Canadian Coast Guard 2018 Arctic Season Underway

News release

Montreal, Quebec – The Canadian Coast Guard’s annual Arctic operational season is underway and includes a maiden voyage to the Arctic by the CCGS Samuel Risley. The season will run into late November, providing extended vessel presence in the Arctic under investments from the $1.5-billion Oceans Protection Plan.

The CCGS Samuel Risley will depart July 11 from Quebec City for her maiden voyage to Arctic waters, where she will participate in Operation Pacer Goose, which is the annual resupply mission for the Thule US Air Force base in Greenland. Six other Coast Guard icebreakers deploy this season to support Coast Guard operational and program commitments, such as providing safe escorts of ships through ice-covered waters. Each vessel is equipped with knowledgeable and experienced Commanding Officers and crews.

• May 25        CCGS Amundsen, departed Quebec City for BaySys 
                       (Hudson Bay System) Study

• June 20       CCGS Martha L. Black, departs Quebec City for Arctic 
                       operations including Aids to Navigation

• June  24       CCGS Pierre Radisson, departs Quebec City for icebreaking

• July 5            CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier, departs Victoria for science programming and

                        Aids to Navigation

• July 11           CCGS Samuel Risley, departs Quebec City in support of 
                        operation Pacer Goose and to support Arctic initiatives

• July 12          CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, departs Halifax for icebreaking
                        and science programming, and to relieve the CCGS Martha
                        L. Black

• August 16    CCGS Henry Larsen, departs St. John’s, NL to conduct

Coast Guard icebreakers are ready to assist the shipping industry during the annual Arctic resupply missions, known as “sealift”. Industry and partners have access to daily updates about ice conditions and icebreaker operations throughout the shipping season, which further enhances communication and support for activity in the North. 

Throughout the season, a number of international agencies, researchers and partners, such as the Department of National Defence, the Government of Nunavut, and the Royal Canadian Navy will join our vessels to carry out new or ongoing scientific projects, technical sea trials and training operations.  

As schedules and opportunities permit, our Commanding Officers will reach out to Northern and Inuit communities to engage them in training and familiarization opportunities around search and rescue or environmental response activities.

Additional multimedia

View from the deck of the CCGS Amundsen as it departed Quebec City for BaySys (Hudson Bay System)
View from the deck of the CCGS Amundsen as it departed Quebec City for BaySys (Hudson Bay System) Study on May 25. Credit: © Marc-André Pauzé


“During our Arctic season, we are committed to engaging and working with Indigenous communities and organizations on multiple initiatives as part of the Oceans Protection Plan. This includes identifying and utilizing low-impact shipping corridors to help keep oceans and coasts safer, cleaner and healthier, while providing an increased presence in the Arctic to protect our coasts and waterways.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“The Canadian Coast Guard is dedicated to yet another successful Arctic season. We are eager to continue our important work in Arctic waters to help ensure the safety of both mariners and our oceans by working together with industry, Indigenous peoples and northern communities.”

Julie Gascon, Assistant Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard, Central and Arctic Region

Quick facts

  • In 2017, seven icebreakers were deployed to the Arctic, from Iceland to the Beaufort Sea, from Rankin Inlet to Eureka

  • Annual reopening of the Marine Communication and Traffic Services Centre (MCTS) in Iqaluit was on May 15, and will remain open until December 23, 2018, at which time NordReg services will be provided by Prescott MCTS until the 2019 Arctic season

  • The Coast Guard is opening an Inshore Rescue Boat station in Rankin Inlet, NU, to be operated by Indigenous students from the Arctic

  • As our ships approach communities where fast ice is present, CCG crews will contact the community to ensure that hunters and other residents are advised to avoid the area during operations

  • CCGS Henry Larsen and CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier are delivering bicycles to Ulukhaktok, NWT and Cape Dorset, NU in partnership with the Polar Bike Project for the third year in a row

Associated links


Vincent Hughes
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard  
613 992 3474

Regional Communications Branch
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Central and Arctic Region

Lauren Solski
Communications Advisor
Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

For more information about the Canadian Coast Guard, visit

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