Our research vessel is a fantastic resource for university trips. It is based at Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae in North Ayrshire.

Millport’s onsite research vessel is often used during university field courses. The vessel is equipped with various scientific and surveying equipment, as well as a trawling beam, crane, winch and a sea water pump for maintaining marine specimens on deck in portable tanks. Our expert equipment and capable crew make our vessel ideal for scientific surveying, wildlife tours, educational trips and project work.

The R.V. Actinia is 10.8m, class III research vessel. The catamaran was specifically designed to provide a large stable deck for students and researchers to work on, and the vessel is licensed to carry 12 passengers and 2 crew.

Uses for our research vessel include, but are not limited to:

  • Scientific trawls (these provide students with benthic organisms to identify and equipping them with a greater understanding of trawl sampling techniques
  • Marine mammal and bird surveying techniques
  • Grab samples from the sea bed (due to the diverse substrates and depths near to Millport, a large range of samples can be gathered relatively quickly)
  • Plankton sampling
  • Wildlife sighting tours
  • Photography trips
millport research vessel

The boat is also popular with universities and schools, and our able boat crew will be happy to tell groups about the wildlife they pass on a cruise along the Cumbrae coast. This trip is often combined with a sampling of plankton, benthic organisms, or environmental data that can be applied in research projects or modules in concordance with the National curriculum or Scottish curriculum for excellence.

The Actinia was also designed for diving groups and has a large deck area for dive equipment. This special vessel has guards around her propellers and a purpose-built portable dive ladder. She has aluminium portable bench seating to assist divers fitting heavy equipment. Actinia also has a 240volt generator to power any portable compressor to provide air. The Actinia is ideally situated at Millport to access great diving sites in the Clyde Estuary.