R/V SIKULIAQ is a 281-foot (85 meter) oceanographic research ship capable of breaking ice up to 1 meter thick.  It is operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks out of Seward, Alaska. 

The Research Vessel SIKULIAQ is owned by the U.S. National Science Foundation and operated by the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  It is used by scientists from the U.S. and international community through the University-National Laboratory System (UNOLS). 

The R/V SIKULIAQ is 281 feet long (85 meters) and is capable of breaking ice up to 1 meter thick.  The SIKULIAQ enables researchers to collect sediment samples directly from the seafloor, deploy remotely operated vehicles, use a flexible suite of winches to raise and lower scientific equipment, and conduct surveys throughout the water column and sea bottom using an extensive set of research instrumentation.  It has several multibeam sonar mapping and subbottom profiling systems.  The vessel design strives to have the lowest possible environmental impact, including a low underwater radiated noise signature for marine mammal and fisheries work. 

The SIKULIAQ has accommodations for up to 26 scientists and students at a time, including those with disabilities.

Technical specifications and equipment:

Institution University of Alaska Fairbanks
Country United States
Infrastructure type Research vessel
Disciplines Natural environments and wildlife
Language of operation English
Keywords ship timeresearchoceanographyicebreakerarctic


The R/V Sikuliaq is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks.  The ship is available for charter.

The R/V Sikuliaq is scheduled through UNOLS, the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System.

Informal schedule inquiries may be addressed to the Seward Marine Center.

Contact information

Murray Stein, Marine Superintendant, Seward Marine Center or

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