If good things come in threes, then Greenpeace has certainly saved the best for last. 


On Friday, the environmental organization launched its new $33 million Rainbow Warrior III vessel, a 190-foot ship with two soaring masts, a helicopter pad, and more sustainable features than any other ship in its class. 


"This is no ordinary sailing ship," writes Hayley Baker on the Greenpeace site. "It is a sleek, efficient eco-vessel, every detail crafted with sustainability in mind, from the silicon-based paint on her hull to the FSC [Forest Stewardship Council] wood of her cabins, to the onboard recycling systems and biological sewage treatment. The new Rainbow Warrior will primarily be powered and propelled by the sun and wind. It has a revolution mast design, allowing her to carry more sail, and has all of the latest digital equipment allowing us to broadcast video from remote locations and tweet from any ocean."


The original Rainbow Warrior was sunk in 1985 by two explosive devices attached to her hull by French intelligence operatives. The action, which resulted in the death of an activist, was meant to deter the organization from monitoring nuclear tests. Its successor (aka, Rainbow Warrior II) was retired this year to become a hospital ship in Bangladesh. 


According to the AP, the Rainbow Warrior III's first mission will be in the United States to campaign against burning coal for electricity. The vessel will then travel to the Amazon to raise awareness of rain forest destruction. 


"As a purpose-built campaigning ship," added Baker, "the new Rainbow Warrior will confront environmental criminals across the world, she will investigate and expose destructive activities, but perhaps most of all will provide a beacon of hope and an inspiration to action wherever she goes."



Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.