Greenpeace’s iconic ship to visit Phuket

Do you remember that time when the French foreign intelligence bombed a Greenpeace ship killing one person in the process? I don’t, I was 3 years old. I found about it today, from Wikipedia.

It was 1985 when what many call a state-sponsored terrorist attack, Greenpeace’s flagship vessel – The Rainbow Warrior – took place in New Zealand’s Port of Auckland in New Zealand. As a result of the bombing, the ship sunk and one crewman – Fernando Pereira – was killed.

As fascinating this piece of history is, and as much as I exploring it further (there are full feature movies on the topic on YouTube), the world moved on, and here we are, in 2018. Many things have changed since the attack, other changed because of it – including a major shift in New Zealand’s foreign policy in repose to a lack of condemnation of the attack from many of its allies, and a halt of French nuclear test in the Pacific (though only for 10 years) – but at the same time, many things staid the same, amongst them – the ongoing threat to our planet’s environment and The Rainbow Warrior making a stance against it.

The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in the South Pacific albacore tuna fishing grounds.
The Rainbow Warrior travels into the Pacific to expose out of control tuna fisheries. Tuna fishing has been linked to shark finning, overfishing and human rights abuses.

Wait, what? Didn’t I just say that the French agents sunk it? Right, they did. But after the truth about their shameful  deeds came out and the French government was forced to pay retributions to Greenpeace as well as the killed crewman’s family, some of those funds were used to purchase a new The Rainbow Warrior. So, there it is, a new boat continuing the good work of the good boat. Except that, not exactly…

How? Turns out that there is an even newer boat! And yes, you guessed it, it’s called The Rainbow Warrior (III). But there is more. Wait for it. The Rainbow Warrior is coming to Phuket!

Not only does it carry along the legacy of the original Rainbow Warrior but it’s also a very special boat in itself, being purposely built as a campaigning ship. Greenpeace didn’t buy just any boat and stuck their logo on it, they build with spreading their eco-message around the globe.

The Rainbow Warrior sailing during the Italian leg of the No Plastic tour in the Mediterranean Sea.
La Rainbow Warrior in navigazione in Italia durante il No Plastic tour. Durante il tour, partito dalla Spagna per proseguire in Italia, La nave di Greenpeace ha inaugurato il suo tour in Spagna, prima di proseguire in Italia, Croazia e Grecia. A bordo anche ricercatori di alcune università italiane che effettueranno dei campionamenti sulle acque e sui pesci per misurare il livello d’inquinamento da plastica nei nostri mari.

I’m not going to pretend, I don’t know much about the Rainbow Warrior, and whatever I know, I’ve read on Greenpeace’s website. So, do your own reading and if you find all this as fascinating as I did, head this weekend to Phuket Town. It’s there, in Phuket’s Deep Sea Port that the vessel will be docked, and more importantly – open to visitors.

Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand
Dolphins swim alongside the Rainbow Warrior in the Cook Strait, New Zealand; very close to where Texan oil company Anadarko intends to begin prospecting later this year.

Public tours of the Rainbow Warrior will be conducted from June 9-10 and on June 12, from 9 am to 6 pm as part of Greenpeace’s tour of Thailand entitled “Rainbow Warrior Ship Tour 2018: 100% Renewable Energy for All”. Alongside the tours many activities will be held, including a green market, an exhibit on the impacts of climate change, Greenpeace and the environmental movement, and the history of the Rainbow Warrior. There will also be games, mini-concerts by Job Bunjob and Tattoo Colour, and a showcase of 1,000-Watt solar energy kits.

Follow Real Life Phuket on Facebook if you want to see live videos from the event, and do sign up for our newsletter not to miss future stories about interesting events taking place in Phuket.

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Maciek Klimowicz
Maciek Klimowicz


Maciek Klimowicz is the Editor in Chief at Real Life Phuket. Food, wine, culture and travel are some of the things he enjoys and writes about - luckily Phuket provides plenty of all. Contact Maciek on

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