after a voyage of two days and seven hours on Wednesday at 3.23pm (February 10).

Last summer she was active in the North Sea amid claims about the polluting activity of the oil and gas industry.