Free event

Essential Information

Type Family fun
National Maritime Museum
Cutty Sark
Date and Times 28-30 October 2021

The UK's newest polar research ship is coming to Greenwich.

The RRS Sir David Attenborough is making a special visit to London this October, as part of a fantastic festival of polar science and exploration hosted by Royal Museums Greenwich and British Antarctic Survey.

The UK polar research ship Sir David Attenborough lit up at night at the Cammell Laird shipyard

The free three-day Ice Worlds festival will reveal what it's really like to live and work in the Arctic and Antarctic today. 

Featuring a dazzling showcase of environmental science, engineering and technology, Ice Worlds will enthral families and aims to inspire the next generation of scientists, technicians, engineers and citizens.

Meet real polar scientists and explorers, and discover how robots can help unravel the mysteries of the ocean – including the famous Boaty McBoatface submersible.

Also on display will be the treasures of the National Maritime Museum's polar collection, including relics from HMS Erebus and Terror and items belonging to Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

At the heart of the festival is the RRS Sir David Attenborough itself, sailing into Greenwich ahead of the vitally important UN Climate Change Conference COP26.

Operated by British Antarctic Survey, the polar vessel will enable world-leading research in Antarctica and the Arctic.

Anyone can see the ship from the riverside while it is docked in Greenwich. Come down and see RRS Sir David Attenborough before it begins its first mission to the Antarctic.

Join a virtual tour on Facebook

Plan your visit

Tickets and Opening

Free entry
Charges apply for Cutty Sark

28-30 October 2021


  • Greenwich Station
  • Cutty Sark DLR
  • Maze Hill Station
  • Greenwich Pier

Ice Worlds online

Watch a series of talks live from the lecture theatre at the National Maritime Museum, or see the full playlist on YouTube.

Full festival programme coming soon

Sign up to our newsletter to hear more about Ice Worlds and the RRS Sir David Attenborough visit

Crowd gathers to watch the ceremonial naming of RRS Sir David Attenborough at Cammell Laird Shipyard in 2019

About RRS Sir David Attenborough

Royal Research Ship Sir David Attenborough is one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world.

It is designed to carry out scientific research in some of Earth's most hostile environments, and provide vital supplies to the UK's research stations in both the Arctic and Antarctic.

The ship was commissioned by the Natural Environment Research Council and built by Cammell Laird.

The ship is operated by the British Antarctic Survey, and is part of a major government investment in polar infrastructure which will keep Britain at the forefront of world-leading research in Antarctica and the Arctic.

Polar exploration: past, present and future

The polar regions have been a focus for scientific enquiry and exploration for centuries. As we confront the consequences of climate change, understanding that legacy is more important than ever.

The National Maritime Museum is home to some of the most significant records and artefacts in British polar exploration history.

Explore the Polar Worlds Gallery

The RRS Sir David Attenborough marks a new chapter in that polar story.

Thanks to cutting-edge engineering and technology, scientists can explore where no human has ever been before. In both the Arctic and Antarctic, they can continue searching for answers to our planet's most pressing challenges.

This October, join British Antarctic Survey and Royal Museums Greenwich to celebrate the past, present and future of polar science.

Images courtesy of British Antarctic Survey

In partnership with

Choose your tickets

Advance tickets for Ice Worlds are now limited, but you can still visit Greenwich and see the RRS Sir David Attenborough – you don't need a ticket to see the ship. Tickets for all our sites and exhibitions are still available.

National Maritime Museum

  • Guaranteed entry time
  • Access to all free galleries and activities
  • Paid exhibitions not included
Free entry
Book online
Captain Woodget and kids with ropes

Cutty Sark

  • Explore the main deck
  • Walk beneath the ship
  • See how the crew lived
  • Family activities and interactives
  • Guaranteed entry time
  • Audio guide included
Adult £18
Child £9
A couple walks along the Prime Meridian Line in front of the historic Royal Observatory Greenwich building

Royal Observatory

  • Walk the Prime Meridian line
  • See the best view in London
  • Guaranteed entry time
  • Audio guide included
  • Planetarium shows not included
Adult £18
Child £9
A woman stands looking up at the spiral staircase in the Queen's House known as the Tulip Stairs

Queen's House

  • Internationally renowned art
  • Stunning architecture
  • The Van de Veldes: Greenwich, Art and the Sea
  • Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I
Free entry
Book online
A couple takes a selfie at the top of Greenwich Park, with the River Thames and Canary Wharf in the background

Royal Museums Greenwich Day Pass

  • Save 25% with combo ticket
  • Cutty Sark
  • Royal Observatory
  • Guaranteed entry time
  • Planetarium shows not included
Adult £27
Child £13.50
A father and son look through a porthole on the main deck of historic ship Cutty Sark

Become a Member

  • Unlimited entry all year
  • Royal Observatory
  • Cutty Sark
  • Planetarium Shows
  • Special exhibitions
Direct Debit One-off
Individual: £50 Individual: £60
Family: from £60 Family: from £70

Member tickets

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  • Priority booking
  • Access using your membership card
Membership card number required
Image showing mountain and rocks in foreground, with rippling emerald aurora in the sky behind the mountain, which is reflected in a pool of water

Special exhibition

Astronomy Photographer of the Year

  • The world's greatest space photography
  • Over 100 images on display
  • Entry to National Maritime Museum included
Adult £10
Child £5