CCGS Amundsen

Université Laval, Québec, Québec
What the facility does

Research on the Canadian Arctic coast in the marine, terrestrial, health and social sciences fields

Areas of expertise

The Canadian research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen has been a major catalyst in revitalizing Canadian Arctic science by providing Canadian researchers and their international collaborators with research infrastructure and scientific equipment that gives them unprecedented access to the Arctic Ocean and its ancillary seas. The ship’s facilities and sophisticated pool of equipment make it a unique and versatile research platform for scientists in the natural, health and social sciences along with their government and industry partners as well as partners from northern communities. By welcoming an impressive number of multinational teams and encouraging exchanges between different disciplines and sectors, Amundsen contributes to the development of new research projects aiming to increase our understanding of northern environments. In this way, Amundsen is building national and international research communities!

Please see the CCGS Amundsen website for a full list of laboratory, laboratories and oceanographic research and atmospheric research equipment.

Research services
  • Coordination and organization of integrated polar expeditions
  • Ship time; funding for eligible organisations
  • Maintenance and availability of basic instruments in physical oceanography
  • Processing and distribution of basic oceanographic data
  • Laboratories and instrumentation in oceanography and other polar research:
    • geology
    • climate studies
    • oceanography
    • biogeochemistry
    • marine ecology
    • fisheries
    • benthic ecology
    • sea ice
    • atmospheric sciences
    • climatology
    • contaminants
    • terrestrial ecology
    • human health
    • epidemiology
Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Ocean industries
  • Policy and governance
  • Transportation

Specialized lab




Kongsberg EM304

Hull-mounted multibeam echosounder for sea floor and water column mapping


Hull ADCP (150 kHz)

Real-time mapping of the distribution of ocean currents


Knudsen K320R sub-bottom profiler

6 element, hull-mounted, sub-bottom profiler


Seabird Carousel CTD-Rosette systems (2)

Seawater sampling (fluorometer, transmissometer, pH, oxygen, PAR, nitrate sensor, current meter, conductivity, temperature, pressure, optical probe)


Remotely operated vehicle (ROV)

Submersible with 1,600-m diving depth capacity


Kongsberg HiPAP: Ultra Short Base Line

Remote positioning system


Brooke-Ocean MVP300

Moving vessel profiler provides high- resolution vertical sections of oceanographic conditions (conductivity, temperature, pressure, oxygen, fluorometer, transmissometer)


Kongsberg HUGIN 1000 AUV

Autonomous underwater vehicle enabling the geophysical and oceanographic study of ice‑covered Arctic seas (conductivity, temperature, pressure, fluorometer, multibeam ecosounder, side-scan ecosounder, sub-bottom profiler, photosynthetically active radiation sensor, nitrate sensor, oxygen, light backscatter sensor)


Simrad EK60 scientific echosounder

Echosounder for fisheries research


Internal moon pool

Deployment of CTD-Rosette, ROV and other equipment in ice-infested waters


0.7-m (Hydrobios) and 1.0-m (BIOness) multinet zooplankton samplers

Zooplankton sampling nets


Rectangular midwater trawl and experimental trawls

Sampling nets


10-m piston corers, box corers and a core splitter

Sea floor sampling equipment


A heavy-duty (500 hp) oceanographic winch and A-frame (10 tons)

Deployment of heavy instruments and& mooring arrays


Medium-duty (30-75 hp) oceanographic winches (4)

Heavy lifting equipment


Deck incubators (2)

Temperature-controlled incubators for incubation at arctic temperatures


Fully-equipped wet and dry laboratories



Temperature-controlled units



Microscopy and instrumentation rooms



Lab equipped and standardized for analysis using radioactive products

Lab dedicated to radioisotopic analyses 


Class 100 cleanroom

Portable in-situ Laboratory for Mercury Speciation


Ultra-pure water purification system



Mercury analyzers


  • ArcticNet
  • Government of Canada
  • Institut national de santé publique du Québec
  • National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS France)
  • SOLAS Canada
  • Network on Climate and Aerosols (NETCARE)
  • Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC)
  • National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR)
  • The W. Garfield Weston Foundation
  • Environmental Studies Research Fund (ESRF)
  • GEOTRACES: Circumpolar Flaw Lead (CFL) System Study
  • EU ATLAS Horizon 2020 Project Circumpolar Flaw Lead (CFL) System Study
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (St. John’s, Newfoundland; Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO), Halifax, Nova Scotia; Freshwater Institute, Winnipeg, Manitoba)
  • Arctic Research Icebreaker Consortium (ARICE)



Government of Canada invests in top research labs, Canada Foundation for Innovation

Support for Arctic research, Le Fil, Université Laval

Arctic research receives $32 million in funding over five years, Les affaires

Amundsen Science Mission: Icebreaking and Science Together, Le Soleil

Calgary composer Vincent Ho's Juno-nominated composition inspired by environmental science, Inuit culture, Calgary Herald

Measuring life under the ice of the St. Lawrence River, Le Monde

International cooperation boosts Arctic marine research, European Commission

Following in the footsteps of the "Amundsen", the St. Lawrence laboratory boat, Le Devoir

How we solved an Arctic mercury mystery, The Conversation

Indigenous knowledge, research are key to protecting the Arctic, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Governor General Heading to Canada’s Arctic for a Scientific Program on Board the CCGS Amundsen, The Governor General of Canada

Amundsen Real Time Data